Aktualisiert: 14. Jan. 2022
Interview of Argyri Kaoukaki from Greece after the Training Course "Welcome Friends" in Torremolinos.
Can you give us your opinion about the project "Welcome friends"?
The project was very interesting and we explored the current issues on migration. We had the chance to discuss, exchange views, share our opinions and thoughts and debate by dialogue on the topic. All participants were fully engaged to the project and the fact that they were coming from different countries made the project even more interesting, enhancing the pluralism and different perspective on the topic. Learning by doing and peer to peer discussion were the methods that we used during our group activities, in which we explored different topics such as migration routes, the current situation in every participant’s country at the moment, and discussed also about integration. It was a unique experience as not only the topic was interesting and we learned about it but we had the chance to meet people from other countries, e.g. I have never met a person from Lithuania and I didn’t know much about the country, so now I am even thinking of visiting the country! This is an example of getting people across Europe closer, and enhancing the European identity. I feel lucky and thankful that I got the chance to participate in this project.
What can the Eureopean Union do to better protect refugees? or What can
Europe do to welcome refugees?
In my opinion, safe routes for refugees shall be created as the death rate in the Mediterranean is high and Europe should act on that preserving the humanitarian values that European union has. Additionally, further steps and actions need to be taken on the smuggling issue and more specifically on trafficking people, avoiding refugees to be exploited during their journey. Furthermore, for actual protection, if possible, in the countries of origin, e.g. instead of funding countries at the borders such to use these amount of money either to ameliorate the conditions in the countries or origin or to use it in order to have a better reception system in Europe. Helpful towards this situation would be the equal distribution of refugees in the member states avoiding to create an emergency situation in some countries that are closer to the borders and offer equal help by facing the situation as an issue that European union has.
What will you do at the local level to promote the integration of refugees
and migrants in your country? Do you have some suggestions for activities to
raise awareness on the topic or measures to take? Raise awareness in the local community and inform people about the actual situation as usually people tend to have misinformation from mass media. In this direction I believe that misinformation from mass media has to be restricted as it does not help at any point in the integration, thus causing further issues in the society. Of course, further action and steps needs to be taken for the integration and specifically for connecting local business with refugees who need or seek for work. I believe that by organizing events in local level in which refugees can also participate and get engaged with locals, as a festival of exchanging culture it can be helpful at a first level to break barriers and stereotypes. Very crucial for integration is learning the language, so cultural and language courses should organized by the government not only for children but also for adults who wish to remain in the country. Personally, what I could do is to share my knowledge gained from the project and ideas with stakeholders who are responsible for migration in my country.