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Science4Refugees in Aegean Archipelago

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SCIREA (Science4Refugees in Aegean Archipelago)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2018-12-01 do 2020-02-29

The Syrian Civil war forced millions of people to seek for asylum in neighborhood and European countries. However, in 2015 the massive movement of refugees (in the majority Syrian) was observed from the Eastern Mediterranean route along the Western Balkan route. Very soon, the limited capacity of the EU countries to host the thousands of refugees initiated the borders closing of the European transit countries and a long waiting period has started for those of them who remained in South European countries such as Greece and Italy. Various refugee camps were set up on mainland Greece and on some Aegean Sea islands. One such camp is the Moria camp (capacity of ~5,000 people), as well as the Kara-Tepe camp (capacity ~1,100 people) on Lesvos Island.
Very rapidly raised the need for their integration in the labour, academic market and generally in the local societies.

The objective of the SCIREA project (http://scirea.aegean.gr/index.php) is to help asylum seekers and refugees scientists, especially those living in Greece, to re-integrate in the academia and in the labour market of Europe and to improve their qualifications. In particular, the attention is addressed to the highly skilled refugee’s scientists.
Following the advice of the SCIREA project members the front desk office in Moria (Identification center, Lesvos) started to collect information for first time in March of 2018 related to the educational level of the incomers. The first analysis showed that almost 7% of the refugees have a university degree and 1% of them a Master’s or even a PhD degree. Through the research conducted in SCIREA project the skills and qualifications of the incomers are registered and their educational needs are identified with ultimate goal to provide tools and curricula aimed at creating real chances for internship, training or employment.
Considering the peculiarity of the subject, research methodology consists of different work packages, which are described as follows: a) analysis at European level, b) analysis of stakeholders, c) Digital Think Tank: group discussion with the main stakeholders involved., d) ethnographic research.
The possible structure for seminars oriented at promoting the inclusion of refugees in the academia was planned. Trans-cutting topics are covered such as skills assessment and computer skills.The seminars took place in the UAeg premises with participants (>100+) of various nationality and age and the topics covered soft skills (CV creation, e-mail management, apply for a work) and modern technologies of data processing (GIS, statistics- SPSS, excel). The e SCIREA e-book is available on-line in English, Farsi and Arabic, providing the necessary information for refugees to continue their studies or to work in EU.
Additionally SCIREA project offered 25 months of fellowships. The fellowship program contributed to the professional development of individual fellows and will include intensive training. Advertisement of the fellowships took place in order to attract the highly skilled refugees scientists in various sites, in the camps and in several events and meetings with community leaders and NGOs and refugees. The hosting committee prepared the hosting procedures regulations, set the selection criteria for granting the fellowships and selected the candidates. Having selected the candidates for the fellowship the committee had to help the to fulfil the requirement to work in a Greek University. Scholars research plan was often updated with the help of their mentors and their research resutls were presented in conferences and published in scientific journals.
Finally the project objectives and outcomes are presented in various groups of stakeholders, in conferences and in meetings. Strong synergies with other EU and national projects guide in better project outcomes.
The SCIREA final conference brought together all contributors in formal and informal refugee education and gave the main recommendations for the improvement of refugee education.
The SCIREA project helps gradually adapting novel educational structures and reforms of the conventional educational system to integrate refugees scientists.
The impact of SCIREA project has produced significant tangible results such as parts of the E-Book, open training material, publications. The University of the Aegean in the framework of SCIREA project has responded in various ways in the refugee needs, following a well-structured and regularly updated work plan and made important steps towards the diminishing of political, institutional and societal constraints, which oppose refugees incorporation into the labour market and higher education institutes.
Tangible outcomes of the SCIREA project:
1. Research models and methods, Ethnographic research: A new methodology is developed and applied comprising by analysis at European level, Think tank, interviews, Questionnaires etc
2. Quantitative analysis, Surveys results: Results from the >100 Questionnaires are already an important product, useful for the ministry, various funding mechanisms and other related EU and national projects
3. Seminars regulations: Report giving guidelines and recommendations to organize and plan the seminars
4. Scholarships, Refugees hosting procedures; Report giving the necessary steps to host refugees scientists
5. Seminars for refugees: A serious of seminars are organized at the UAeg premises and each seminar topic is accompanied by the educational material
6. SCIREA E-Book: The chapters of the electronic book is already available on the internet in English, Arabic and Farsi
7. Courses of basic English and German in section B of the Moria camp: Other potentially transferable models elaborated under the SCIREA project concern the organization of communication and education events with a strong symbolic potential, able to promote the image of women researchers/scientists within the camps. We organize evening’s courses of basic English and German inside the section B of Moria camp. The instructors are women refugees that are scientists or researchers.
8. SCIREA website: The website is a strong communication tool of the project.
9. SCIREA project activities presented in conferences and meetings and more than 3,000+ participants in 38 events were informed about the SCIREA objectives and outcomes
10.The SCIREA final conference (Feb 2020) is organized bringing together (>80 participants) all the actors of formal and informal education for refugees
11. A bridge between refugees and labour market is achieved through PRAXIS actions and other project activities
the SCIREA network is fully expanded by including refugees scientists, community leaders, NGOS, pubic authorities (municipalities, prefecture), camps administration, other relevant national and European projects, champers, networks (such as EURAXESS, Marie Curie, German-Syrian Association) and private organizations
12. SCIREA is acting as focal point for newcomers to find their path in the academia.
scirea poster