In Europe, IAHV provides Trauma-Relief, Resilience and Empowerment Workshops for refugees. We provide flexible programming, ranging from 1 to 10 hours, as well as follow up sessions.
Volunteers and organisations interested to provide the IAHV trauma-relief and stress management techniques to refugee populations, can attend a 2,5 day Volunteer Training organised on a regular basis across Europe.
In a next phase, we will offer advanced programs, as well as Peacebuilding Training for refugees who would like to return to rebuild their countries of origin. We will also start with Trainings on Social Cohesion with both refugee and host community populations.
Currently, IAHV Refugee Support Europe is active in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Sweden.
Belgium organised its first migrant HRE program in collaboration with a Dutch language school in Brussels. The participants came from various backgrounds, such as Mali, Morocco, Iraq, Armenia and Iran. Some have been in Belgium for a short time and some for a few years already. Despite their best efforts to integrate into the Belgian lifestyle and learn the local languages, they have been unsuccessful in securing stable work. With their emotionally heavy background coming from conflict areas and being away from their family and familiar surroundings, they were really looking forward to the HRE techniques and tools to increase their level of energy, enthusiasm and sense of hope.
In 2016 we started a Peace and Reconciliation Program at Melissa Network, a centre for migrant women in Greece, promoting empowerment, communication and active citizenship for Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Afghani and Kurdish women.
The weekly 1,5 hour program has seen a steady increase in the number of participants, who benefit from the simple techniques:
For some years, we have also been working with children known as ‘endangered minors’ who have been separated from their families, refugee children and homeless young people living in a school in Athens. The majority of children come from Syria and Afghanistan but also Kurds and Iraqis. Most of these children are in transit and move to countries across Europe mainly Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Holland. We run sessions for the young people twice a week and 5 day courses on the islands in the Summer.
Two boys from our original group in Athens, who are now adults, help us with the sessions in the school, while the other boys have, over the years, been reunited with their families.
Jined and Mousse, now help at the school. Ramin did the Art of Living program in Hamburg last year and Aron and Abil are now living in Zurich where they met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Ethics in Sport Conference.
We also organise trips to the dentist when needed as well as the very popular swimming trips in the summer. We work mainly in the playground of the school as the rooms are needed for families to live in. Last Christmas we organised a Christmas party for all the children which was a big success!