Mobilised for Unaccompanied Minors

2018-06-14T00:25:09+02:00

More than 170,000 asylum-seeking children and youth have arrived alone in Europe since 2015. As the Church responds, it can be beneficial to come together to consider how God asks us to continue to care for these youth. How can we share resources and learnings? What do we still need to better understand about their experiences and their dreams for their futures? Where does a dialogue on faith fit into our relationships with these youth? The Mobilised for Unaccompanied Minors (M.U.M.) Network serves as a gathering place for churches, ministries and Christian individuals who help (or want to help) unaccompanied children and youth.

 

MUM exists to facilitate the dialogue, share or create needed resources, and raise awareness among the churches who are not yet connected with these youth. We seek to learn together how best to come alongside unaccompanied minors as their new community, to empower them to find solutions to their situations and work with them as they recover from trauma and renew their hope for their futures. We also serve as a voice to the Church, community and governments on behalf of these minors.

 

We work together in several ways:

  • Network of Ministries: We host monthly calls and connect via email and our Facebook Group to share best practices, identify gaps in care for unaccompanied refugee youth, raise awareness of the plight of these youth within our communities and advocate on their behalf.
  • Resources for churches, our communities, and unaccompanied asylum-seeking youth: We work together to create or share resources for these youth and for churches and communities.
  • Awareness raising: Through relationships with organisations and other networks, we raise awareness about the needs and vulnerabilities of these youth, as well as their resiliency and potential to build a solid future if given a chance to participate in community. Through these networks, we seek to connect youth with caring churches and individuals who can befriend them on their journeys.

Learn more about these youth, access resources and join the MUM Network: http://refugeeconnect.yolasite.com/Unaccompanied-Minors.php

Find out how your church can help: http://refugeeconnect.yolasite.com/how-can-our-church-help.php

For more information, contact Kaylee Kolditz.

A new resource helping Churches to meet the emotional needs of refugees

2018-06-13T23:24:44+02:00Tags: , |

Many refugees have been in survival mode for so long they have forgotten how to grieve. Some feel traumatised by their memories of the past, and others are worn down through the complicated procedures on which their hopes for a new start rest. The challenges of gaining legal status, finding housing, securing employment and learning language are important to work through in the process of integration, but perhaps the most essential factor for the long term success in building a new life is emotional wellbeing.

This is where Life Transitions Refugee aims to help. Our Reflective Journey gives refugees the opportunity and the tools to start to commemorate the past, to accept the present, and to look forward to the future with hope.

We train and resource churches, community groups and charities to host the Reflective Journey. Drawing on biblical stories, the journey takes participants through four interactive stations helping them mark their arrival, and preparing them for the challenges of building a new life. Through the process participants gain an understanding of the impact of trauma, normalizing some of the symptoms they may be experiencing. They are given a safe space to start to grieve, and their emotional resilience is built up.

“When we were introduced to Life Transitions we felt like we finally had an effective tool in our hands to help. As a pastor and missionary among refugees I highly recommend Life Transitions Refugee for churches engaged with displaced people

(Reinhard Leistner – Head of Refugee work for BFP / Assemblies of God Churches in Germany)

The Reflective Journey is currently available in 6 languages and has been run by ministries supporting refugees in Germany, Belgium, Greece and the UK. There is also an adapted version for children and victims of human trafficking.

To find out more visit www.ltrefugee.org

Document to download: LTarticleforchurches

Update from Itzinya

2018-06-13T23:25:15+02:00

There were expectations in the air as people mingled with coffee and cake. A fresh blend of well established Swedish business people, family and friends from Syria, representatives from different governmental functions, even a representative from the Swedish Parliament and media were filling the room.

We are proud to present a group of 9 entrepreneurs who will pitch their business ideas today” said Hakan Sandberg, the founder of the Itzinya concept, as the program started. After Hakan introduced Itzinya, Khaldoun Sarraj from Syria continued to give a picture of what it mean to be a new arrival in Sweden. “As new arrivals we came eager to rebuild our lives but with only the initial idea in our minds, and then we worked together at Itzinya to come closer to our final “product”. What you will see today is the result of hard work. We have an unusual situation. We struggle with language, to understand the Swedish tax system, we need to build relations both in business and private and in many ways we feel like we are starting all over again like children”. Khaldoun who has an MBA from Dubai and have been responsible at Mercedes after sales department in Dubai, with 200 people reporting to him, is himself a clear example of this difficult transition. He is now full time staff with Itzinya and will lead the work in Norrkoping moving forward.

