SIETAR France – SIETAR UK Refugees and People Seeking Asylum Project (RAAS) Webinar (in English)


18 h 30 min - 20 h 00 min

In times of growing human displacement due to war and climate change, SIETAR UK decided to use their members’ expertise to develop initiatives for the support of refugees/persons who seek asylum (RAAS) as well as volunteers who work with them. In so doing, we also wanted to emphasize the role of majority group members (e.g., UK nationals) who often function as volunteers in the acculturation process of RAAS. The UK project provides a free 3.5h x 3 days intercultural training for volunteers who work with RAAS via charities, addressing participants cultural awareness and communication, unconscious bias, and privilege, as well as their own cultural adaptation and strategies towards RAAS. Therefore, this presentation aims to introduce the RAAS project as conducted in the UK to inspire a local initiative in France. To demonstrate how flexible this initiative can be, we also touch on the “Start!” project by SIETAR Switzerland, which is another local RAAS project that provides a one-day 5h training for mentors (mostly majority members) and mentees (RAAS) together, within a Higher Education context, making use of the peer-to-peer situation in the approach to the training. By introducing the underlying aim and two possible approaches towards its fulfillment, we hope to encourage fellow SIETARians in France to organize their own RAAS projects.

Dr Katharina Lefringhausen is a Cross-Cultural Social Psychologist, working as an Assistant Professor at the Heriot-Watt University, Department of Psychology, in Scotland (former Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, Applied Linguistics). Her research focuses on intergroup relationships, mainly how majority members themselves acculturate towards ethnic minorities in a shared society and its consequences for both – majority and minority members (e.g., well-being, creativity, intergroup relations) – across contexts (e.g., work, university, or society) and time. Moreover, Katharina has been a board member at SIETAR UK since 2016 and is currently functioning as the Director of Community Development. In this role she leads a team of trainers and academics in the creation and delivery of a RAAS project – the support of volunteers who work with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK ( Her research on majority members’ acculturation constitutes a core element of the project’s approach.

Anissa Lamrani is a certified trilingual intercultural trainer (LTS Training and Consulting in Bath and SIETAR France). She also holds an MA in Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education from Goldsmiths University of London and an MA in TESOL, Vermont, USA where she taught political refugees and immigrants from Asia and Eastern Europe. Her experience includes training business expatriates and corporate professionals in France for 20 years. She is a member of SIETAR UK where she intervenes as a trainer within the RAAS Project. She currently teaches academic English in the UK HE to international students and French and Arabic to business people. She also occasionally writes and translates language and intercultural articles focusing on Arabic speakers learning English and North African cultural customs and traditions.

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