The EpsiLon Project is responding to two current and urgent needs in Europe i.e. (1) the rise in migrant and refugee numbers (2) the persistent inequality and persecution of Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans-gender groups (LGBT). Combined together these two characteristics make LGBT migrants and refugees one of the most vulnerable groups in modern Europe. This project aims to help address this issue by increasing the knowledge, skills and awareness of all those adult professionals and volunteers who come in contact with the migrant/refugee LGBT community.
EpsiLon brings together key partners from 5 case study countries to develop a training programme for professionals and volunteers working with asylum seekers and refugees in asylum centres, camps, other shelters and in local communities. The partners come from key locations in Europe where the two cross-cutting themes of migration and LGBT discrimination are particularly acute. Italy, Greece and Cyprus will be studied as locations where not much progress has been made for LGBT rights, while the Netherlands and the UK will be approached as member states that have introduced progressive practices and policies in education and training for gay issues and rights. At the same time, Greece, Italy and Cyprus are case studies for migration flow and the so called crisis.
EpsiLon will adopt a user-led methodology by constructing educational tools that are based on the voices and real needs of LGBT migrants and refugees. Within this contect, learning will take the form of both face-to-face and online, which will be promoted both internally (between partners) and externally (nationally and EU wide). The partership will develop an innovative, evidence-based, user-led training methodology and contents targeting professionals and volunteers working in services for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in order to raise their awareness and sensitivity to the needs of all those with LGBT background. The educational tools will enable the professionals 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.
The need for the development of such training programme is highlighted at top level by all competent organisations such as UNHCR and the EP. The intellectual outputs of Epsilon will:
- 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.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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