2nd Learning – Teaching Event, Athens, 21-25/10/2019

Interdisciplinary Cooperation in Psychosocial Interventions

During those five days, students, professors, teachers, refugees and professionals were given the opportunity to exchange experiences, knowledge and practices in promoting interdisciplinary cooperation among different disciplines in providing psychosocial interventions for refugees and asylum seekers in Europe.

The 2nd Learning – Teaching Event featured guest speaker Ousman Umar unfolding his traumatic, 5-year effort to reach Europe from Ghana and eventually establish NASCO Foundation, an NGO helping education in his native country [Migrations and Entrepreneurship: A personal journey from Africa].
Due to the lack of educational opportunities in Ghana, Ousman arrived in Spain at the age of 17. He has acquired a Chemistry degree at the University of Barcelona and is now completing a second degree in Public Relations and Marketing.

The agenda also examined a variety of topics ranging from Ethics in Community Based Interventions and Research with Refugees and other vulnerable populations to the Prometheus Program for the Rehabilitation of Survivors of Torture, supported by Stavros Niarhos Foundation. A visit to the latter’s Cultural Centre, known as SNFCC, was the second of the social activities included, preceded by a short reception at Myrtillo cafe, an awarded social enterprise located in central Athens which integrates vulnerable groups (persons with disabilities) into the labour market.

Another highlight was the screening of documentary film “Guerrero. One life, many battles” of Sebastián Moreno, followed by an open dialogue about experiences of overcoming trauma related to surviving torture, exile, etc, lead by Dr Manuel Guerrero and Dr Margarita Mondaca (Karolinska Institutet).

The program also included workshops in cultural competence and psychosocial interventions with refugees, from Marta Sanchez and Nadia Morales (Transcultural Psychiatric Program at Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron) and in photo-voice, a participatory research methodology, from Dr. Eric Asaba and Dr. Margarita Mondaca (Karolinska Institutet).

Topics including protection and housing of minors were also high on the agenda, underlined by a presentation of the child protection model a relative NGO’s project to support, educate and socially integrate unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.
One of the highlights of the agenda was Educational Specialist’s Dr Margarita Mansola session on Supporting the inclusion of refugee and immigrant children – Interdisciplinary practice. Resilient classrooms and diving deep into every child’s right to education, let alone refugee children were basic points of her presentation.

Below is the brochure, the schedule and further photos of the 2nd Learning – Teaching Event:


Day 1, Monday, 21/10/2020

Day 2, Tuesday, 22/10/2020

Day 3, Wednesday, 23/10/2020

Day 4, Thursday, 24/10/2020

Day 5, Friday, 25/10/2020

Dr Margarita Mondaca and Dr Eric Asaba from Karolinska Institutet presented a very interesting workshop on Photo-voice
On Marasleion School stairs, (L-R, back-front): Dr Eric Asaba (Karolinska), Dr. Margarita Mondaca (Karolinska), Dr Dr. Salvador Simó Algado (UVIC), Ari-Matti Auvinen (HCI Productions), Dr Manuel Guerrero (Karolinska), Ousman Umar (NASCO NGO), Sarah Scheer (IB Hochschule Berlin, University of Applied Health and Social Sciences), Dr Eirini Adamopoulou (University of Athens).
A different look on Health Care Education and Education Management during Sarah Scheer’s workshop.
Science in extraordinary places, Katerina Tsikalaki (Biology Educator)
Katerina Komita, coordinator of the Prometheus Project and deputy coordinator at Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) Legal Unit, along with psychologist and scientific associate at Babel Day Centre / Syn-eirmos, Nikos Gionakis, presented a workshop on “Prometheus”, the Programme for the Rehabilitation of Survivors of Torture, implemented by GCR, Babel, in co-operation with the Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (program for the support of immigrants and refugees that have been subjected to torture or ill-treatment). The programme has been funded by Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the past two years. It was initially funded by the European Union until January 2017, and then received emergency funding by MSF
Maria Malapetsa on Accommodation and services scheme for asylum seekers: Field challenges and reflections (ADDMA), the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency run by the Municipality of Athens.
At SNFCC, with a view of Falirikos Gulf
Awarded “Persepolis” film was a cornerstone of Dr Eric Vassilikos’ presentation
Students during Photovoice session
Dr Nadia Morales (Transcultural Psychiatric Program at Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron) along with Dr Marta Sanchez (not depicted) on Cultural competences and psychosocial interventions with refugees workshop.
Photo Voice from another point of view!
Phaedra Tsalababouni from British Council during her interactive workshop on inclusive education and stereotypical thinking
Resilience right before our eyes: Ousman Umar from Ghana on his five year effort to reach Europe. He is the founder of NASCO Feeding Minds – ICT Education in Ghana.
Breaking the introductory ice with Musicking experiential activity by Nikos Ziaziaris
Vasilis Michailidis, Chief of Staff at The HOME Project talked about:
H-elping refugee children to safety and security
O-vercoming the trauma of violence and loss
M-otivating reintegration and healing
E-mpowering new beginnings
Psychologist Lilian Soumeli on Interconnected cooperation as a necessity in psychosocial interventions for asylum seekers
Dr. Manuel Guerrero (Karolinska Institute) on Ethics in Community based interventions and research with refugees and other vulnerable populations.

Closing session of the 2nd Learning – Teaching Event in Athens