Currently, thousands of organisations and initiatives that are volunteer-led and/or volunteer-based are assisting refugees for emergency support and longer-term integration in many different spheres, but there is a lack of visibility that makes them hard to access for refugees, sometimes they fall in duplications of actions that lead to inefficiencies and they do not receive the recognition they deserve as a crucial element to support the authorities measures.
The European Volunteer Centre (CEV) is the European network of over 60 organisations dedicated to the promotion of, and support to, volunteers and volunteering in Europe at European, national or regional level. CEV is aiming to develop an online platform, geographically displayed to enable refugees and asylum seekers to find sources of support and assistance and for the different volunteering initiatives to supply better information and facilitate communication between themselves and the people they aim to help.
In its beginning, the platform will only contain information of the most frequent arrival countries or destinations for refugees but, gradually, it will be populated until displaying this help across Europe. This information will be categorized, so a refugee or asylum-seeker looking for something concrete like language courses, administrative help or psychological assistance will be able to apply a filter and only see the initiatives that fit their needs.
Although displaying the location of each initiative is probably the most important feature of this platform, especially if the user is moving from one country to another, some more information for each initiative would be crucial. The location will be displayed with a marker which, after being clicked, will display additional data such as contact details, a brief description of their activities or the target groups of the initiative.
At this moment there are some initiatives aiming to reach a similar objective in a national context, but CEV believes that providing this platform a pan-European dimension will facilitate the journey from the arrival countries to the final destinations of refugees and asylum-seekers. It will also provide the opportunity to share best practices from organisations based in different countries where the procedures may vary.
For more information about this initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.