Supporting Refugee Women and Children in Malta

Kopin has been providing social and educational services to asylum seeking children and women since 2010. These services apply a child rights and human rights based approach and aim at empower their beneficiaries, who themselves are considered as key agents for social change and advancement.

Kopin has been providing voluntary services for women and children, including unaccompanied minors, who are residing at Dar il-Liedna, an Open Centre in Fgura which is managed by the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS). These services range from cultural orientation to English language classes, to afterschool homework support, food handling courses, CV writing training as well as recreational activities.

Furthermore, between 2011 and 2013, with the support of the European Refugee Fund (ERF), the UN High Commission for the Refugees’ Malta Office and the Embassy of the United States in Malta, Kopin had implemented the biggest support programme for refugee women on the Island, which had offered educational, vocational, social, recreational and capacity training services to over 200 refugee women in all Open Centres and the community.

Thanks to the Julia Taft Refugee Fund and the continuous support of the US Embassy in Malta, Kopin has been providing services and training to both refugee women and to healthcare professionals in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Activities focus on the provision of training, tools, awareness raising and cultural orientation, and are being implemented in cooperation with Mater Dei Hospital, the Integra Foundation and other stakeholders.

The financial support of Terre des Hommes (TdH) Netherlands, Kopin was able to set up the Maltese ‘branch’ of TdH Italy’s FARO Project, called Il-Fanal (Maltese for Lighthouse). Il-Fanal offers psycho-social support to asylum seeking minors who attend State Schools in Malta. In fact, the programme is being implemented in cooperation with the Student Services Department (SSD) as well as migrant learners’ support unit of the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE), with whom Kopin’s team coordinates its engagement in schools with high numbers of foreign students.

Moreover, Kopin has also been partnering with all key stakeholders in the fight against & prevention of child trafficking, namely UNHCR, the Police Forces, Aġenzija Appoġġ, AWAS, as well as national and international civil society organisations. In collaboration with its partners Terre des Hommes Italy and the European Federation for Street Children, Kopin is providing anti-trafficking tools and training to frontline workers as well as services to potential and actual victims of child trafficking.

In all its activities, Kopin is being supported by the Terre des Hommes International Federation, being its Strategic Partner in Malta. Furthermore, Kopin forms part of the Destination Unknown Campaign, which is a global alliance of civil society organisations who work for the rights of children who are on the move.

Kopin is an active member of the informal network comprising all refugee support organisations in Malta as well as a partner of various Maltese key institutions in this field, such as AWAS, UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).