Top 30 EUSIC semi-finalist includes 4 UK hopefuls
The European Social Innovation Competition is now approaching the exciting finale.
Next week the 30 semi-finalists, 4 of which are UK based projects; The Bike Project, Ssyla Digital Therapy Platform, REMIT & Safe Housing for LGBT Refugees in the UK, will become 10 finalists. We are excited to see if any of these UK projects make it through and follow in Freebird’s footsteps, last year’s winner & Impact Hub Kings Cross member.
Our mission is simple: to get refugees cycling!
We are a community of refugees, mechanics and volunteers. We receive donations of second- hand bikes, fix them together at our workshop, and then donate them to asylum seeking refugees. By attending our workshop and helping to fix their own bike, all beneficiaries get actively involved in the process as much as possible. This enables them to learn basic bike maintenance and form long-term supportive relationships.
Ssyla is a secure platform/mobile application which connects migrants and refugees with a global network of therapists, who provide real-time video therapy sessions focused on their specific mental and psychosocial health needs.
Many migrants and refugees experience significant psychological issues in their journey to Europe and in the conditions in which they may be held in transit or at their desired destination. Such issues frequently act as barriers to socio-cultural integration into new communities and contexts. Ssyla aims to dramatically expand the number of therapeutic services available by delivering them through a digital platform. Ssyla enables remotely located therapists to interact with migrants and refugees wherever they are, through any connected digital device from an individual smartphone to a laptop in a support facility or social centre.
Refugees and migrants build their skills, knowledge and experience and support integration through running awareness-raising workshops for communities and service providers. Refugees and migrants have a wealth of valuable skills and knowledge to draw on – and their own experiences of the challenges and opportunities of ‘integrating’ in Europe. REMIT will use strength-based participatory approaches with refugees and migrants to co-produce a ‘train the trainer’ programme. The REMIT training will then support refugee and migrant trainers to develop the skills and confidence to facilitate workshops for local communities and service providers on local strategies and approaches to promote and support integration.
Providing safe housing for LGBT refugees to help them integrate in British society to end LGBT poverty. It is estimated that 2,000 LGBT asylum seekers enter the UK every year. Research shows that they live below the poverty line, they lack the support of their ethnic communities in the UK, they are extremely isolated, have low confidence and self-esteem and lack safe housing. The project will create a hostel and provide safe temporary housing to LGBT refugees. This commercial activity will generate profits that will be used to provide a suite of additional services to support the integration of LGBT refugees, including peer support groups, employability workshops, coaching and technical assistance in setting up SMEs.
About the European Social Innovation Competition
The European Social Innovation Competition is this year looking to find social innovation solutions to refugee and migrant integration around Europe. Out of 1,095 applications, 30 semi-finalists were chosen and these 30 attended a social innovation academy in Berlin where workshops and mentoringopportunities supported their detailed project plans that were submitted on 2 September.
To continue to follow along follow the #diogochallenge or @EUSocialInnov on Twitter.