Pilot sites

REFUGE-ED will carry out 46 pilots in 6 countries reaching out to more than 10 000 people.

Italy, Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Bulgaria, and Spain have been strategically chosen to achieve diversity in the context of migration and the situation of the refugee children.

Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, and Spain are key entry countries into the EU and are often considered transit countries on a journey towards northern and western Europe.

Sweden and Ireland are considered destination countries and have different integration strategies in place.

 

TitleAddress Description
Pilot sites in Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgarien
Greece
Ireland
Malmö, Sweden
Bulgaria
Spain
Spain

Three types of settings for pilot studies

Reception and identification centres

Reception and identification centres, refugee camps host refugee and asylum seeker families and children on a temporary basis. Educational arrangements are non-formal and transitory.

Inclusive school environments, and social and learning environments.

Pilot actions will be carried out in inclusive schools of formal education, and other non-formal or informal social and learning environments, serving migrant and non-migrant students and families. This pilot will involve a total of 18 schools/high schools, one Centre for Adult Education, one inner city community group and one intercultural centre.

Institutionalized residential care targeted to unaccompanied minors and separated children

The third type of pilots will be developed in residential care centres for the guardianship of unaccompanied minors and separated children. These educational arrangements are non-formal. They become key spaces for these children’s wellbeing, educational opportunities and sense of belonging.  

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a transit country for many asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors but some refugee families have decided to settle in the country. There is already an interesting experience in various educational practices for migrant and refugee children, as well as a need to apply innovative approaches.

In Sofia, the REFUGE-ED project is being implemented in two safe zones for unaccompanied minors in reception and registration centres and in three public schools with experience in educating students with diverse backgrounds, including Roma and refugees. In these schools the teachers are sensitive to intercultural issues and psychological problems related to migration.

Pilot schools collaborate closely with reception and registration centres, managed by the State Agency for Refugees, other government institutions, NGOs, and international organisations in a variety of activities, such as coordination of the refugee children’s enrolment and continuous communication on the educational and adaptational status of students, training of teachers, active participation and informational activities for the school pupils, intercultural, humanitarian and other activities.

 

15th School 'Adam Mitskevich'

The 15th “Adam Mitskevich” school is a municipal public non-specialized school in Sofia, Bulgaria providing education for pupils from 1st to 12th grade. The school was established in 1950 as a girls’ school and five years later was transformed to mixed one. Nowadays the school has more than 500 students enrolled. The school has a rich history in terms of providing education for students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and, currently, has pupils from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Vietnam, China, Afghanistan, Georgia, as well as children from the Roma community in the “Nadezhda” district and coming from crisis centers.

66th School "Filip Stanislavov

The 66th ‘Filip Stanislavov’ school is a municipal public school in Sofia, Bulgaria that provides education for students from 1st to 12th grade. Currently the school has about 350 students. 35% of the students are Roma and there are 20 unaccompanied minors from Syria enrolled in the school. The educational institution used to have around 700 students each year, but their number dropped in the 2000s when the school launched a Roma integration program. The school has been presented in the media as a ‘school which is not afraid of the refugee-students’ because and one that ‘sets an example in tolerance and respect, and educates its students in the spirit of these values’

74th School 'Gotse Delchev'

The 74th ‘Gotse Delchev’ school is a municipal public school in Sofia, Bulgaria providing education from 1st to 12th grade. There are a total of 65 teachers and a pedagogical staff including two psychologists, three speech therapists, two resource teachers and a teacher – pedagogical consultant. During the school year 2020/2021, around 750 students were enrolled. Their background is diverse in terms of ethnicity (Bulgarians, Roma, migrants from Vietnam, Bangladesh China). There have been refugee children previously enrolled in the school but many of them have opted to be reunited with their families outside of Bulgaria and haven’t managed to finish the school year.

Registration and Reception Center in Sofia – Voenna Rampa

Registration and Reception Center in Sofia – Voenna Rampa (RRC Voenna Rampa) is a refugee site, one of three Registration and Reception Centers in Sofia, managed by the State Agency for Refugees (SAR). RRC Voenna Rampa includes a Safety Zone for unaccompanied minors (UAM) established in 2019 and operated by IOM. The total accommodation capacity of the center is 800 asylum seekers. RRC Voenna Rampa accommodates asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran mainly. The majority of asylum seekers accommodated in the RRC are from Afghanistan. SAR, CARITAS, CRW and IOM regularly organize different arts and crafts workshops in the center.

