PDO Network Meeting #2: Focus on children and youth

Twenty-six participants from state actors, international organisations and non-governmental organisations, gathered on the 21-22 of May for the EU-FRANK project’s second network meeting on predeparture orientation (PDO), in Bucharest. On the agenda: predeparture orientation activities for children and youth.

The network, set up within the project to facilitate exchange on predeparture orientation, is planned to meet on three occasions to each time discuss different themes.

- The presence of the rich network of experts coming to Bucharest creates a great opportunity for the team in Romania to share their experiences, says Ioana Barbu, Project Manager at the Schottener Foundation in Romania and Crina Antea from the General Inspectorate for Immigration at The Ministry of Internal Affairs, who have facilitated the network gathering in Bucharest.

Jaklin Josefsson, assignment leader for the predeparture orientation network, shared personal stories on her work with providing orientation to refugees to be resettled to Sweden. She emphasised the importance of having a special approach when dealing with children and youth. The first day included presentations by IOM and Norway on their approaches for providing orientation to youths; as well as reflections from network participant Rosa-Lie Craps (Fedasil) on a study visit to Lebanon and Belgium’s youth pilot on PDO carried out in Uganda in 2018. Participants were also involved in a discussion on the set up of focus groups and the day was finalized with a presentation and proposal on identifying guiding principles in PDO.

During day two of the network meeting, participants had the opportunity to try a game used by the Netherlands in their PDO programme. Jürgen Beuting from the Central Agency for the reception of refugees explained that COA uses many different games in their PDO, e.g. in the middle of a long day to serve as a fun break and as an easy and pleasant way to share experiences with the group.

Another tool used by the project to promote exchanges between participants has been the so-called peer-to-peer exchanges (LINK) happening during the spring. Participants from previous sessions reported on these events and a plan for upcoming opportunities was drafted with the network.


"The EU-FRANK project made it easy for us to know whom to contact in the future. I already see some things we could use in our CO" says Hassina Kiboua from the Irish Refugee Council who participated in a peer-to-peer exchange to the Netherlands in April.


– The peer-to-peer exchange on the Netherlands’ PDO programme was a great opportunity for me and I would like to know more about the link / transition between the PDO and the Post- arrival CO, says Hassina.

The participants found it useful to learn from others countries, not least from the exhibitions where organisations shared their materials. In addition, the interactive exercises, drawing books and visual games that were developed for children and youth showed valuable alternatives to working with that particular group.


"The beauty in carrying out PDO activities can often be to bridge cultural stereotypes and bring people together who would perhaps otherwise not meet.", says Camelia Nitu-Fratila from the UNHCR and coordinator for Emergency Transit Centre.


The meeting ended with a visit to the Migration and Integration Centre in Bucharest where participants learned about the centre’s operations in providing integration activities such as language classes, counselling and other integration related activities.

PDO Network Meeting #3 is planned for the autumn 2019. You can subscribe to our news to stay updated on the latest activities and news.

Participants of Network meeting #2 in Bucharest after the second day of meetings.

Published: 2019-06-26

Author: Gabriela Prado

Last modified: 2019-06-26