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ESU opens refugee project grants program

The European Students’ Union has opened its second call of the year for applications for the ‘Together, Moving Forward’ small grants program, which is aimed at supporting student and refugee-led initiatives that tackle the barriers limiting asylum seekers in education and society.

The deadline for the second call for applications is November 6. Image: ESU

Funded projects are currently ongoing in Belgium, Germany, the UK, Czech Republic and Italy

ESU’s first call was launched in May 2018 and resulted in the selection of six projects which are ongoing in five countries: Belgium, Germany, the UK, Czech Republic and Italy.

“Without the support of ESU and ‘Together, Moving, Foward’, it would have not been possible”

Now, ‘Together, Moving Forward’ is moving to the next stage, and ESU is on the lookout for a selection of new projects whereby initiatives at local, national and/or international level can be funded up to €10,000 (€12,000 for international activities).

Maria Zlonkiewicz, coordinator of the project ‘Students for Refugee Kids’ in Poland described the support from the program as hugely important.

“We are having regular evaluation meetings, [the volunteers] have access to psychologists, my support as a coordinator, cultural mentors and they have access to funds to do integration meetings with the kids, to buy materials for their classes.”

She said without the support of ESU and’ Together, Moving, Foward’, it would have not been possible to develop the project.

“We needed a trigger,” she added.

Izem Günyakti, one of the initiators of Berlin-based project SHAMS, which aims to provide information to refugees and asylum seekers who want to access the higher education system in Germany, also highlighted the importance of the grant in developing the project.

“We saw there was a network evolving, by contacting [refugees] and by linking them with people offering legal, social and educational advice,” she explained.

“ESU’s funding was perfect for us…we also learnt a lot on how to make a project and how to apply and [ESU] was really helpful in that process.”

The deadline for the second call for applications is November 6.

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