HopE AcceleRaTor (HEART) is an initiative that offers education and empowerment to refugees seeking asylum in Europe 1. It consists of a series of interventions that target the HEART of refugee life, namely the mutually fruitful inclusion of these people on equal terms in the host society. HEART operates as an accelerator, since a) the inclusion perspective is enhanced gradually and b) achievement of full inclusion is accelerated as the interventions’ summative effect is capitalized. HEART programmes and activities aim mainly at
- cultivating skills and competencies that foster educational, social and professional inclusion of refugees in the European societies
- offering psycho-social support to refugees through their education and participation in creative and athletic activities
- creating bridges of mutual understanding and intercultural interaction between refugees and the host society, with a special focus on ethics as a common axis of values among cultures.
HEART was designed by a team of experts with extended field experience and a strong foundation and knowledge of current international trends in education, psycho-social support and empowerment of refugees. Ethics and interaction with the host society are horizontal aspects of all HEART activities. HEART interventions are based on the principles of intercultural communication and education and they involve hands-on activities and field actions. HEART’s expert team overlooks and monitors implementation. Upon completion of courses or activities, beneficiaries are asked to evaluate their learning experience. HEART’s flexible nature allows for its various programmes and actions to be parallel and combined or to operate as autonomous, independent modules. HEART’s activities focus currently inter alia on the following fields:
- language instruction (Greek, English, refugee native language)
- preschool education
- home economics
- health education
- digital literacy
- physical education
- social life
HEART courses are grouped separately for persons of different ages (from 2 to 65+ years) and may operate in any camp all over Greece. HEART’s expert team evaluates all available information and consults regarding a) type of intervention and combination of activities, b) duration of activities, c) coherence. The HopE AcceleRaTor is not a mere programme of temporary intervention for the relief of vulnerable groups. It has rather been designed as a 10-year intervention, which evolves in different stages initiating from basic language and life skills, proceeding with creativity and innovation and ending up to leadership skills. HEART aspires to go beyond the common western practice of supporting refugees and migrants to achieve a minimum -low- standard of performance and competence, which usually poses a limit to their full potential and to their perspective of social inclusion. Such models undermine a land’s social cohesion and progress and should therefore be abandoned. For further information on the HopE AcceleRaTor (HEART) please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 To facilitate reading, refugees and asylum seekers will be refereed to as refugees in this context.