In June 2016, the Swedish Christian Council (SCC) received a grant from the EU Asylum, migration and integration fund, for a three-year project called #Värme – värdighet, medkänsla, kunskap – en utbildning. (= Warmth – Dignity, Compassion, Knowledge – an Education)
The purpose is to increase the skills to at least 800 people engaged in meeting with asylum seekers in Sweden. It is a major ecumenical initiative comprising of SCC:s member churches wanting to give comprehensive support to the refugee work done locally around Sweden.
Based on the increased number of asylum seekers in Sweden who often come into contact with local churches during their asylum process, the employees and volunteers in many congregations expressed the desire for enhanced and better skills to meet the needs of this target group.
The SCC with its 26 member churches wish to give a comprehensive approach to an education initiative in the project #Värme, through the development and implementation of 20 training occasions during the period 2016-2019. The objective is to both safeguard and contribute to quality and legal certainty as well as a humane and dignified treatment of asylum seekers. It will also involve the empowerment and preparation of the target group for integration into Swedish society.
It outlines a three-year project with a two-day training conducted at various locations in the country. One day focuses on increasing knowledge on asylum law and how the reception of refugees works in Sweden with the Swedish Refugee Advice Center staff involved. The second day focuses on psychosocial issues. This is work in progress where the Swedish church, Save the Children and the Red Cross have developed a material and course concept that can be used. We plan four courses/semester at different locations and a total of 20 trainings to cover the entire country. Two pilot courses was conducted in late fall 2016 after which the regular courses commences. Study associations Sensus and Bilda will contribute with pedagogical guidance, with the SCC as the unifying party.
The application involves a budget of 4.9 million. The fund provides compensation for 75% of the costs and for the rest (25% of the budget), SCC and the collaborating parties will be responsible.
The project is led by a steering committee. SCC:s working group on Migration and Integration constitutes a reference group for the project. A third group is responsible for the educational content of the courses.
SCC has hired Peter Karlsson as project manager and will also recruit a project administrator.
The Fund’s statement of justification
Application was granted for the following reasons:
“The project’s purpose and goal is to train personnel to ensure that legal proceedings are comprehensible to them and to assist the target group with psychosocial support. This is assessed as an important entry into the state and adheres well within the framework of the National Programme for Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. It is considered rewarding to the project as it puts particular emphasis on equality and gender perspectives as well as the children’s perspectives.
The project owner is an experienced project organization, has well defined and relevant project partners, satisfactory administrative resources and the experience of running EU-funded projects. Furthermore, the project outlined how the results intend to be incorporated into ordinary activities after the project ends and how it shall be disseminated nationally and transnationally.
Peter Karlsson, Project manager, tel 08-453 68 13, firstname.lastname@example.org