Look around! You will see many people from different countries walking the streets of your town or village. Have you ever wondered what brought them to your country, what are their impressions and experiences from living here?
Or maybe you are an immigrant yourself but didn’t get a chance to meet in person some locals and make friends with them, to know more about how the things work in the country you are living in?
Then the following is worth reading….
Co-living of people from different cultures in the European Union member states is one of the major issues discussed not only by politicians, but by regular citizens and everywhere in media as well.
It turned out that the attempts of states (even those with broad experience in this field) to find successful models of integration, that would ensure quality coexistence of the majority society and immigrants, have failed.
Therefore it is now necessary to look for and create new ways of enhancing intercultural dialogue and invent integration models that can shorten the distance between the majority and immigrants, as well as prevent the emergence of bias against immigrants, extremist and hateful utterances.
One of such models became Rodina od vedle (Next Door Family) project. It was introduced in the Czech Republic in 2004 and is currently used here with significantly positive results. It derives from "inclusive neighborhoods concept", thus from the need to promote the emergence of individual friendship ties between the majority and immigrants and to remove barriers and mutual isolation. The project also responds to the issue of general public's perception on migration through individual contacts and large media campaign.
What is the project Next Door Family about?
The project brings together Czech families and families of foreigners living in the Czech Republic through common Sunday lunch in November every year. Every family meeting involves one local family, one immigrant family and an assistant, who helps in arranging the lunch at home of a participating family.
By now there have been organized 494 meetings of Czech families with families of immigrants living in the Czech Republic where 988 families in total were involved.
This year of the project is special as it gave a start to the international cooperation within integration of immigrants’ field at least in six other European Union member states: Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Slovakia and Spain. The international project is named as Next Door Family EU – Inclusive Neighborhoods and is supported by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals. In 2012 there will be organized at least 210 family meetings involving around 1800 persons and it is not only in project Partner countries, but also in the others, which are now eager to launch similar family meetings in their state. The above described model of "how to live together and not just next to each other" will help in establishment new contacts and relationships, friendships between the representatives of the majority society and immigrants, which found their new home in the EU.
Then do not hesitate to check the website sections, where you can find all the information regarding the project in the participating countries. Should you have any questions regarding the activities of the Next Door Family EU project - MultiCOOLtural evening We are at home here and family meetings - implemented by the IOM International Organization for Migration in the Slovak Republic, don’t hesitate to contact us:
IOM International Organization for Migration
811 09 Bratislava
Michal Milla, project coordinator in the SR
You did not find your country in the menu, but you like the idea to arrange similar family meetings in your country?
Then just contact us and we will help!
Team of Slovo 21
Address: Francouzská 2, 120 00 Praha 2
Phone: +420 222 511 434, 222 522 070, 222 518 554
Phone/fax: +420 222 520 037