On February 29th, the YMCA Thessaloniki hosted a visit from members of the Milestones program, which focuses on the sustainable labor market inclusion of non-EU nationals. To improve public policies in this area, the MILEstone project includes a series of policy learning activities carried out by the consortium. The consortium members are from various regions including Linköping (SE), Jyväskylä (FI), Piemonte (IT), Hogeland (NL), Ascó (ES), Central Macedonia (EL), Burgenlandkreis (DE), Westpomeranian Region (PL), and Postojna (SI), with the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography serving as an advisory partner.

During a peer study trip to Thessaloniki on February 28th and 29th, the members visited the premises of YMCA Thessaloniki and heard success stories from refugees Tea Eisa, Xanin Alsawod, and Irina Zubrytska. These individuals shared how the YMCA played a crucial role in helping them secure jobs in their field or scholarships for university studies.

The presentation was led by Aristi Tzoni (director of the Social Action Department) and Dolores Tarrafeta (Financial Assistant on the Helios Program), along with Sofia Boftsari from the employability component of the Helios Program. The session was both engaging and productive.

The members of the Milestones program were impressed by the efforts of YMCA Thessaloniki to support the integration of non-EU nationals into the workforce and education system. The inspiring stories of refugees finding opportunities highlighted the positive impact of targeted support and resources on individuals seeking a better future.

Overall, the visit was a success and facilitated a valuable exchange of experiences and best practices for promoting the labor market inclusion of non-EU nationals. The collaboration among consortium partners and the involvement of local stakeholders in YMCA Thessaloniki demonstrate a strong commitment to creating a more inclusive and sustainable environment for all individuals, irrespective of their background.