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STREAM is an online platform and volunteer collaboration initiative that helps refugees and asylum seekers to address the negative consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic in Lithuania. STREAM is working with a number of different volunteers, including those with a refugee background, to create pathways for participation in the pandemic response. Volunteers are facilitating various workshops online, related to language courses, vocational training, non-formal activities, and direct assistance.

STREAM was initially established as a response to COVID-19, but became a project in its own right after the lockdown restrictions of the first wave in 2020 were lifted. Now, amid the second wave, it continues to offer support.

Issue/challenge and goal/assumption

STREAM aims to enhance community involvement in supporting refugees and asylum seekers remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, by organising online seminars, workshops, training and counseling on a wide range of topics. 

The project works to tackle the challenge of social isolation at a time when social contact is being shut down or becoming more difficult as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, causing isolation and loneliness.

How does it work

The project provides targeted, culturally sensitive learning content to refugees and asylum seekers. Particular focus has been placed on an initiative for language courses and online assistance to refugee children.

STREAM has 30 volunteers, 10 of whom have a refugee background. As a result, the project's platform is diverse, respected and strong within the local community.

At the start of each week, a programme is published for participants on the Facebook page of Human Aid (the partner organisation for the project), with an active link to zoom.us for each session. The sessions are designated a specific theme, time and language, and each lasts 40 minutes.

Results

The STREAM project:

  • contributes to greater solidarity and civil society engagement in Lithuania;
  • creates effective links between people who want to be involved in creating cohesive society on the one hand, and newcomers wanting support efforts to mitigate COVID-19 related risks on the other hand;
  • provides vital support to grassroots movements promoting and facilitating integration beyond COVID-19.

Evaluation

According to the last evaluation the project has so far welcomed 250 unique users, seen 700 separate log ins and run 92 online activities covering a total of 16 topics.

Who will benefit?

Refugees, volunteers and the local Lithuanian community.

Source of funding and Resources used

The project has been funded by the UNHCR and Lithuanian Council of Culture.

Contact

Organisation
Arts agency ‚Artscape‘
Name
Aiste Ulubey
Email
Function
Project Manager

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