Registration and Reception Center in Sofia – Ovcha Kupel

Registration and Reception Center in Sofia – Ovcha Kupel (RRC Sofia – Ovcha Kupel) is a refugee site, one of three RRCs in Sofia, managed by the State Agency for Refugees (SAR). RRC Voenna Rampa includes a Safety Zone for unaccompanied minors (UAM) opened in 2020 and operated by IOM. The center has a total accommodation capacity of 860 asylum seekers. RRC Ovcha Kupel accommodates asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, North Africa, and other countries where the spoken language is Arabic or Kurdish, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of those accommodated currently are from Syria.

Ireland

Traditionally, Ireland has been seen as a source of emigrants, not a destination for forced migrants. However, 2021 saw 2649 individuals – from countries such as Nigeria, Georgia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe – apply for international protection here. A quarter of this group was made up of children travelling with their families, while a further 53 young people arrived here unaccompanied. By the end of 2021, almost 95% of these people had permission to remain in Ireland. The easing of covid-19 restrictions, rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine all mean that rates of applicants for international protection in 2022 continue to climb.

Upon arrival in Ireland, school is often one of the earliest entry points for young people into Irish society. Schools can play a crucial role in helping children acclimatise to a new culture, restoring a sense of predictability to life, as well as providing opportunities to rebuild social connections. But, in the absence of appropriate supports, schools can also intensify experiences of exclusion, marginalisation, and pressure to assimilate. In Ireland, we are collaborating with a small school named Joey’s in the Dublin’s inner city. Joey’s is made up of boys aged between 7 and 12 years from diverse backgrounds. The state recognises that Joey’s community faces various educational disadvantages and so provides supports like a home school community liaison service, a school meals programme, and planning supports. The staff at Joey’s are dedicated to giving their students the best possible start in their education, and see their student body as potential leaders of the future, whom they hope to teach to care for themselves, each other, and the environment. Our work with Joey’s is intended to support this mission.

 

Project partner

Trinity College Dublin

St. Josephs CBS Primary School (Joey's)

 

Joey’s is made up of boys aged between 7 and 12 years from diverse backgrounds. The state recognises that Joey’s community faces various educational disadvantages and so provides supports like a home school community liaison service, a school meals programme, and planning supports. The staff at Joey’s are dedicated to giving their students the best possible start in their education, and see their student body as potential leaders of the future, whom they hope to teach to care for themselves, each other, and the environment. Our work with Joey’s is intended to support this mission. [please note this text is taken from the word file ‘short text about your pilot’]

 

Italy

 

 

Project partner

CISS

Casa di Giuseppe, managed by Fo.Co.

 

“Casa di Giuseppe” is a center for unaccompanied male-only minors in Vittoria (Ragusa). The center is managed by “Fo.Co.” and it currently counts 11 minors from Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Bangladesh, Egypt aged 16-17 years old. “Fo.Co.” provides language mediation, social and legal services, accommodation, psychosocial support, etc. “Casa di Giuseppe” is organized as a shared apartment where minors live almost autonomously. If the minor is under 16, he is enrolled in public school. If he is over 16, he attends Italian language classes at the centre. The staff is made of 3 educators/social workers, 3 language/cultural mediators, 2 Italian teachers, 1 administration expert and 1 coordinator.

 

 

IC Vittoria Colonna – 1st Grade Secondary School, part of Giovanni XXIII-Vittoria Colonna Institute [Istituto Comprensivo]

The school has a total of 422 students, out of which 42 are of migratory background. Students are grouped in 24 classes, with 3 to 4 students with migratory background per class. The main nationalities are Tunisians, Moroccans, Albanians, Romanians, few Chinese and one Greek. Most of them were born in Vittoria. The socio-economic background of students is various, with many coming from disadvantaged conditions. The number of minors with migratory background has been increasing, thus making the school in need of identifying and applying good practices and strategies to manage multi-cultural classes.

