Meeting the Challenge of Migration & Integration in Romania and Europe Today

Romania / 10 dec 2018 - 13 dec 2018

With the rise in migration, and notably those with refugee status from the Middle East, we have noticed a widening gap between new arrivals and their European host communities. There is a lack of empathy, understanding and knowledge of the others' stories, and little effort to bring people together towards common goals. Organisations working with and for migrants have little opportunity to collaborate and coordinate, in order to provide better services and create partnership ideas. And migrants themselves are not often engaged in the social, political and cultural life of their new homes, lacking knowledge, tools and confidence to get involved. They have voices, but often need skills training in advocacy in order to know how to SPEAK! effectively to create change.

Our three-day event will seek to bridge the gap, and provide space for collaboration between organisations working with migrants and refugees, a celebration of diversity, and practical advocacy skills so that migrants and refugees can feel confident getting involved in civil and political life.

The first day will be an opportunity for organisations working with migrants to outline their services available, and for migrants themselves to have a voice detailing their experiences and gaps in the system from those it should support. Attendees will be representatives from government agencies and major NGOs such as UNHCR so as to have maximum impact and really make a difference in changing,improving and adapting policies. The second day will be focused on active partnership & project building to fill the gaps identified on day one, and will include interactive activities such as speed-dating between representatives of organisations working with and for migrants, as well as refugees and migrants themselves. The third day is an advocacy workshop specifically for migrants and refugees, in order for them to learn the skills of lobbying and the channels they can use to defend their rights.

All collaboration plans for new partnerships between participants and organisations will be documented and supported by follow-up workshops and trainings provided by PATRIR, in order to make sure the event has real and sustainable impact for migrants and refugees in Romania, and to ensure that real change happens. Participating organisations may display information stands on services provided as well as opportunities they provide for migrants and refugees, and which qualifications they seek. The first day will close with a cultural side event in the evening.

The one-day advocacy workshop,will allow refugees and migrants to discuss issues which affect them and which they would like to see changed. We will provide a full introduction to advocacy and community representation, thus encouraging the migrants to SPEAK! for themselves within the democratic process, where they have freedoms and rights just like every other citizen, though they may not know yet what those rights are. PATRIR will follow- up with these participants following the advocacy training in order to measure impact and progress on their SPEAKing!