Projects in France 

PARIS: To improve the well-being of asylum seekers through socio-cultural activities and therapeutic mediation.

The mental health issue for refugees is central in Amel France’s approach. The organisation has indeed a medical vocation, because of its members but also of its members’ skills and its legacy – AMEL International is fundamentally a medical association since 1979. That is why we are examining a social support project for asylum seekers through socio-cultural activities and therapeutic mediation to be implemented within the Parisian region in the coming months.

Unlike the vulnerability promoted by the French government in its management of the asylum seekers, Amel France truly believes in the positive social and environmental impact that certain types of activities can have on the refugee community and their well-being. Indeed, the traumas linked with the departure, the journey and the arrival within host societies can be, for refugee people, risk factors to develop psychological traumas. Each individual reacts differently to potentially traumatizing events and its environment can highly affect, positively or negatively, his/her psychological stability.

The hard reception and living conditions that exile people have to face today in France do not foster their psychological stability, and, by extension, their integration within the society. Amel France thinks that it is necessary to give them a safe environment and adapted means of expression.

That is why Amel France will implement artistic expression activities in spring 2018, in Paris, with the support of France Terre d’Asile. Many artists (calligraphers, musicians, writers) have joined the project.  


Amel France participated, from August 2017 to January 2018, to the project Discorsi Migranti. It is a project built by the NGO consortium from the piedmont plateau, in Italy and financed by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Italian Ministry of the Interior. The project aims at questioning the reception and integration practices of the migrant population in three regions (Piedmont plateau, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia).

Amel France was in charge of the study regarding health access within the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. 

Research study abstract:

The access to maternal and child health for female refugees within the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region

In France, we observe that the health status of the migrant population is below that of the rest of the French population. Furthermore, it tends to deteriorate with the length of stay in the country. Prone to many vulnerability and precariousness factors, the authorities acknowledge the necessity to pay a specific attention to this population from a medical point of view.

The problematic regarding the health of pregnant women and young mothers refugees is relevant to raise. The WHO regional office for Europe states that female refugees present perinatal health issues more important that female non-refugees, and higher maternal and child mortality rates.

Within the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, professionals intervening in the field of maternal and child health often make the same observation regarding female refugees in comparison to the rest of the population: lack of follow up, late pregnancy declaration and late consultations. This encourages us to question ourselves on the women’s perception regarding their access to health services. On another hand, the growing refugee population in the region incites us to question the services capacity to respond to their specific needs. This study, carried out within the framework of the Discorsi Migranti project and led by the Piedmont plateau NGO consortium, focuses on the access to maternal and child health care and services for legal female refugees within a region, in this case the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is based on existing publications on the matter and on testimonies from quite a few regional actors (associations, public and health services). Several difficulties are thus put forward. Among them, the socio economic conditions, the linguistic and intercultural aspects are mentioned on a regular basis by professionals, in accordance with the observations made at the national and European levels. The study went deeper regarding the practices adopted by the professionals toward the refugee population, and in particular toward women, in link with the difficulties encountered. We specifically notice that the intercultural issue is more and more taken into consideration and placed at the centre of the professional’s approach. The importance of rethinking the space and the time for the shake of proximity is also highlighted. Indeed, the professionals have observed a need for listening and for building trustful ties with female refugees or immigrants. They also emphasize the necessity to take into account their psychological traumas that might be a result of their journeys or experiences. These elements, that represent a major issue in the female refugees’ integration, underline that health access issues must be considered by all actors, in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation.

The results of this study and those regarding housing and professional insertion are available in French though the link below: