The mobility in Lebanon took place from February 10 – 16, 2019.
The first day of the mobility was held at the Lebanese University. Dr. Nina Zeidan, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, delivered the opening speech, Dr. Rania Mansour, Head of the Social Work Department, welcomed the teams and Dr. Ralf Roßkopf introduced the project aims and objectives. Mr. Gilbert Doumit, Activist and Consultant on Public Policies, gave an introductory session about Lebanon, its history and geo-political situation. Mrs. Hyam Kahi, Senior Social Worker, Honorary Director of the School of Social Work at Saint Joseph University and pioneer in the social work field in Lebanon, presented the history of social work in Lebanon and the role of the social worker during the crisis. The first day was concluded by a visit to “Beit Beirut”, a preserved building heavily affected and used for military purpose during the Lebanese civil war, serving as a monument of the war and Lebanese history.
The second day was a field visit to Beqaa region, the team visited Al-Awda camp in Bar Elias that is managed by URDA (Union of Relief and Development Associations). The group was introduced to the Syrian refugee’s issues in the area, the challenges faced and the services provided. The group also visited a unique historical monument, Baalbeck temple, which is the only standing Roman temple, dedicated to the God of sun, until now around the world.
On the third day the teams headed towards the South to Tyre city, the day started with a visit to AlBuss camp for Palestinian refugees. Beit Atfal AlSomoud Organisation delivered a presentation about the Palestinians as refugees in Lebanon and their identity crisis. Then the team visited the Municipality of Tyre, the mayor Ahmad Dbouk presented the history of the city and its role as a hosting community. At the end of the day the team went on a tour into the old city, and visited the archeological site of Tyre.
The following day started with a visit to Chatila camp, visiting Beit Atfal AlSomoud Community Center and taking a small tour into the camp. Afterwards, Mrs. Mey Sayegh from the Ministry of State for Displaced Affairs introduced the team to the role of the Lebanese government in the Syrian crisis and the way of dealing with the displaced Syrians. Later Mr. Kamel Mohanna, the founder of Amel, reported about the principles and objectives of the association. Afterwards the team went to Amel Haret Hrek Center to get introduced to the community services provided by Amel.
The last day of the mobility was dedicated to the reflection and evaluation of the week and the project’s topic “Community Development in the migration context”. In a session with Lebanese social work students, findings and recommendations were gathered from a group discussion.
The students of the project also had the chance to develop their research topic for the year in various working groups and discussions during the mobility.
The mobility to Germany took place from March 31 to April 6, 2019.
On the first day of the programm, the group got introduced to the German/ European migration law by Prof. Ralf Roßkopf and learnt more about the concept(s) of Community Development and the Sustainable Development Goals in a presentation from project assistant Lisa Mends. After an update about the current situation of the students’ research projects, the group had a guided tour at the residence of Würzburg (UNESCO world heritage).
On the second day enjoyed the view over the city of Würzburg from the fortress Marienberg in the morning. After that, the group visited the Jewish Museum Shalom Europa and talked to Jewish community workers about their activities, specifically about the Jewish immigration program by the German government and the youth work of the Jewish community. On the same day, the project members visited the Muslim Community of Würburg wherea young member of the community talked about the community work they do and the collaboration they have with the broader society.
In the morning of the third day of the project week, the group was hosted by the Common Accommodation for Asylum Seekers, where two social workers from Caritas and a very experienced volunteer presented the structure, the activities and the type of services provided in the accommodation. This led to a discussion regarding the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Germany and the main challenges faced by the stakeholders involved. Later on that day, the group met with three representatives of the Würzburg alliance for civil courage and the project “Living democracy!” to talk about anti-discriminatory community development projects.
On the next day, the project group took part in a symposium on “Community Development in context of flight and migration” at the FHWS main building, together with students from master’s programme “International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants”. Guest speakers from different institutions discussed the topic of community development from different perspectives. Prof. Dr. Theresia Wintergerst talked about the role of Social Work in Community Development. A representative of Caritas Würzburg introduced their concept of social-space-orientation and volunteer management within his organization. Michèl Schnabel, a member of Selam Mainfranken e.V. gave us an insight on the perspective of a Muslim civil society organization. A social worker and an architect from the Municipality of Würzburg presented the project “Social City” Heuchelhof with a focus on the district management experiences. In a plenary discussion the guest speakers and professors of the project talked about best practices and the requirements for an effective and sustainable community development in the context of flight and migration. The students also had a theatre workshop with Prof. Dr. Hannah Reich and a theatre group working with refugees in Würzburg. In the interactive workshop the students learnt how to use theatre techniques as a tool for working with refugees and migrants and which could serve as an instrument when trying to bring two communities together.
The last day was dedicated to draw conclusions on community development and the project programme. In addition, the students had time to work on their research project and receive feedback from the professors, assistants and colleagues to improve their research plan. The project week was concluded by a farewell dinner at a traditional German restaurant in the city center of Würzburg.
The mobility to Jordan was held from September 22 – 28, 2019.
On the first day of the programme, the topic of „Faith-sensititve Social Work“ was addressed with a visit to the Islamic Charity Center Society and the Catholic Media Center in Amman. The second day of the project week was used to prepare the Higher Education Dialogue (HED) Conference Social Work with Refugees on 26.09., where the students presented the results of the research they had worked on over the past year. On 25.09. the group visited Irbed, the third largest city in Jordan located in the North of the country. First, the project members attended a lecture about “Challenges on translating and localizing Western Social Work Interventions in Arab Countries” at the campus of Yarmouk University. Then, the group visited Takaful organisation and the historic site Jerash.
The conference on the presentation of project results, a joint event with another HED project, was held on 26.09. at GJU Madaba campus. Numerous interested persons from different (I)NGOs participated in the conference as well as the students of the HED summer school that was held simultaneously. GJU president Prof. Dr. Manar Fayyad, GJU vice president Prof. Dr. Ralf Roßkopf and head of social work department Prof Dr. Christine Huth-Hildebrandt opened the event with their welcome addresses. The 8 students of our HED project „Refugees, Host Communities & the Sustainable Development Goals“ presented their research results first. After the lunch break, the students of the HED project „Social Work with Refugees“ of the University of Applied Sciences Madgeburg-Stendal (Germany), University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg (Germany), Al-Balqa University (Jordan) and Al-Najah National University (Palestine) led by Prof. Dr. Rahim Hajji, gave their presentations about their research topics. Finally, all participants of the conference engaged in a discussion about the lessons learnt and the project specific best practices of the HED activities.
On the final day of the project week, the HED group participated, together with the students of the HED summer school, in the workshop about the „Code of Ethics for Social Workers with Refugees and Migrants“, which was organised and lead by the project assistants of the four involved universities. The students discussed the implementation of a code of ethics for social work into practice, considering specific ethical dilemmas, social workers are dealing with in the context of flight and migration. The programme was concluded with a reflection and evaluation session regarding the Jordan mobility and the entire project year.