Press Release- I Get You

                                                                    

PRESS RELEASE 

I Get You: Refugees and citizens together against racism and xenophobia

Jesuit Refugee Service Malta launches publication on best practices to prevent racism and xenophobia towards forced migrants through community building

Community building initiatives, which bring people together to share experiences and get to know each other, promote the social inclusion of forced migrants and counter racism and xenophobia in society. 

This is the main conclusion of ‘I Get You’, a project led by JRS Europe, with national partners in eight countries, which mapped and evaluated civil society initiatives to learn from them how best to help refugees to rebuild their lives, while strengthening the community. 

When the project started in 2015, much of Europe was still coming to terms with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in search of protection. Their arrival was met with mixed reactions. While many responded with fear and hostility, others reached out to the new arrivals, opening the doors of their homes, offering shelter and practical support, and building relationships. 

I Get You celebrates these initiatives: civil society efforts, whether formal or informal, organised or spontaneous, which aim to bring down the walls that divide us and help people to come together, understand each other and build relationships.  

On a local level the report highlights the work being done by civil society organisations, which provide an array of basic, yet essential, services to refugees and forced migrants that they cannot get from elsewhere – and this with very limited resources.  It also underlines the urgent need to put in place policies, services and structures to promote and facilitate the integration of forced migrants in coherent and systematic manner, and makes several recommendations to this end. 

This report, with its focus on community building, is particularly pertinent in the current national context, where migrants and asylum seekers are too often portrayed and perceived as an unwelcome burden, bringing crime and disorder to local communities.  Our findings indicate that, while a strong legal framework with effective enforcement mechanisms is essential, this alone is nowhere near sufficient to ensure the wellbeing of our society. To achieve this we need to go beyond and to invest resources, time and energy in initiatives that promote understanding, respect and reconciliation between different communities living within our localities.

Malta report: https://issuu.com/sarahgiusti/docs/igymalta_pages 

Malta video: https://youtu.be/8suRpWknRIs

Europe video: https://youtu.be/AEoJo_VMN_o

The reports and project videos, highlighting examples of best practices in community building may be viewed at: http://www.igetyou-jrs.org/ 

For copies of the report contact: info@jrsmalta.org 

In case of enquiries, please contact: Katrine Camilleri – 7985 8099  


Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union 


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