Program Intervention

Welcome To School

This intervention builds on the Welcome to School initiative developed by the Pharos Refugees and Health Knowledge Centre (the Netherlands), with support from the European Refugee Fund. Rooted in the theoretical principles of social capital, the Welcome to School Initiative seeks to strengthen the competencies of refugee and migrant youth with regards to self-esteem, coping, social skills and behavioral adjustment.

Welcome To School

Welcome To School (responsible expert: University of Copenhagen, Denmark; implementing partners: University of Copenhagen, Denmark; KULeuven, Belgium; NKVTS, Norway)

The initiative consists of 15 sessions that bring refugee and migrant adolescents of a class group together in small discussion groups under the guidance of their teacher. The units seek to build bridges between the past, the present and the future, and cover a range of themes, such as people of importance, friendships, being in love and dating, leisure time, discrimination and visions for the future.


Throughout the programme, adolescents are encouraged to share experiences, thoughts and difficulties, and to collectively identify ways of dealing with certain stressors or problems. Emphasizing non-verbal techniques, such as drawing and drama, the adolescents will discover mutual difficulties and identify opportunities to co-construct solutions and ways forward – fortifying the social support networks of these young newcomers.


We will draw on lessons learnt from this initiative across three European countries (Belgium, Norway and Denmark) to carefully revise and adapt the manuals and session plans.