What is the real meaning of integrating refugees into society? Why do refugees need to be included in activities as protagonists? Adnan Abdul Ghani, a migration expert and a refugee from Syria who started a movement to train refugees to lead community activities, shared his expertise in the IRTS networking webinar.
In the webinar, Adnan, who now works for Save the Children in Sweden, shared his experience of arriving as a refugee from Syria to a camp in Sweden and interacting with the local volunteers. Adnan is now also a thematic adviser for Region Västra Götaland for its regional development strategy 2020 to 2030 and a member of EU Commission Expert Group on migration, asylum and integration.
In order to be properly integrated into society, Adnan says, refugees do not need to be “babysat”, but must be included in the process from the beginning – right from the planning phase, and later, in the implementation stage as well. In order to be part of the integration process, rather than only a “subject” of it, the refugees have to be empowered with information, resources and techniques that make them active – and proactive – members of the community.
Refugees can help build a better future for themselves, which also includes participating in sport activities. Being proactive in sport can also help refugees gain various skills that can later contribute to their employment, education or training, and during the webinar Adnan showcased a few inspirational examples of that and shared a story of his involvement with ISCA’s MOVE Beyond project. You can learn more about the “self-empowerment sports movement” Save the Children and RF-SISU created in Sweden in our podcast.
We rounded up the webinar in breakout rooms where we discussed the challenges the participants are facing when involving refugees and migrants as partners as well as tools, information and support they need to involve them as such.
You can watch the webinar recording below.
Adnan Abdul Ghani
Adnan is a migration expert who works for Save the Children in Sweden, where he developed the Re-Act Model for refugees’ empowerment, self-organisation and strategic cooperation. As a refugee from Syria, he started a movement to train refugees to lead community activities and initiated the Support Group Network (SGN), the first refugee-led organisation in Sweden. He’s also a thematic adviser for Region Västra Götaland for its regional development strategy 2020 to 2030 and a member of EU Commission Expert Group on migration, asylum and integration.
Adnan Abdul Ghani