Integration, Interculturalism, and Sharing to celebrate the European Week Against Racism in Patras
For the European Week Against Racism and the International Day Against Racism, several events took place in the city of Patras, Greece. The initiatives are part of the local action plan for the integration of migrants that matches the objectives of the Patras strategy for interculturalism and its activation as an ICC member.
One of the main programs during the week, “No child is foreign! Share your Universe, was hosted by the radio station of the University of Patras during the European Week Against Racism. The program combines fairy tales and stories read by migrant children and adults. The first hour of the radio broadcast covered stories narrated by children in their native languages, aiming to combine cultures and to promote common worldwide human values that unite all people. During the second hour of the same radio program, narrations were done by adults, members of the migrant communities of Patras applying a similar methodology, and the topics addressed migration, refugee issues and diversity. The partners of this program were the municipality of Patras, the Association of Migrant communities in Patras, SOYIOUZ (RU), LUCEAFARUL (RO), EMIGRANTI (AL) and UNIONLATINA (Latin America).
Another event within the “No child is foreign! Share your Universe!” program, scheduled for the 21st of March, the International Day Against Racism, was a theatrical performance by the joint Antiquities of Achaia, the Directorate of Secondary Education of Achaia Prefecture, the Theatrical Team of Multi-phonic Orchestra of Patras, and supported by the Municipality of Patras. Among other themes, the play addressed the values of democracy, solidarity and human values, providing food for thought.
Also raising awareness about the refugees was a workshop entitled “hey psst! Bazid ….”, organized by the Patras Park for Educational Activities and supported by the International Committee of Peace. A team of Erasmus student from the Lyceum of Pratas, together with a team of young male refugees, organized a screening of a documentary film directed by Anna Gourzi, showing the testimonies of refugees from Iran, Afganistan, and Syria about the war conditions that forced them to leave their countries. After the screening, a workshop on creative writing took place to help the attendees express their impressions and feelings.
Finally, during the week, the playgrounds of primary schools remained open after working hours to engage teachers, students, and their parents and take a part in “We Play Together for Diversity”, a program that aims at the children’s (ages 4-12) ability to recognize the feelings of others, showing empathy and becoming aware of diversity. The program was created by volunteers from the Greek Guiding association, using a participatory methodology in practice, to involve stakeholders from various sectors, to attract the interest of the general public, to cultivate anti-stereotypes behaviors, and to become an institution that everybody involved can be proud of!
All the events that took place during the “No child is foreign! Share your Universe” initiative were designed through a participatory process involving thirty stakeholders in total, in the sectors of education, culture, sports, equality, and civil society.