EU and UNICEF support for migrants’ families | EUNewsletter

EU and UNICEF support for migrants’ families

7 February 2014
IMG_1329

On 5 February 2014 the EU Delegation to Armenia and UNICEF, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues and the Ministry of Territorial Administration, presented the first-year results of the three-year “Mitigating Social Consequences of Labour Migration and Maximising Migrants’ Involvement in Local Development” project.
Funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF, the project aims to reduce the social vulnerability of labour migrants’ families and communities in Lori, Tavush, Gegharkunik and Shirak provinces through the provision of tailored social services and the best use of migrants’ financial and intellectual resources in the development of their communities of origin.
The UNICEF Representative in Armenia, Henriette Ahrens, noted the importance of overall cooperation between UNICEF and the EU: ‘Migration and determining the effects of it on migrants’ families are the aims of this cooperation. We want to show that economic growth has everything to do with giving children access to education, social protection and health. Providing the necessary support to families so that they would be able to support their children, and thus avoiding institutional care, means that children from these families can reach their full potential’.
Varya Merujanyan, the project coordinator, presented the first-year overview of the project results, saying that 3 out of the 6 points of the project had already started to work: ‘Social security of migrants and their families is the biggest component of the project. We cannot ignore this, being in a country where migration is a serious problem. The project will try to provide families with some relief, as well as review the integration of social services into refining and solving migrants’ family issues’.
During the first year of project implementation 50 case managers have gained the required capacities and resources to identify, assess and respond to the needs of migrant families. As a result, at least 1,000 migrant families have been included in inter-community social projects.
Merujanyan added that project implementation had originally been planned in four target provinces, but that Syunik had been incorporated into the project due to UNICEF’s work on the ground in the province, particularly in 2 special schools in Sisian and Goris. These schools are due to be closed in 2014, which conditions the need for additional support for childrens’ families.
The Head of Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Astghik Minasyan, spoke about the negative effects of labour migration on families, particularly women and children. According to her, within the project, 50 social workers from 20 different services had requalified and already begun work on particular social cases relating to migrants’ families.
A baseline survey of five target regions and 1,046 families on the effectiveness of social services and their impact was conducted within the framework of the project by the organisation “AM Partners”. Vardan Aghbalyan, AM Partners Project Manager, gave a presentation on the results of the survey, and it was announced that the survey results would inform all future project planning.
A targeted training programme for families and doctors has been envisaged for the next two years of the project to enhance the parental skills of at least 190 doctors and at least 380 migrants’ families in the four target regions. An awareness-raising campaign is also planned.
The project was launched on 21 December 2012 with a budget of €1m and will end on 21 December.

EU and UNICEF support for migrants’ families

On 5 February 2014 the EU Delegation to Armenia and UNICEF, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues and the Ministry of Territorial Administration, presented the first-year results of the three-year “Mitigating Social Consequences of Labour Migration and Maximising Migrants’ Involvement in Local Development” project. Funded by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF, the project aims to reduce the social vulnerability of labour migrants’ families and communities in Lori, Tavush, Gegharkunik and Shirak provinces through the provision of tailored social services and the best use of migrants’ financial and intellectual resources in the development of their communities of origin. The UNICEF Representative in Armenia, Henriette Ahrens, noted the importance of overall cooperation between UNICEF and the EU: ‘Migration and determining the effects of it on migrants’ families are the aims of this cooperation. We want to show that economic growth has everything to do with giving children access to education, social protection and health. Providing the necessary support to families so that they would be able to support their children, and thus avoiding institutional care, means that children from these families can reach their full potential’. Varya Merujanyan, the project coordinator, presented the first-year overview of the project results, saying that 3 out of the 6 points of the project had already started to work: ‘Social security of migrants and their families is the biggest component of the project. We cannot ignore this, being in a country where migration is a serious problem. The project will try to provide families with some relief, as well as review the integration of social services into refining and solving migrants’ family issues’. During the first year of project implementation 50 case managers have gained the required capacities and resources to identify, assess and respond to the needs of migrant families. As a result, at least 1,000 migrant families have been included in inter-community social projects. Merujanyan added that project implementation had originally been planned in four target provinces, but that Syunik had been incorporated into the project due to UNICEF’s work on the ground in the province, particularly in 2 special schools in Sisian and Goris. These schools are due to be closed in 2014, which conditions the need for additional support for childrens’ families. The Head of Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Astghik Minasyan, spoke about the negative effects of labour migration on families, particularly women and children. According to her, within the project, 50 social workers from 20 different services had requalified and already begun work on particular social cases relating to migrants’ families. A baseline survey of five target regions and 1,046 families on the effectiveness of social services and their impact was conducted within the framework of the project by the organisation “AM Partners”. Vardan Aghbalyan, AM Partners Project Manager, gave a presentation on the results of the survey, and it was announced that the survey results would inform all future project planning. A targeted training programme for families and doctors has been envisaged for the next two years of the project to enhance the parental skills of at least 190 doctors and at least 380 migrants’ families in the four target regions. An awareness-raising campaign is also planned. The project was launched on 21 December 2012 with a budget of €1m and will end on 21 December.