Marking Trends, Refuge and Migrations

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a migrant is any person who moves, or has moved, across an international border or within a country, far away from his or her usual place of residence, regardless of his/her legal status, voluntary or involuntary nature of the displacement or causes of the displacement.  

The word migrant is in ll newspapers, television and other media in recent years. This fact is possibly caused by the migratory waves that have taken place in the last 8 years, especially in Europe. It should be noted that Europe has been, is and will be a migrant continent, where the flow of people entering and leaving the territory has been constant over the years. In the last decade, the arrival of people in the European territory has been harshly judged as stigmatized. As a result, European migration policies have tightened, adversely affecting people seeking new opportunities away from home.

Cities such as Barcelona have mobilized to respond to the wave of migration and have established multiple structures to support immigrants who need help. For example, the Service of Attention to Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees, coordinated by the City Council of the city of Barcelona, ​​attended 20,620 people in 2019. Not only public services have developed tools to protect the vulnerable migrant community, third-sector entities have also joined forces to work for the migrant community. Taking into account the need to improve the response to the situation of immigrants, the Fundació Catalunya Voluntaria (FCV), under the umbrella of the Fundación Anna Lindh, organized last Thursday 17th of June, the conference Marking Trends – Refuge and Migration on Casal de Barri Pou de la Figuera. 7 non-profit and non-governmental Catalan entities participated in this meeting: Artixoc, Irena-Juegos de Paz, Creart, FCV and the International Civil Service of Catalonia and Mescladís members of the REFAL network. There was also the testimony of Zuhair and Hany, Syrian immigrants currently living in Barcelona.

During the day, the participating entities shared good practices and tools that they use in their daily lives with migrants and / or refugees to offer them an appropriate response to their particular situation. The activities developed throughout the day served to exchange knowledge and discuss how to overcome migration challenges. Briefly, CreArt with its charming creative side, shared an artistic dynamic to work with both adults and children using mandalas; Irena-Games for Peace showed different educational tools (workshops, games, videos) that they use for awareness and education, particularly to children in schools; Mescladís explained their projects with the migrant group using cooking and the exchange of personal stories; Artixoc showed some of the theatrical activities and performances they have built as tools for non-formal education and awareness; International Civil Service showed one of its activities based on photography for an alternative understanding of the migratory reality and the ‘Entre Tierras’ initiative. Perhaps the most intense moment of the day occurred during the interventions of Zuhair and Hany, who shared their personal experience of flying from Syria and arriving to Barcelona. At the end of the day we tried to find positive synergies for future collaborations between projects of the entities involved.

From FCV we firmly believe in the need to share knowledge and learning with other entities in order to grow together towards a common goal, such as appropriately supporting newcomers to our territory and to raise awareness among  local population of their rights and situation. We hope this initiative is the first of many activities where we can learn, share and enjoy.  

We want to thank the promoters, for their commitment, the whole group of participants, for their contributions and the people of the FCV team who have helped in the organization. Thus, we want to express our gratitude towards the Spanish network of the Anna Lindh Foundation-European Institute of the Mediterranean, for its support of the activity.

17/06/2021 – Marking Trends, Refuge and Migrations