 

“Acate Centrale” and “Addario” - Primary school. Part of “Capitano Biagio Puglisi” Institute [Istituto Comprensivo]

The Acate Centrale and Addario Primary school has a total of 503 students (grouped in 24 classes), out of which 69 are of migratory background. The school specifically organizes Italian language classes, school support, and literacy activities for migrant students. Moreover, the school applies the “Welcome protocol”: once a student arrives there is a screening with teachers and parents, aimed at analyzing documents from the country of origin and the level of language. After the screening, a Personalized transitional plan of education is prepared and implemented until the student reaches a good level of Italian.

A. Volta – 1st grade Secondary School, part of Capitano Biagio Puglisi Institute [Istituto Comprensivo]

The A. Volta 1st grade Secondary school has a total of 298 students, out of which 39 are of migratory background. Students are grouped in 13 classes, with on average 6/7 foreign students out of 22/24 per class. There are 29 teachers, and 1 additional teacher who organises Italian language classes and school support for students with migratory background. The city of Acate counts 10.954 inhabitants, of which 32,6% come from other countries. Of the registered migrants and refugees, 22% are minors. Romanian, Tunisian and Moroccan are the main nationalities. Acate is also characterised by social and geographical fragmentation among nationalities.

“Arcobaleno” Community, managed by "Idee in Movimento"

The Arcobaleno Community is located in the VIII District of Palermo, one of the districts with the highest number of migrants: 6.960, equal to 23.4% of the entire foreign population in Palermo. The main foreign communities in this area are Romanian and Filipinos. The Arcobaleno Community provides socio-psychological, health, and legal support; language mediation; counselling; regularization of the minors’ legal status; leisure activities. The Arcobaleno community is organized in two apartments, located in two different areas of Palermo, and accommodates 10 male unaccompanied minors aged between 15 and 17 years old, and newly 18 years old.

CPIA Palermo 1 – Centre for adult education

CPIA 1 is located in Palermo, where the foreign communities (3.9% of the total population) live in the city centre and neighbouring areas such as “Oreto” and “Zisa”. The CPIA is a public school established by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, to offer education and Italian language courses to adults who did not complete mandatory school. CPIA Palermo 1 has 26 teachers and 50 foreign minors.

E. De Amicis – Primary School

The school is located in the district called “Noce”, economically developed with small enterprises. However, the economy of the area is not prosperous and the unemployment rate is high. Moreover, the level of literacy of people is minimum. People from Bangladesh are among the main foreign population in the area – they have been living here for more than 40 years old. The Primary school, founded in 1951, lacks adequate spaces for administrative activities, as well as educational ones (i.e. gym). The school has 105 students with migratory background, the majority are from Bangladesh and Ghana. Other nationalities are: Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Ecuador, Romania, and Morocco.

I.C.S. Silvio Boccone

The I.C.S. Silvio Boccone’s 1st grade Secondary School is in the Oreto-Stazione district, whose economy is linked to the market, shops, the railway station, and the hospital; however, many families (both locals and non-locals) live in precarious conditions. In addition, there is a high rate of criminality and not many green and public spaces. The population of this area has a high percentage of young families. The school is organised in 26 classrooms and has 65 teachers. It has a total of 26 students with migratory background, coming from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Romania. Some of them were born in Palermo.

Primary School “La Masa”, part of the Institute Comprensivo Politeama

The site is located in the VIII District of Palermo, which is among those with the highest number of citizens of foreign origin. The district has both well-off neighbourhoods, like the Politeama theatre, as well as poor and precarious ones, such as Borgo Vecchio. The largest foreign communities in this area are Romanian and Filipinos. The whole Politeama Institute provides education for a total of 1047 students, out of which 188 are with migratory background (18%). The “La Masa” site, counts a total of 44 students with migratory background, the main nationality being Bangladesh (20).

