Student Internships

Student Internships
Supporting refugees and migrants

Bulgaria doesn't have a functioning state system for migrant integration. The COVID-19 crisis increased life difficulties for everyone, but it hit asylum seekers, refugees and migrants particularly hard. To provide additional support, Multi Kulti Collective, UNHCR, Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants and other non-governmental organizations that work on the ground with foreigners in Sofia created an innovative internship programme. It uses the crisis as an opportunity to build on already established partnerships, but also involves the academic community - professors and students from different universities, in support of integration. Thus, foreigners receive more support, NGOs increase their capacity, and students gain real-life experience. In the project, the refugee and local communities lend a hand through the student internships. The young people develop a communication campaign to counter prejudice and hate speech. The lessons learned from the internships are described in special issues of the academic bulletin "Refugees: Today and Tomorrow", published by Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants and UNHCR.

Project Activities:

  • Attracting professors from the academic community;
  • Selection of motivated students;
  • Student introductory training;
  • Preparation of a number of materials to support the interns;
  • 2-month student internships in NGOs and in the municipal Bureau for information and services for third-country nationals;
  • Implementation of a communication campaign against hate speech;
  • Publication of special issues of the academic bulletin "Refugees: Today and Tomorrow", published by Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants and UNHCR;
  • A final community event to share lessons learned;
  • Creation of a Facebook group Students in support of refugees and migrants, where the academic community continues to communicate even after the end of the project.

Project News:

Time frame: December 2020 – September 2022 
Partners: UNHCR, Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants, Bulgarian Red Cross, Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria, Caritas Sofia, Center for Legal Aid - Voice in BulgariaFoundation for Access to Rights, Academic Council on Refugee Affairs with UNHCR
Funding: Sofia Municipality through Crisis as an Opportunity Programme – in 2020/2021, Sofia Municipality through Social Innovations programme – in 2022

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