From June to December 2019, Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Network of the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the German organisation Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) carried out the ‘Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) – Dissemination and Implementation’ project in Greece, using the LIAM toolkit and methodology. ASB is responsible for site management support in the four northern Greece refugee camps (Diavata, Katsikas, Doliana, Filipiada), including non-formal education, servicing a total of about 3.500 asylum seekers.
The project included two 2-day capacity-building workshops: 1-2 July 2019 in Thessaloniki and 3-4 July 2019 in Ioannina, for the 50 teachers and soft skills/creative engagement personnel working in the four sites, as well as for interested staff of IOM and DRC. Following these trainings, the LIAM methodology has been used in the teaching of Greek language to teenagers and adults residing in facilities in Epirus and Diavata, as well as in the life skills sections of the weekly educational programme, resulting in potential scalability of LIAM as a methodology for the linguistic integration of the refugee and migrant adult population in Greece. Monitoring of the implementation of the language instruction and the impact took place, as the integration of refugees and migrants and the impact on it of their acquisition of competence in the language of the host country are a focus for political debate and policy initiatives in the Council of Europe.
Finally, this project led to the invitation to Symbiosis by the Croatian organization “Are you Syrious?” to undertake trainings focusing on the LIAM methodology for their volunteer teachers providing Croatian language instruction to refugees in Croatia, as support for the education of adult refugees is absent. Symbiosis trainer, with the assistance of the Council of Europe, provided this Seminar in Zagreb, a most fortunate follow up to the project in Greece, demonstrating the usefulness of LIAM, yet also the sustainability of Symbiosis-School of Political studies in Greece approach regarding migrants and refugees linguistic integration.