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A look back at the Refugeeks 2019 programme organised by Simplon

  • 09.03.2020

Eleven refugees learned basic digital skills in the first class of Simplon's "Refugeeks" programme. Here’s a look back at this new initiative supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation since 2019.

To get familiar with digital skills while learning french 

BNP Paribas backs "Refugeeks" as part of the European programme to support the professional integration of refugees. Created in 2019, it is based on a two-fold observation: digital skills and a good command of French are the keys to social and professional success. Access to digital tools in accommodation centres and foster homes is often restricted and refugees’ digital skills are usually limited. Moreover, basic French is also often too limited to browse the sites helpful for their integration. 

In concrete terms, how does the training take place? An intensive six-week course helps refugees achieve greater autonomy to carry out administrative and daily tasks

The goal of "Refugeeks": training 280 refugees in France by 2021

After the first classes in 2019 in Paris and Montpellier, the next training sessions are planned in Roubaix and Montreuil, and others in 2020. The programme aims to support the professional integration of 280 refugees throughout France over a three-year period

The "Refugeeks" programme’s partners  

In order to identify candidate refugees for the programme, Simplon collaborates with Aurore, an organisation with expertise in supporting people in precarious situations, and the French-language training organisations Paroles Voyageuses and the Thot School.

Since 2015, BNP Paribas has supported a programme in favour of refugees in Europe. 

Eleven countries now take part in this scheme: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

In France, the BNP Paribas Foundation supports the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Auteuil Apprenticeship Programme (a scheme to help unaccompanied minors), Simplon ("Refugeeks") and the Cité Internationale Universitaire (accommodation grants). 

The BNP Paribas Retail Bank backs around 10 organisations involved in the professional integration of refugees

Photos ©DR Simplon

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