Road Safety Training for refugees in Malakasa
Road Safety Training for refugees in Malakasa

Twenty-three refugees and asylum-seekers had the opportunity to participate in a road safety seminar, organized on 22 November in Malakasa, by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Road Safety Institute (RSI) “Panos Mylonas”.

During the training, all participants, from 23 to 66 years old, became familiar with basic concepts, good practices and rules of road safety, for both pedestrians and drivers. They also participated in simulation activities, which enabled them to test and put into practice the theoretical knowledge acquired.

Present at the seminar were Deputy Minister for Migration and Asylum, Ms. Sofia Voultepsi, UNHCR Representative in Greece, Ms. Maria Clara Martin, President of RSI Panos Mylonas, Ms. Vassiliki Danelli-Mylona, CRS Senior Project Officer Integration, Ms. Isabella Kalogianni, and Malakasa camp manager, Mr. Charalampos Christou.

Deputy Minister Voultepsi noted: “We support this important integration initiative by UNHCR. Our aim is the greatest possible self-reliance of refugees and the ability to drive can open up new paths for their freedom of movement, contributing significantly to their professional integration. It is important that this time the activity took place in a facility of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and we would like to thank the Manager, Mr. Christou, for the support”, she added.

On her part, UNHCR Representative in Greece Maria Clara Martin thanked the Ministry for supporting the organization of the seminar in Malakasa and congratulated the refugees and asylum-seekers for their enthusiasm and commitment to participate and actively engage. “Road safety is first and foremost a personal safety issue preoccupying both the residents of the site and the local community. I would like to encourage all those who attended today’s seminar to make use of the knowledge acquired for their personal safety on the road but also seek to link it with job opportunities”, she noted.
 

Kosar, a 25-year-old woman from Afghanistan, said that the training she attended was very useful towards adopting safer road user behaviours, adding: “I was very much moved by Ms. Mylonas’ personal story… Despite the tragic loss of her son in a car accident, she did not give up but put all her efforts into raising awareness about road safety issues. This seminar is important because it aims to spread such information to as many people as possible”.

The road safety seminar is part of the broader UNHCR integration programme in Greece to support refugees’ smooth integration in the Greek labour market, in line with the National Integration Strategy. The overall aim, beyond raising awareness on road safety, is to eventually link the participants with jobs related to their newly gained skills, through the ADAMA Integration Centre.

 

 
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