Peer support, a potential tool for refugees’ inclusion ?

Can peer support hasten professional inclusion?

The COS foundation conducted a 10-month experiment within the framework of the project RIME-refugees’ inclusion moves Europe, to produce a more reliable and useful guide for people who want to invest themselves in the support of newcomers.This experiment contributes to the project RIME’s Interlectural Output.

Experimentation, for what?

The COS foundation needs to produce a mentoring guide as part of the RIME project. Based on this dynamic experimentation, it is easier to obtain more genuine visions, real experiences, and real desires of refugees, which will undoubtedly facilitate the preparation of the mentoring guide.

Mentoring guide, for whom?

This guide is for training organizations that work in the refugee integration field.

It comprises clearly defined learning objectives, knowledge, and abilities, as well as a wealth of resources, pedagogical methodologies, and supplementary information and assistance.

Refugees’ professional inclusion, why peer-support?

Every refugee has their unique story; as an outsider, it is tough to comprehend their hardships; nevertheless, someone who has lived a similar life can assist with faster integration and resolution of problems using the same thinking logic.

Peer-support experiment, what happened?

Following the formation of working groups and the designation of catering as their field of activity from August 2020, group sessions have been held on a regular basis since December 2020. During this time, the cos foundation also organized individual meetings and individual interviews between newcomers and the company manager/training organization and/or peer helper.


The March 22-23,25 Collective Training Sessions were a big success, with introductions to the catering sector, requests for assistance, sharing of personal experiences, and courses on labor rights. Newcomers were enthusiastic about all of the courses and topics. However, these seminars not only aided newcomers, but the COS foundation also gathered a wealth of information on the inclusion of refugees.

Peer-support experiment, what impact?

The COS foundation noticed that it is a useful technique to assist new refugees in integrating into a new society, and they are currently conducting it in various collective workshops while also attempting to raise awareness of peer support as a tool for inclusion among all of their members.

Simultaneously, the next mentoring guide will assist all other mentors.


Peer-support experiment, any recommendation?

After the experiment, the cos foundation gave the following advice based on their experience:

  • Choose a promising area of activity to work in.
  • Begin with the individual’s project.
  • Include peer caregivers as early as possible and throughout the process (starting with follow-up interviews)
  • Ensure that all actors are involved and adhere to a same goal.
  • Encourage involvement without regard to language barriers.
  • Estimate the amount of time you’ll need and the amount of prep work you’ll have to do if you have a poor language level (translated tools, appropriation of the project by the refugees)

All project RIME stakeholders received a greater awareness of the need for refugees as a result of this fantastic experiment. Hopefully, this guide will enable future peer supporters enter their professions in a more conductive and efficient manner.