NGOs to train 35 new refugee support workers
NGOs Estonian Refugee Council (ERC) and Johannes Mihkelson Center (JMK) will start training new refugee support personnel this fall. Of the 35 new workers, 20 will be volunteers with ERC and 15 JMK's employees.
New support workers will help migrants - those who have been granted international protection by Estonia, as well as asylum seekers arriving from Italy and Greece - settle into their new lives, ERR radio news reported.
"Support persons must first of all help people find a job, and then a home," said Ingi Mihkelsoo, board member of ERC, adding that they also have to provide help with finding childcare and study opportunities, access to GP services and language tuition for the new arrivals.
"Support workers have a wide array of responsibilities," Mihkelsoo said.
Head of JMK Juhan Saharov said the support personnel has to speak English and they are also looking for people who know Arabic, although some of the positions have already been filled.
According to Mihkelsoo, 35 new support people are a step in the right direction, but probably not enough to satisfy demand. People who receive international protection from Estonia need support person service the most during their first months in the country.
Application deadline for JMK passes on Friday. ERC will announce its training program this autumn.