The original Disabled Refugees Welcome project (DRW, 2017 to 2020) and was mainly about adressing the reception of migrants with disabilities in Sweden. In that project, the idea for this project (DRW- the right to work) was hatched – by the participants themselves.
Many of the participants from Disabled Refugees Welcome have joined our new project. But we hope that many more people participate!
Field worker Rahel Abebaw Atnafu, who also worked in our previous project: Disabled Refugees Welcome, says that they were in close contact with over 100 people in the target group, migrants with disabilities, and that it became very clear that the biggest problem people faced was getting a job.
– Many participated in various activities and attended courses and we saw that many benefited from these, but at the same time we realized that if they really want to become independent and not be depend on others, they need to find work, says Rahel Abebaw Atnafu.
Brainstorming about the new project
Towards the end of the project period, they organized a large meeting under the heading: “What do we need to increase the chances of finding a job?” Brainstorming!”
– At the meeting, we collected the group’s ideas about how a new project could work and we wrote a project application to the Allmänna Arvsfonden. And when ILI received the answer in autumn 2021 that project funding had been granted, we immediately contacted the participants in DRW’s focus group.
Contact the project
The easiest way to get in touch with the project is to call or email Rahel Abebaw Atnafu or Antwan (Tony) Zolomyan.
– When someone contacts us, we start by listening to them, to get a general idea what kind of situation they are in. Then we explain what ILI is and how we work in the project, so that there are no misunderstandings about what we can and cannot do. If they then feel that they want to have closer contact with us, we book an appointment for an interview in order to map out their situation and what their needs are. We speak Swedish, English, Amharic, Armenian and Arabic and in our project budget there is money for an interpreter if someone needs it.
Want to create better individual conditions…
The idea behind the project is that the participants should be equipped with more knowledge about Swedish society, about their rights and about the labor market etc. Plus get access to social networks. All this to make it easier to get a job.
“We use counselling, peer support, pop-up events and short seminars. Here on the website we will publish what we learn: facts, links, tips and experiences”, says Rahel Abebaw Atnafu.
…but also change the social structures
In the long term, of course, we also want to change the social structures that make life so difficult for migrants with disability for who, for example, unemployment is much higher than the rest of the population. So another important goal for the project is to raise the level of knowledge among people working in government institutions, in municipalities and regions who meet people in our primary target group and of course also politicians and other decision makers.
“The integration must be mutual. Changes and sacrifices are also required in the way we receive migrants with disabilities”, says Rahel Abebaw Atnafu.
Here (the Info.material tab here on the website) we have gathered all the material and all the writings that the original Disabled Refugees Welcome project produced. There you can either download PDF versions or order printed paper versions.