Role of Youth Work in addressing Refugee and Migration crisis

Aga Byrczek
8 min readJan 28
Photo by Miko Guziuk on Unsplash

Migration and refugee crisis is a really huge topic, with a lot of things happening within the European youth work and outside. If we check the priorities, number of projects being developed and approved, and simply using a common sense, we can clearly see that there is a need to work on it. Other question is how? I feel it is a time to systematize a bit what is a role of youth work, what are the main direction we should work on and a bit what not to do:)

The starting point for me for the reflection was the realization that youth work will not solve the problem, but we can have an important contribution. In the situation that we are right now I do believe that the small actions that can be implemented matters a lot. And at least for me there are a clear lines of work, what we can do. I have systematized them into 7 points, main directions. I hope it will be useful.

1) We need to work with migrants on issues based on their needs

This statement is very vague, I know, but for me has an important meaning. What I find important is to ask ourselves few questions: are we able to engage ourselves in the direct work with the refugees? Do we have enough competences to do this work? Are there any other institutions close to me, which are already providing the support needed? Do I know what actually is needed? And how do I know it?

There are different needs depending on the place where we work. I don´t really know what the needs are, sorry to admit. I talked with people who are directly involved and I got a bit into the conclusion, that we need to start from providing basic human rights, and ensuring the well being of people with whom we work. Sometimes it can be things as basic as food, and sometimes, psychological support.

Therefore I would like to ask everybody, please don´t develop complicated projects, if you don´t know what is needed. And if you don´t have competences to work directly with refugees, there are a lot of other things you can do, which are also very important. Like points 2–7 of this article:)

2) We need to work with our communities to combat racism and xenophobia

This point is already self-explanatory. We simply need to do it. Recently I got involved in several…

Aga Byrczek

I write about social issues, mental health, fat phobia and micro aggressions. My mission is to raise awareness by writing ✊🏼