Related priority: Promoting our European way of life
Supporting unaccompanied minor asylum seekers
There were almost 14,000 unaccompanied minors among the asylum seekers registered in the EU in 2019 [Eurostat, 2020].
The list of challenges child asylum seekers face can be daunting, including access to healthcare and education, language barriers, post-traumatic stress disorder, a lack of social and psychological support and legal issues.
There can also be a lack of professionals with specialist experience or training in supporting children seeking asylum, especially in countries which first receive them.
Gaming techniques help migrant children get better social care
The GVETS project (Introducing Gamification in Vocational Education and Training for Professionals and Social Work in the Field of Migrant Children Protection and Support), supported by Erasmus+, was developed to help fill these gaps. As part of the project, open-access professional training has been designed using learning techniques derived from gaming – a practice known as ‘gamification’.
The GVETS project is helping to realise one of the European Commission’s political priorities, namely to foster a European way of life that reinforces citizens’ fundamental rights and takes seriously its moral obligations towards those seeking asylum.
Migrant children, some of whom may be unaccompanied, need the support of a wide range of professionals. These can include social workers, psychologists, lawyers, teachers, caregivers and intercultural mediators.
Many of these professionals have no special training in working with migrant children. When the GVETS project started, there were no formal vocational and educational training courses in any of the participating countries that targeted the particular needs of migrant children.
Online learning using ‘gamification’ techniques can be well-suited to filling this training gap. It can be inherently motivating (for example, by providing rewards and feedback), fun and engaging, enabling learners to record their progress. However, to succeed, the needs of the target user group have to be profiled carefully in advance. One of the challenges has been striking the right balance between making content that is user-friendly, but not too easy.
The GVETS partners have developed seven e-learning modules that are readily available on the project’s website. These take around 75 hours to complete, including online activities, reading, field work and assessment..
There is a comprehensive handbook for users, while a detailed e-book offers an excellent overview of the project. A newsletter (in Greek), is published on the project’s Facebook page.
The project offered an opportunity for professionals working with migrant children – in specialist organizations, training centers and universities – to expand their knowledge and skills through an open-access online training tool.
- Zsuzsa László
Project dates: November 2017 - October 2019
Project Reference: 2017-1-HU01-KA202-035927
EU grant: €221,250Explore GVETS project results