October 27, 2016, 5:53 PM
URI MENA participated in "Refugees, the Invisible Victims" Youth Exchange in Italy from the 22nd to the 27th of September, 2016
URI MENA was represented by Quested Peace Cooperation Circle in Jordan in "Refugees, the Invisible Victims" youth exchange, organized by Adefis Juventud Internacional in Lampedusa - Sicily, Italy, from the 22nd to the 27th of September, 2016.
The Italian island of Lampedusa is one of the entering gates to Europe for African and Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants who risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life.
The project, which was attended by 32 young participants from Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Portugal, Macedonia, Croatia, Turkey, and Spain, was meant to raise awareness about the experience and suffering of individuals who seek asylum in Europe, highlighting the challenges of hosting refugees from a human rights perspective. Also, it raised awareness of how to garner support and develop programs that provide meaningful opportunities to refugees in their new worlds. The participants had the opportunity to learn and check the initiatives and programs that civic society organizations and the Sicilian Regional Government are doing to provide urgent humanitarian aids to refugees and immigrants, as well as sustainable solutions to integrate refugees.
The participating countries shared their countries' experiences in hosting refugees. They had the chance to see locally made videos highlighting the refugee situation. Also, they saw the artwork of Syrian refugee children in the streets and visited a center for refugees in the town and spent quality times with refugees. The refugees invited them to a lunch meal cooked by the refugees themselves.
Moreover, the participants attended a press conference with the Mayor of Lampedusa and the president of the Erasmus+ Program in Italy, at the Town Hall, about the refugees' situation in the town and the efforts to help them. Furthermore, the participants had the chance to meet with the representative of the Lampedusa refugee center, who talked about the refugees’ stories and how they are adapting to their new home.
The intercultural dimension was in the project through many cultural activities including introducing countries' cultures, wearing traditional food and clothes, distributing souvenirs, and traditional dancing.
In love and peace,