German-Iranian qualification project for Afghan refugees in Iran

In June 2019, sequa established a project office and hired a team in Teheran, Iran, in order to implement a vocational training and education project for Afghan refugees living in Iran (ARIVET). The project targets Afghan refugees currently living in Iran with the aim to improve their employability and to secure their livelihood. With the skills provided by the project, the Afghan refugees shall, when the time comes, access job opportunities in their home country in order to return to Afghanistan voluntarily.


وب سایت پروژه به فارسی

تغییر به زبان فارسی


Susann Gerlach

sequa Iran Representative, Team Leader




Lea Zeppenfeld

Project Director




Estimations point to around 3 million Afghan refugees who are currently living in Iran. The majority of them fled from armed conflicts in their country or lost their means of existence through diverse acts of war. About one third of the refugees are in the possession of the Amayesh card, which enables them to stay legally in Iran and to take up employment there. In recent years the rights of refugees have been expanded, which also includes access to services and support offered by the Iranian state. The priority is to enable refugees to return voluntarily to their home country.

Public grant

The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Project period: 01.09.2018 to 31.12.2022

Desired project results

The organisational and technical capacity of the Iranian partner organisations with regard to VET is enhanced.

Possible activities are, for example, the organisation of study trips on topics such as refugee integration and job training, the offer of conferences on further thematic topics, the implementation of organisational development measures, the training of teachers and in-company trainers, the expansion and equipping of training centres, etc.

Vocational education and trainings courses provide Afghan refugees with professional qualifications.

Possible activities are, for example, the demand-oriented offer of literacy courses or soft-skill courses, the implementation of basic and advanced qualifications in crafts and trades, the implementation of further demand-oriented qualifications, the strengthening of the practical orientation of the qualifications offered to refugees, etc. The supportive measures shall improve market linkages of Afghan refugees and relevant Iranian target groups.

Accompanying measures strengthen the market orientation and the business competence of Afghan refugees.

Possible activities are, for example, the implementation of financial literacy courses and courses with business management contents, the implementation of start-up mentoring, the organisation of entrepreneurship competitions, the offer of incubators for refugees, etc.

Target groups

The project is aimed at the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are in need of qualification in order to gain access to their domestic labour market. Qualifications can be attended both by Afghan refugees and Iranian nationals, in order to avoid conflicts in their respective communities.
  • Iranian partner institutions that are active in the field of education and training. The project strengthens their capacities to implement training content in a practical manner and according to international standards.


German Partners

For the implementation of ARIVET, sequa closely cooperates with German business associations and organisations that have the necessary competence in the field of "vocational training". In cooperation with the Iranian vocational training institution TVTO, each partner organises targeted qualification courses in different sectors.


In Iran, sequa continuously coordinates with the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs (BAFIA), which is responsible for the general coordination of refugee affairs in Iran and thus accompanies all ARIVET activities.


In addition, the Iranian Technical and Vocational Training Organisation (TVTO) is involved in the project as a partner for implementing the qualification courses and as a recipient of the capacity development measures. TVTO has about 600 training centres throughout Iran and is the main provider of short-term vocational training in Iran. Attached to TVTO is the Instructor Training Center (ITC), which is responsible for the training of TVTO teachers. sequa cooperates with ITC for teacher qualification.

Iranian NGOS

To provide access to Afghan refugee communities in Iran, sequa cooperates with Iranian NGOs that already work with Iranians and Afghan refugees in difficult socio-economic conditions. The Iranian NGOs implement complementary measures in the ARIVET programme, such as literacy courses, soft-skill training and labour market-oriented measures.


Interpreter at the project inauguration

Official project start

Participants at the official project inauguration

Project planning workshop

SWOT analysis for partner NGOs