“Bridging Rainbow”

Raising awareness of all stakeholders concerning the protection of the LGBTQ community rights, aiming to achieve respect and equal opportunities for all.

SolidarityNow created a “bridge” of awareness, sensitization and respect of the diversity for the LGBTQ refugee community living in Greece. This bridge was the pilot program Bridging Rainbow* that was implemented by the organization since the beginning of December 2018 and was completed in June 2019. The program aimed at raising awareness about the vulnerable LGBTQ refugee community through cultivating understanding and developing the skills of those offering services to them.

Through a series of information, awareness, and empowerment actions, the program contributed in:

– strengthening cooperation between all stakeholders and,

– stimulating social change for respecting, protecting, and promoting human rights

Nine (9) educational seminars about the legal framework and the asylum procedure for LGBTQ people, counseling services, employment sessions, and professional skills development workshops were organized.

155 people in total participated: members of the LGBTQ refugee community, and others such as representatives from 32 NGOs, various communities, refugee accommodation programs, public institutions, human rights defenders, and other stakeholders.

Emphasizing professional empowerment, the participants and members of the LGBTQ refugee community had the chance:

  • To learn, through the career counseling workshops, about:
    • how to write their CVs
    • how to prepare for a job interview
    • hot to look for and apply to jobs
    • their rights as employees.
  • To gain, through the skills development workshops, expertise in:
  • cooking,
  • make-up and hair styling -in cooperation with the Greek Institute of Vocational Training (IEK AKMI).

The LGBTQ refugees had the opportunity to participate in vocational activities that, not only provided them with valuable labor market skills, but also help towards a smoother, gradual integration -initially into a small community and then into the wider society.

Moreover, as part of this program, SolidarityNow created a short video that provides answers to 10+1 myths about members of LGBTQ communities, refugees or not. Busting myths and stereotypes that are against fundamental human rights is a key step to the path for awareness and respect. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/Lq7YB5oPKPo.

*Τhe Bridging Rainbow program was implemented by SolidarityNow with the support of the Municipality of Barcelona and the ACSAR Institution.