1st grade Secondary School “Archimede”, part of the Institute Comprensivo Politeama

The school is located in the VIII District of Palermo, specifically in the Borgo Vecchio area, where there are high unemployment and criminality rates. The area is characterized by few green areas and low offer of leisure, cultural, and sport activities (those available are expensive and their high costs cannot be sustained by the families). The literacy level of both local and foreign families is very low. The largest foreign communities in this area are Romanian and Filipinos. The site counts 6 classes and a total of 24 students with migratory background, mainly from Bangladesh (9).

IISS Francesco Ferrara – 2nd grade Secondary School

The IISS Francesco Ferrara, a 2nd grade Secondary public school, is in the historical Tribunali-Castellammare District of Palermo. This area, which was underdeveloped until a few years ago, is now economically revitalized thanks to tourism, culture, and public administration offices. The school is destined to students aged 15-18 years old, but it also provides evening courses for adults. Given its geographical position, the school has a high percentage of students with migratory background (150 students out of 555). The main nationalities are Bengalese, Ghanaian, Ivorian, Sri Lanka. Once a week an external team of language and cultural mediators offers support to migrants.

IISS Pietro Piazza – 2nd grade Secondary School

The IISS Pietro Piazza, a 2nd grade Secondary public school, is in the Oreto-Stazione district. The school is close to Brancaccio, the main industrial area of Palermo. Despite this, many families (both local and non-local) live in precarious conditions. The area is also characterised by a high rate of criminality and a high percentage of young families. The district is among those with the largest presence of migrants, presence which has increased in the last decade. The school counts 2299 students in total, organized in 114 classrooms, and about 150 foreign-born students from Bangladesh, China, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, and various sub-Saharan countries.

Spain

There are 14 different pilot sites in Spain covering a wide range of educational services. Some are traditional schools, others are have been working with succesful educational actions for while and are transitioning into learning communities. 

Three of the pilot sites are residential care facilities for unaccompanied minors and separated children. These sites are not mentioned in the list below for reasons of confidentiality. 

 

 

Fundación CEPAIM

CEPAIM is a fundation which offers attention services to vulnerable capes of society. CEPAIM offers reception and general information services, administrative support, training, employment and housing services, attention to the youth and families, and development cooperation services. One of their main tasks is to give reinforcement lessons to students of different schools, while promote safe learning spaces and integrative and supportive communities.

Eibar BHI

Eibar BHI is a public high school in the town of Eibar. It is a Learning Community characterised by being plural, bilingual and innovative. Their goal is to meet the needs of Basque society as well as attend to diversity by balancing existing differences. To offer students of different origins, cultures, abilities, sensitivities a comprehensive education that allows them to become autonomous, critical and committed adults, capable of coping correctly through their lifetime.

IES Veles e Vents

Veles e Vents is a large public high school in Gandia which also offers vocational training courses and has more than one thousand students. They have long been a Learning Community and have experience in implementing successful educational actions as interactive groups, dialogical gatherings, and educational participation of the community.

Sweden

 Save the Children Sweden and Support Group Network will be conducting pilot actions with two non-formal educational settings. 

 

Vänersborg Interkulturelt Centrum

Vänersborg Interkulturelt Centrum is platform that brings together cultural activities to promote interculture and develop a model for strategic work that enables and ensures meaningful and sustainable integration work in Vänersborg municipality.

Support Group Network programs and activities are divided into social inclusion and labour market inclusion. Examples of activities that promote social integration is meeting place and cultural café, activities for children, young people, women and adults, cultural exhibitions, cultural parties, lectures, and workshops.

In addition, other organizations have the opportunity also conduct seminar, conferences, parties, meetings. Also, groups and people who have a creative idea related to social inclusion and job market inclusion, we help them to make it happen.

Restad Gård asylum accomodation centre

Restad Gård is situated in the municipality of Vänersborg, where there is the Swedish Migration Agency provided accommodation for asylum seekers and running by a private company.

In the last few years, particularly since 2015 the facilities have housed a large number of asylum seekers, and became one of the largest asylum accommodations in Sweden. Nowadays, Restad Gård is housing more than 500 asylum seekers majorities are women and children from Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and Ukraine refugees. 

In this refugee camp, there are many civil society organizations is active, such as Support Group Network, Save the Children, Swedish Red Cross, and other organization which are providing recreational and non-formal education like Swedish language and society orientation.

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