Adult education and work integration initiatives for refugee women

Adult education and work integration initiatives for refugee women

Association Equilibre

Sponsorship area

Education and training/ Social

Sponsorship amount

CHF 213'000

Sponsorship term

2022 - 2025


Association Equilibre

Project Website

Adult education and work integration initiatives for refugee women

Action takes many different forms

The charity Association Equilibre is involved in projects for the education and work integration of older refugees in Switzerland. In addition, the association is committed to sustainable and environmental action, in terms of both ideas and resources, and to sensible measures for the preservation of the habitat.

Association Equilibre (A.E.) provides support in the form of its successful JLT/KoKoTé project for motivated adult refugees (over the age of 26) on their path to leading their own lives. This gives opportunities for the future to people who would otherwise fall through the cracks of Switzerland's migration policy in terms of education. This is because in terms of integration, state institutions still concentrate their efforts on young adults up to the age of 26. In the project, older refugees (over the age of 26) in particular are being targeted and, in the last two years, women with family responsibilities have increasingly been included.

The long-term objective of every initiative is still for all of the participants in the educational programmes to complete a vocational training programme in the medium term so they can lead an independent life without needing social welfare. Or that the numerous resources that these people have and bring with them from their different countries of origin can be allowed to flourish so they can make a valuable contribution to our society.

The challenge of professional integration

It may take many older refugees several years to acquire the linguistic and academic skills they need to start and successfully complete vocational training in mainstream structures. This is the reason why A.E. currently offers a range of options, where work can be combined with (catch-up) education.

For refugee women (over the age of 26) and women who have a family or children there is very little educational provision from the public sector that would meet their specific situations and requirements. This is mainly because these women need individual support for successful professional integration.

An individual education and learning plan has been drawn up for each woman participating in the project, which describes the specific intermediate steps needed to achieve their intended vocational training goal. Catching up to the vocational qualification may take anything up to 5 years, depending on each woman's previous education and potential, learning capacity, family circumstances and level of achievement. Once a tailor-made approach has been selected, the participants' chances of successfully completing the EBA/EFZ vocational education and training programme increase considerably.


Every refugee woman who is successfully integrated professionally and socially repays society in the longer term for what it has invested in many different ways. This is because, in addition to the monetary benefits, the successful integration of refugee women is also important for the success of their children at school and in the world of work. All that these women want once they complete their apprenticeship is to be independent and free.