German-Iranian qualification project for Afghan refugees in Iran

Since 2018, sequa has been involved in a project for the vocational qualification of Afghan refugees in Iran. Together with the Iranian refugee authority, Iranian vocational training centres and four local non-governmental organisations, basic and advanced training is offered in trades such as tailoring, construction, handicrafts or car mechanics, as well as qualification opportunities such as English, IT or literacy courses. In addition, entrepreneurial skills are strengthened and psychological counselling is offered. The project is active in the regions of Tehran, Kerman, Khorasan Razavi, Yazd and Alborz.

وب سایت پروژه به فارسی

تغییر به زبان فارسی


Bahram Amintorabi

Team Leader




Lea Zeppenfeld

Project Director



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


For many years now, an estimated 3 million Afghan refugees have been in Iran, mostly semi-legal and outside of the camps - a number that is bound to increase. By providing vocational training to refugees in several Iranian provinces, the ARIVET project simultaneously supports local training capacities and local trainees in need - a key point for the long-term acceptance of the project. Tile layers, welders and car mechanics, tailors or beauticians - close to two thousand people were or are involved in specialized courses since 2019, which are also intended to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills. In addition, there are language and literacy courses as well as psychological support services.

Recent project results

Vocational training courses provide Afghan refugees with vocational qualifications.

Together with the Iranian partner NGOs, pre-qualification courses (literacy, English, etc.) are offered in selected provinces. Here, almost 3,000 people were reached by the end of 2021. The vocational training courses were heavily affected by the COVID19 pandemic. Nevertheless, about 2,000 people were able to complete the courses offered.

The organisational and technical capacity of Iranian partner organisations with regard to vocational training is improved.

So far, a total of 114 teachers from the various vocational schools in the provinces have received further training, e.g. for the professions of welder, car mechanic or electrician. At the same time, 41 workshops were renovated and equipped - both at TVTO and at the partner NGOs. More than 300 employees at TVTO and NGOs were offered accompanying training, e.g. in business planning, setting up a business, or English.

Supportive measures improve the market connection of Afghan refugees and relevant Iranian target groups.

Nearly 500 people have participated in labour market orientation activities so far. On the one hand, courses on entrepreneurial skills and business start-ups are offered, on the other hand, there are coaching offers as well as psychological counseling.

Target groups

Originally, Afghan refugees were to be qualified so that they could regain a foothold in their home country. The political situation in Afghanistan has made the idea of return obsolete for the time being, but an improvement in living conditions without professional qualifications is unthinkable in Iran or any other country of refuge. The integration of needy Iranian trainees also helps with the acceptance of the measure and contributes to the stabilisation of the region. In addition, the institutions involved are strengthened to better fulfill their role in the future - to offer training content that is practical and in line with international standards.



The political partner in Iran is 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.


The partner is the Iranian Technical and Vocational Training Organisation, the Iranian body for all vocational schools in the country. TVTO has about 600 training centres throughout Iran and is the main provider of short-term vocational qualifications.

Iranian NGOS

To access Afghan communities in Iran, sequa cooperates with four Iranian NGOs that already work with Iranians and Afghan refugees in difficult socio-economic conditions. The Iranian NGOs implement measures such as alphabetisation courses, soft-skill training and labour market orientation.