The project aims to improve the social and economic integration of refugees in the partner regions and wider 2 Sea area by co-creating and introducing new demonstrations to increase the engagement of refugees in the education process and to improve the economic independence of refugees through self-employment.
It will tackle the key societal challenge of social exclusion by increasing the access to education and self-employment through the methodology of co-creation. In education 40 new learning communities will be co-created resulting in: 10% increase in parents’ involvement in the education of children, 20% increase in pre-school children attending school, 10% increase in adult education.
450 teachers better equipped to support refugees as a result of the new training course developed. Co-creation will be used to generate 50 new refugee businesses, generate 40 new jobs (with the potential of 516) and 4 new refugee business networks to support long term enterprise development.
The project builds on expertise which exists in insolation at regional level e.g. Lead Partner (University of Greenwich) in entrepreneurship and Project Partner 2 (Vives) in education. It combines strengths at a cross border level and together with the refugee observer partner organisations (OP 2 TERN, OP3 Regional Youth Sports and Social Cohesion Directorate, OP9 CASNAV and OP11 REfugee Action Flanders) will create and validate new knowledge in the demonstration models faster than would otherwise occurred or not occurred at all.
The scale of this cross border cooperation saves time in recruitment but also increases the impact, transferability and durability of project results. The partnership involves municipalities, universities, private sector, local government and refugee organisations who would not have normally worked together.
Cooperation also provides access to a transnational pool of specialist knowledge stretching beyond individual boundaries where a refugee entrepreneur can benefit from access to entrepreneurial experts to solve business problems and advise of best solution at a cross border level, not normally available.
SIREE adopts a unique co-creation methodology engaging the refugee family unit in both the understanding of their problems and the development of new models for their own benefit. It combines pathways in education and self-employment for the first time to provide a novel approach for the participatory empowerment of the refugee family unit.
Just focusing on enabling the family unit is different rather than the individual refugees. Combined with the bottom up rather than top down approach it is even more original. This is shown in education, through the co-creation of the new learning communities and social media platforms.
The focus on refugee job creation through self-employment is new where refugees will for the first time have the opportunity to take control of their own future. A web app supporting refugee enterprise is a first, particularly available in English, French and Dutch. Finally, the project will create a new refugee support business network never before delivered.