On May 7, 2018, Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo NGO) hosted a group of young professionals from Europe who are involved in Refugee rights protection. During the meeting, Aleppo NGO’s representatives presented the logistic, legal, and socio-economic challenges faced by Syrian refugees in Armenia and briefed the participants about the organization’s ongoing projects. The meeting was organized in collaboration with the Armenian Progressive Youth (APY).
The young professionals were representatives of a variety civil society and humanitarian relief organizations working across Europe including in Germany, Latvia, Serbia, Denmark, and Italy. Following a short presentation by Aleppo NGO, the guests exchanged ideas about the best practices in the fields of refugee rights protection and refugee integration.
“This was a great opportunity for youth from Europe to find about the unique challenges Syrian refugees face in Armenia, which is drastically different from the challenges faced by Syrian and other refugees across Europe,” said Sarkis Balkhian, executive director of Aleppo NGO. “While social and cultural integration is a major obstacle for refugees in Europe, the demographic composition of the refugee population in Armenia renders that challenge minimal because most Syrian refugees are ethnically Armenia and share a mutual culture and history to the local population in Armenia.”
At the end of the meeting, the young professionals and Aleppo-NGO’s representative concluded that blanket “one size fit all” programs are not the solution to tackling refugee issues around the world. Prior to developing refugee related programs, local and international organizations as well as the governments of refugee host countries need to understand the demographic make up of refugee populations and the socio-economic context in which they exist.
“Targeted projects thatare developed upon extensive research are the best approach to providing permanent and effective solutions to refugee issues,” said Sarkis Balkhian.