YOU ARE WELCOME is a collaborative project of 13 partner organisations which endeavours to connect new arrivals, third country nationals residing in the countries involved in this project and native citizens. The partners are committed to support migrant and refugee integration, community development and deconstruct the process of migrant’s stigmatization.
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The project is supported by:
Strand 2: Democratic engagement and civic participation 2.2: Network of Towns
YOU ARE WELCOME: European Network for Integration of Refugees at Local Level and Combating Hate Speech
start date: 01/03/2017 – end date: 31/12/2018
WELCOME arose from identification of the dangers of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination arising in Europe, and brings together 10 countries and 13 partners committed to support migrant and refugee integration, community development and promoting evidence–based policy making in the area of migration. The aim of WELCOME is to deconstruct the process of migrants’ stigmatization, help communities involved overcome stereotypes and develop counter narratives for more accurate perceptions of migrants and refugees stemming in participating countries, especially in the UK, Central Europe and countries along the Balkan-route.
Through project activities, in the “How We View Each Other” research phase, WELCOME will assess how hate speech and propaganda arise on fertile ground of economic and security fears in selected communities, and how they contribute to radicalized behaviors both from the indigenous communities and new arrivals. Then, working with representatives of the most affected communities (including third-country nationals legally residing in the EU) during the “Otherness Dialogue” workshop, we will adapt the workshop content and give them skills to record educational videos and conduct workshops, and encourage dissemination of learning through social action.
Finally, at the Final Conference, we will strengthen the foundations for continued intercultural dialogue and increase of mutual understanding. The legacy of WELCOME will be a European transnational network of young activists, emerging leaders in their organizations, communities, municipalities, with ambitions to actively combat stigmatization of “immigrants” and build counter narratives to hate speech. It will provide tools like the Educational Videos and a Guidebook to foster intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and civic participation of third-country nationals, to continue beyond the life of the project, and to connect to a wider European community.
1st TRANSNATIONAL MEETING: April 2017, Dresden
Following some opening words by Mr. Christian Bart, representative of the Municipality of Dresden working at the European and International Relations Office of the City Hall of Dresden, we started our meeting with presentations about all partner organisations involved in the “Welcome” project. Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi, coordinator of the project and the kick-off meeting introduced the general outline of the project, its objectives and ultimate goals, the working methods and expected outcomes. In the afternoon, Sarah Haubold presented the current situation in Dresden regarding the refugee issue and the evolution of Hate Speech. Marie Neumann, student of Sociology, shared best practices for the inclusion and smooth integration of newcomers and Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi presented the project SELC- Shoot.Edit.Learn & Connect of Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V. which actively involved locals and people who live in Dresden that come from different countries, and have different religions and cultures. Finally, Felix Müller showcased workshops and methods that have been successfully implemented to include refugees and migrants. In the evening, our fellow representatives presented the current situation in their countries regarding the refugee issue, policies and strategies to deal with the issue and best practices for the inclusion of refugees and migrants and discussion followed.
photos by Olga Yocheva
Our team is both multilingual and multicultural, and our project stretches from Manchester to Greece; we speak a multitude of languages, from Hungarian to German, and we work across both geographical and cultural boundaries. What unites all of us is not only our shared expertise, as we are all organisations embedded in youth culture, but also our shared passion for the promotion of human and civil rights, pan-Europeanism, and the fostering of a European community which is truly united in its diversity.
This project will also bring together both public and non-governmental organisations, including both borough and municipal councils, with bodies like Oldham Council, whose institutional expertise enables both interdisciplinary insight and the opportunity for collaborative action.
1) Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V., Dresden (DE) – Lead partner
2) Municipality of Dresden (DE)
3) Memorare Pacem e.V., Dresden (DE)
4) Glaser Jakab Foundation, Budapest (HU)
5) Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, Oldham (UK)
6) Othernessproject, Helsingor (DK)
7) Civil Centre for Sustainable Development – EGRI, Kriva Palanka (MK)
8) Institute for Regional Development, o.p.s., Prague (CZ)
9) AddArt NGO, Thessaloniki (GR)
10) Municipality of Thessaloniki (GR)