One of the most common complaints about refugees and labor migrants we hear is “they don’t even speak Russian!” This fact seems to especially irritate our government employees. However, the Russian state offers no free language courses for those who came to the country for a long-term stay. The absence of language courses makes it nearly impossible for refugees and migrants to integrate into the Russian society.
To solve this problem, we used to rely on volunteers to teach Russian language courses for adults. Beginning in 2014 we established a permanent program to help migrants with language and integration—we now offer free Russian language classes for refugees and migrants. Classes are held in the office of the Civil Assistance Committee, at Olimpiyskiy Prospekt 22.
Our Russian language courses are currently taught by professional language tutors. We also continue to rely on volunteers who offer Russian tutoring to refugees individually and in small groups. Each year, around 50 people take advantage of our language classes.
A distinct area of our integration program is Russian language courses for Syrian refugees. The Moscow region hosts the largest Syrian diaspora in Russia—around 2000 people. Most of them lives in the towns of Noginsk and Losino-Petrovsk. The Civil Assistance Committee launched free integration and language courses in these municipalities in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The courses are taught by professional tutors specializing in teaching Russian as a foreign language.