The Erasmus+ Epsilon project is addressing the issues of discrimination and abuse of LGBT migrants and refugees.
A consortium of partners of five countries (UK, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and The Netherlands) is working on collaborative approaches to address issues of discrimination and abuse within vulnerable groups across Europe. “Epsilon is a response to the rise in migrant and refugee numbers and the persistent inequality and persecution of Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans-gender groups (LGBT),” says Jolanda Elferink of the Dutch projcetpartner Movisie. “The project aims to help address this issue by increasing the knowledge, skills and awareness of all those adult professionals who come in contact with them.”
In particular, EpsiLon will focus on sharing, developing and transferring innovative practices in education targeting professionals and volunteers working in services for LGBT asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. It will develop evidence-based, user-led educational tools in order to raise adult learners’ awareness and sensitivity to the needs of all those with LGBT background.
The educational tools will enable the professionals and volunteers to identify these LGBT groups’ most current and urgent needs some even reaching on issues of survival, dignity and respect. It will also help them challenge their own biases and improve their skills in providing tailored and culturally sensitive services.
In addition to traditional methods of training and skills development, the project will construct an e-learning course that will form part of Certification and self-assessment. This will allow its practical results to:
- reach widely outside of the participating countries through free, online access Europe-wide
- continue being delivered after the project’s funding is finished
- reach groups in society that would not have been otherwise able to receive the face-to-face package and in print material
- reward and formally accredit its target audiences.
EpsiLon will be delivered in partnership with European partners: The IARS (UK), Anziani e Non Solo (Italy), the Family and Childcare Centre (Greece), Movisie, (Netherlands) Centre for social development, and Center for Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) (Cyprus).
More aware of the specific problems
“We are already getting a lot of questions of professionals and volunteers waiting for materials,” says Elferink. She is therefore happy to point to the already delivered desk research to identify the specific problems that LGBT refugees come across. “The partnership is now working on a set of educational tools and training courses (both face-to-face and online), informed by the real needs of LGBT migrants and refugees. These evidence-based tools will benefit both professionals and volunteers providing services to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers enabling them to better address issues of dignity, respect, inclusion and discrimination. Also there is already a publication with needs, experiences & good practices.”
Independent User Advisory Group
An Independent User Advisory Group has a leading role in the project. This advisory group consists of LGBT migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, professionals, academics and researchers from all over Europe working to scrutinize the quality of the project. The advisory group is directly involved in its delivery and implementation. (If you are interested in becoming a member of the Independent User Advisory Group, contact email@example.com.)