Low-tech with Refugees in the French Alps!

1. REFUGEES & ASYLUM SEEKERS IN BRIANÇON

2. LOW-TECHNOLOGIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL

3. ADAPTING ACTION TO CONTEXT

4. THE PROJECT : LOW-TECH & REFUGEES BRIANÇON

5. THE FIRST WORKSHOPS

6. JOIN THE ECO-SOLIDARITY ADVENTURE!

Low-tech with Refugees — Briançon’s first workshop©2020_EKO!

1. REFUGEES & ASYLUM SEEKERS IN BRIANÇON

Located in a high-altitude alpine area, at the crossroads of five valleys, the town of Briançon is located on the French-Italian border. During the day, tourists ski, hike, climb and enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities. At night, it is the migrants who try to cross through the passes of l’Échelle (1746 meters high, accessible only by a narrow mountain road which is closed to traffic in the winter due to heavy snowfall) and Montgenèvre (1850 meters high, a busy crossing of the Turin-Marseille motorway).

Migration route to Briançon ©2018_Melting Book
Three migrants, one a child, walk through the Alps near Bardonecchia, Italy, hoping to cross into France, January 2018. © 2018 Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

2. LOW-TECHNOLOGIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL

As opposed to high-tech, low-tech is a set of techniques and practices that are accessible, sustainable, and meet essential needs. Low-tech is also a philosophy that gives pride of place to innovation for meeting societal challenges.

Thermal solar panel construction in Briançon©2020_EKO!
Potato planting in the Guisane valley©2020_EKO!

3. ADAPTING ACTION TO CONTEXT

Low-tech with Refugees in Lesvos has had to suspend its activities since March 2020 due to the violence perpetrated against refugees and volunteers alike. In the context of SARS-Covid19, the lockdown of the main camps has been repeatedly extended. This context has therefore halted the association’s Greek operations. Meanwhile, the Low-tech with Refugees team has started to duplicate the project in other territories, currently Briançon and Marseille (France), some steps further down the migratory path.

4. THE PROJECT : LOW-TECH WITH REFUGEES BRIANÇON

Foraging aromatic and medicinal plants©2020_EKO!
  1. Training sessions, including a certified Permaculture Design Training Certificate in 2021. The aim is to develop the professional skills of exiled people in the fields of low-tech and permaculture, thus aiming at integration into these professions. These training courses act both to reinforce skills and to validate the acquired experience.
  2. In parallel to these two activities, the Low-tech with Refugees team provides continuous support for socio-professional integration. Participants are guided in the construction of their career and life projects in groups and individual sessions. In particular, this allows the beneficiaries to be directed towards other partner resource structures: accommodation, legal aid, further training, employment, etc.

5. THE FIRST WORKSHOPS

The first workshop held around Briançon welcomed 23 participants of 14 different nationalities. In the idea of ‘doing together’, an intercultural encounter was made possible, in particular when it came to overcoming language barriers. The programme: construction of a dry-stone wall, making a mosaic, creating a wooden log staircase, and planting a potato patch in accordance with agro-ecological principles.

Marjolaine explaining how to build a dry-stone wall©2020_EKO!
Constance, British & French, and Ali, afghani, making the plans for a mosaic©2020_EKO!
Participants caught by Sylvain’s explanations about the world of bees©2020_EKO!
Lamine, developing a vocation for the craft of welding, and Guillaume, professional welder©2020_EKO!
Discovery and foraging of aromatic and medicinal plants©2020_EKO!
Preparation of a St. John’s wort macerate, an effective treatment for burns©2020_EKO!

6. JOIN THE ECO-SOLIDARITY ADVENTURE!

Join EKO!’s Low-tech with Refugees project in Lesvos, Briançon, and soon… Marseille!

The EKO! organisation:

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EKO!

EKO!

Association of general interest which carries out positive and innovative projects in the fields of sustainable development and international solidarity.