The IARS team recently took a trip to Athens for our Epsilon training week, this was a great success. Coming together with all four of our project partners, CARDET in Cyprus, KMOP in Greece, Movisie in Netherlands and Anziani e non-solo in Italy, proved to produce positive impacts for the training material we are striving to deliver. We were able to develop the hard work we had made in our respective organisations, through scrutinising and sharing positive practices with one another.

Our Epsilon project aims to increase knowledge, skills, and awareness of professionals who come in contact with LGBTIQ+ migrants and refugees who remain one of the most vulnerable groups in Europe, and through our training week in Greece, we were able to do just that. The comments and feedbacks which were shared for each module on the training programme also served to ensure another key aim of the Epsilon project, ensuring we pursue a user-led methodology. Aside from this, meeting with our partners and modelling our training material with one another, also fed our excitement to finalise the training programme and ultimately begin to deliver it.

We were also met with warm welcomes from SolidarityNow and Colour Youth, both organisations in Athens who are showing incredible efforts towards supporting LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. This was a great opportunity for IARS and our partners to explore the different kinds of works carried out which produce significant outcomes in providing assistance for LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers. The information which was shared by both SolidarityNow and Colour Youth helped ourselves and our partners to expand our knowledge on the kinds of support we can deliver to refugees and asylum seekers in our respective countries. This was another way of sharing effective practices.

For me, the most rewarding aspect of our training week was the visit to the Eleonas Refugee Camp. For some of us, this was the first time going to a refugee camp, and in many ways, it helped us understand the importance of the work we do at the organisations we work for. 

This piece was written by Dilara Efe, IARS Equalities Projects Intern