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Grace is a founding member of PAR the Refugee Support Platform

Posted: Wednesday 4 January 17, 10.08am GMT

Plataforma de Apoio aos Refugiados (PAR) – the Refugee Support Platform is a Portuguese network of organizations from civil society whose aim is to support hosting refugees during the current humanitarian crisis. Each organization sharing this purpose is invited to join the platform. PAR has been formally recognized by the Portuguese Government through a cooperation protocol and is a member of the Working Group for the Migration Agenda.

PAR emerges as a platform of organizations from civil society because we are facing the largest refugee and migrant crisis since World War II, an extremely complex situation for which there is no simple answer nor solution exempt from risks. Europe is being asked to properly respond to this crisis or face a range of unforeseen consequences. Hosting is urgent and of the utmost importance –but such an intervention needs to take its long term economic, political and social impacts into consideration.

In order to fulfil its mission, PAR has set up two broad axis of intervention:

PAR Families: A hosting project directed to children and their families, with the support of the community and local institutions (state agencies, non-profit associations, religious organizations, schools…). PAR Families aims to provide refuge to families in Portugal through a unique and innovative integration model that are believed to be more inclusive and filling of usual gaps arising from traditional welcome practices. Thus, this model implies that for each family of refugees arriving in Portugal there will be an institution directly responsible for six dimensions that are considered to be relevant:

  1. Independent accommodation

  2. Food and clothing

  3. Support regarding access to healthcare services

  4. Support regarding access to education

  5. Support regarding access to labour market

  6. Portuguese classes

PAR Frontline: A fundraising project that aims to support Caritas and JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) in Lebanon, which are developing support projects designed to guarantee the safety and dignity of refugees and displaced people mostly in Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Jordan. The total amount raised will help Caritas and the JRS fulfil their objectives in the Middle East. Supporters can help through donations and fundraising events, but apart from funds can also help with voluntary work PAR praises the work and involvement of private citizens and other institutions and welcome any help in:

  • Organizing a hosting procedure in coordination with local organizations (public offices, NGO’s, and others), aimed at complying with the six dimensions.

  • Administrative support handling the matching procedures and other applications and procedures such as volunteer management, etc.

  • Support spreading the word within social networks, work colleagues, family and neighbours.

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Laura Bengoa

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