ABOUT PAR

PAR – the Refugee Support Platform is a portuguese network of organizations from civil society whose aim is to support hosting refugees during the current humanitarian crisis. Each organization sharing this purpose is invited to integrate the platform.

PAR has been formally recognized by the Portuguese Government through a cooperation protocol and is a member of the Working Group for the Migration Agenda.

WHY PAR?

PAR emerges as a platform of organizations from civil society, because:

  • We are facing the largest refugee and migrant crisis since World War II, an extremely complex situation for which there is no simple answer nor solution exempt from risks.
  • Hosting is urgent and of the utmost importance – such an intervention needs to have its long term economic, political and social impacts into consideration.
  • Europe is being asked to properly respond to this crisis as to avoid selfish interests that might lead to increased xenophobia.
  • Along with state aid, there are in Portugal innumerous organizations with expertise willing to support refugees and migrants through an articulated and integrative model.

Thus, faced with real problems, the mission of such organizations relies on promoting a responsible hosting policy and culture, not only in Portugal but also in the place of origin or transit.

WHAT FOR

In order to fulfill its mission, PAR has set up two broad axis of intervention:

PAR FAMÍLIAS [Families] – a hosting project directed to children and their families, with the support of the community and local institutions (state agencies, non-profit associations, religious organizations, schools,…). This model implies that for each family of refugees arriving in Portugal under the EU relocation agreement there will be an institution directly responsible for.

PAR LINHA DA FRENTE [Frontline] – is a fundraising project that aims to support Caritas and JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) in Lebanon, two highly regarded institutions that are known for their utmost transparency. These organizations are developing support projects designed to guarantee the safety and dignity of refugees and displaced people mostly in Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Jordan.

HOW TO HELP

PAR FAMÍLIAS [Families] – Hosting

PAR LINHA DA FRENTE [Frontline] – Support in the countries of origin or transit

How does it work?

  • Selection of refugee families, preferably while still abroad (under the EU relocation agreement).
  • Proposal of a hosting and integration agreement.
  • Our policy is to promote a geographically dispersed hosting and integration model, in disregard of refugee centres.
  • Each institution will assume responsibility for the integration of one family for one year. Throughout the second year the support provided will be reduced according to the autonomy of the family.
  • PAR Famílias aims to provide refuge to families in Portugal through a unique and innovative integration model that we believe to be more inclusive and filling of usual gaps arising from traditional welcome practices. Thus, this model implies that for each family of refugees arriving in Portugal there will be an institution directly responsible for six dimensions we consider to be relevant [see below].

What does it take to host a family?

Each institution has to be able to assure, through its means or those of the community, the following dimensions:

  • Independent accommodation
  • Food and clothing
  • Support regarding access to healthcare services
  • Support regarding access to education
  • Support regarding access to labour market
  • Portuguese classes

Additionally, the institution must officially apply to be a host institution and be willing to sign a protocol of cooperation with PAR. Already, PAR has immediate capacity to host up to a total of 600 people, through more than 100 institutions willing to welcome at least one family.

PAR has its operations based at the JRS – the Jesuit Refugee Service, where all inquiries regarding support and hosting applications are sent to, as well as the matching between institution and families and other technical support and follow-up.

What is it?

Fundraising campaign launched with the support of the media on the 1st of October of 2015. The beneficiaries are Caritas and JRS in the Middle East (mostly in Lebanon).

How does it work?

A bank account managed by both organizations was set up with the above mentioned purpose. The total amount raised will help Caritas and the JRS fulfill their objectives in the Middle East.

How to help?

Through donations, money transfers or through an ATM, as well as other initiatives such as fundraising events.

Voluntary work

What do we need?

As a project from civil society, PAR praises the work and involvement of private citizens and other institutions. Thus, we welcome any help in the following areas:

  • Organizing a hosting procedure in coordination with local organizations (public offices, NGO’s, and others), aimed at complying with the six dimensions, whose fulfilment we consider to be necessary – independent accommodation, food and clothing, support regarding access to healthcare services, education, labour market, Portuguese classes.
  • Administrative support handling the matching procedures and other applications and procedures such as volunteer management, etc.
  • Support spreading the word within social networks, work colleagues, family, neighbours.

How to do it?

Our e-mail address is par@ipav.pt