ZAGREB, October 20, 2018 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) organised in downtown Zagreb on Saturday a get-together of refugees and citizens so that, by getting to know one another, they can become closer and contribute to the inclusion and acceptance of refugees.
Volunteers and one refugee family gave passers-by flyers and copies of the Staze magazine as well as talking, playing music and hanging out with citizens.
“We wish to include people in everyday life, so that they can contribute with their values and knowledge, but also show us something that was unknown to us until now,” said Martina Prokl Predragović of the JRS. “A majority of (refugees) are families with underage children who very quickly join the collective… in kindergartens and schools. They are the first to learn the language and pull the integration of the whole family,” she added.
Good and timely integration is the key for the emancipation of refugees, but the integration system in Croatia is not sufficiently organised, she said.
The get-together, called “Yesterday strangers, today neighbours,” was held as part of the “72 hours without compromise” drive, organised by young volunteers from around the country.
Staze is a multilingual refugee magazine carrying testimonies and life stories of refugees and volunteers. “It is created in cooperation with refugees and is intended for refugees and the local community,” said Prokl Predragović.
Since 2004, 600 persons have been granted international protection in Croatia and less than 300 are currently waiting for asylum in reception centres.