“I Get You” Project against Xenophobia and Racism in Dealing With Refugees Presented in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

“I Get You” and Jesuit Refugee Service wish to spread and improve the culture of welcome in Europe and create inclusive communities where everyone is valued.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) presented the “I Get You” project – practices of local communities for fighting against xenophobia and discrimination in dealing with refugees as part of a panel which gathered representatives of local initiatives including Okus doma (The Taste of Home), Zelena akcija – projekt Biciklopopravljaona (Green Action – Bicycle Repair project), GTF – inicijativa za održivi rast (GTF – Sustainable Growth Initiative), Dobrodošli (Dear Refugees: Welcome to Croatia) initiative and Zagreb 041 football club.

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For the past two years, the project has been carried out together with JRS offices in eight other European countries (Belgium, France, Malta, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Spain). Find out more here.

The aim of the project is promoting best local initiatives practices which build the community and bring refugees and locals closer together. “I Get You” are local initiatives which include refugees in their work, offering assistance with integration and changing the local community perception and potential prejudices, said Kristina Samardžić of JRS Croatia.

The project started in 2016, when the EU policy started to change, leaning towards more restrictive asylum policies and attitude towards migrants and refugees. That same year Croatia witnessed a historic migration movement, when 670,000 passed through the country.

JRS Croatia director Tvrtko Barun says that there is no integration system in Croatia, but different elements and individuals who get involved on a personal level in different ministries and offices. “There are many flaws and negative things we need to work on, so the government should work together with the civil society because civil associations and organisations have quality projects and recognise refugees’ needs, but the system does not,” Mr Barun said.

“We, the citizens, participate in different initiatives to face the problems in our society. We feel that we are very successful in it and a good example for people who are afraid that they can’t do something. We try to make up for the things that they lack and our case should serve as an example because we have good recipes for success – good refugee integration and spreading positive stories, fighting racism and xenophobia,” Zinka Mujkić of the Taste of Home cooperative said. “Taste of Home is a culinary-cultural-research project that introduces the culture, customs and countries of origin of refugees and migrants in Croatia by recording their memories of home, smells and tastes of their cuisine” and you can find out more about it here.

“Food is the most beautiful and refined medium we can use to discuss the problems we are faced with. Everyone likes to eat and try something new. That is what we offer – something new, genuine and original. Our chefs prepare original food from their home countries, their family recipes that remind them of their childhood, family and friends,” Ms Mujkić said.

Translated from www.jrs.hr.

Find out more about JRS Croatia on their website and Facebook.


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