“Never Alone –Building our future with children and youth arriving in Europe” is a collaborative funding initiative established as a thematic fund established in EPIM since 2015. Together with EPIM’s Partner Foundations, twelve additional European foundations support the joint effort: Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Bodossaki Foundation, John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione con il Sud, Enel Cuore, Fondazione CRT, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo, Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Fondazione Peppino Vismara and Bertelsmann Foundation.
The fund aims to support civil society organisations and public bodies/authorities seeking to address gaps in policy and practice and the struggle for communities to provide adequate protection as well as long-term perspectives for the life of children and youth on the move in Europe. There is an explicit need to invest in children at this point in time to set the right steps for their future and the future of the society they are part of.
There are concrete opportunities to move beyond a ‘crisis mode’ and to further the approach of alternative models of care embedded in the communities and supporting inclusion on an individualised level which are widely recognised as the most beneficial for all children. More so, there is momentum for systemic impact at policy-level for more comprehensive frameworks addressing children in migration in agendas at national, EU and global level.
As part of this fund, four strands of interlinked activities are building up on and strengthening each other:
- Grant making in four focus countries, Italy, Greece, Germany and Belgium, to strengthen civil society or public-private partnership projects of individualised, community-based and holistic care models in the areas of:
- child supportive reception (includes family- and community-based reception facilities and multi-dimensional services), and
- empowerment and support in the transition to autonomy (work with and for children and youth in the process of becoming autonomous with services that make no differences when youth turn 18 and older).
- Grant-making at EU level to support civil society organisations’ EU advocacy project that strengthens the collaboration among a diverse set of stakeholders in the child’s rights and migration areas towards a holistic and comprehensive approach in EU policy for the rights and protection of children and youth on the move across Europe.
- Research and impact evaluation supporting the projects’ sustainability and the significance of their impact. A commissioned research piece will to strengthen the evidence-base for the long-term impact of individualised, family- or community-based care on children and youth on the move in Europe.
- Collaboration as well as knowledge sharing between actors working with children at local, national and EU level, including across sectors. Even if the contexts can be different in various localities, the challenges experienced by actors are often similar and connecting them across Europe aims to support them to learn from one another and to increase the impact of their work.
Throughout all activities, EPIM aims for the work to be:
[inclusive]: We are talking about children and youth on the move or children in migration in order not to categorise or exclude children and youth according to their migration status or else.
[empowering]: We encourage listening to the independent view of every child and youth and providing possibilities for young people to speak out for themselves.
[gender-sensitive]: We encourage gender-sensitive policies and practices to ensure that children and youth do receive the tailored services required.