Cooperation projects

Education corridors for Syrian students

This project is aimed at creating regular and safe shelter for Syrian students who have arrived/will arrive in Italy to continue their studies at UPO, helping them to settle down into the community.

The project is the result of an idea by Father Jacques Mourad, prior at a monastery of Mar Elian (Horns, Syria), who was kidnapped from Daesh and held prisoner for almost five months in the Raqqa region. When freed, he focused public attention on the need to promote university opportunities for young Syrians. At the end of 2015, the European Parliament took on board Father Mourad’s message and invited the Commission and Member States to establish education corridors to welcome students from war-torn countries, particularly Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

Syrian students are not required to obtain “refugee” status and can keep their own citizenship. The goal is to enable them to return to Syria when possible, and take an active role in the cooperative development of their country.

Those who have completed the process of identification and acceptance will receive a visa and can register on a UPO course. The University deals not only with their education needs but offers support also with the entire integration process regarding Italian society and the local community.

In 2019, the first student graduated in Biotechnology; in 2020 another six achieved their qualifications and others will continue according to the length of their degree course and arrival in Italy. The “education corridor” method is feasible and satisfying for all involved. The positive experience fosters hope that education corridors will be increased in the future, and shared with other academic institutes.


Emergency health treatment in Sierra Leone

Since 2018, Crimedim has run a training/research project in Emergency Health Treatment. The first cycle took place in 14 areas of the country and recruited and trained: 439 paramedics, 433 ambulance drivers, 8 local and 31 expat trainers. Update training has focused attention on patient evaluation and procedures introduced with the activation of a single national helpline. An advanced course was introduced in 2020.

Regarding research, a systematic review of the literature is being carried out to evaluate pre-hospital emergency services in countries with limited resources: a research protocol is being developed, which will be articulated via a retrospective study and a prospective study that assess the impact of the NEMS system for intensive therapy. A research doctorate looks at the stress levels of humanitarian workers, and the resilience to stress of expat trainers.