Then one after the other pitched their ideas to the audience. It was a mix of business ideas that had come to a variety of different stages. Many in the audience were surprised when they heard the experience the entrepreneurs had behind them from both studies and previous jobs that laid the basis for the ideas they were now working hard to realise. There was one invention for TV studios, already proven and sold in the Arab world but that the entrepreneur now wanted to start manufacturing in Sweden for global export. Another is planning to start a business coordinating the ground handling and flight permissions for aviation companies, something that he has previous experience of. If he succeeds, he will need to employ people to work 3 shifts due to the nature of this kind of business. Yet another is starting a new global perfume brand targeting a customer segment that no one previously have thought of and he has extensive experience in this industry. A couple of restaurants and one export company for medical equipment were also pitched. The export company had already shipped its first batch to his first customer. One could easily read the pride those entrepreneurs felt as they pitched and their sense of hope for the future.

“It is amazing to see the change this group has gone through during those 4 months” said Hakan. When they met the first time and introduced themselves they were all strangers to one another. They explained how they didn’t have any contact with Swedish people, no knowledge of the language and how they felt totally outside society. This group was all in the category that had not yet got their residence permits and therefore was not eligible for language study. A period that currently is more than 12 months from their arrival. Now after 4 months they are like a big family that trust, help and encourage one another. They got to know many Swedish people both in business and privately. They all have a personal coach and by now most of them have received their permissions and started language studies. They are excited over the opportunity to add value to their new society. And all these are just “side effects” of the startup process, Hakan stated this reality with a smile!

He ended saying; “We have tested this with one group of new comers and know that it works. We are now ready to expand both to other cities in Sweden and to other cities in Europe that has the same need of job creation and integration”.

Itzinya is looking to start multiplying the concept where it is needed. They would be happy to host a Skype call with interested people as a way for them to get introduced to the concept and be able to validate whether they should move on with serious plans. You can contact them at [email protected]

Find the first article about this project here.

The EEA signed the March Appeal to EU leaders with 160+ organisations

2018-06-13T23:52:39+02:00

Ahead of the European Council (9-10 March), the EEA joined more than 160 Civil Society Organisations in asking the European Union Member States to respect Human Rights for refugees coming to Europe and people on the move.

This month of March 2017 is particularly important as regards of the EU’s management of the refugee crisis: on Thursday and Friday this week the Head of State and Government will approve new decisions for migration policies, on the 15th Dublin returns to Greece will start and March 18th will see the first anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal permitting readmissions of refugees to Turkey.

We want the EU institutions and leaders to stand on the values it was founded on. That is the only way to counter national populism.

“On the brink of the European Union’s 60th anniversary we ask you to show solidarity, respect for humanity and dignity, and responsibility. We ask you to be truly inspiring leaders for the future. Our commitment to the European Union’s core values cannot falter. Only a Europe that really stands by its values can be a strong and credible leader in a world shaken by increasing populism and so-called alternative facts.”

Find the document here: FINAL March Appeal ENGLISH


Full text

8 March 2017

 

Dear Heads of State and Government,

 

We are civil society organisations, which are supported, collectively, by hundreds of thousands of people across Europe, working with those less fortunate to alleviate poverty, provide essential aid and defend people’s rights.

 

With xenophobic populism on the rise across Europe and the globe, this is an appeal for leadership to uphold the rights and values that have been founding principles of the European Union for 60 years. Together, we need to prevent legitimate concerns about migration management from being hijacked and used to derail the European project.

 

On a daily basis, we witness widespread solidarity with people who are fleeing brutal wars, persecution, human rights violations, instability, and extreme poverty. Throughout Europe and the world, we see people welcome refugees and migrants into their communities, open up their homes and donate money, materials and time to help. Only this week, many of them travelled to Brussels to call on you to uphold your commitments to relocate asylum seekers from Greece and “Bring Them Here”. We also hear people expressing their concerns about the future, asking their governments to show leadership and respond to the arrival of large numbers of people.

 

We take pride in the European commitment to international law and human rights and we look to you to foster and promote this commitment at home and abroad. Yet when increasing numbers of people in need arrived in the summer of 2015, Europe failed to come together and respond with humanity, dignity, and solidarity.  To this day, European nations are unwilling to respond in in line with their obligations under international and European law, defaulting to responses that keep people far away and out of sight.

 

We hear you repeating your commitment to European values – respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. But we expect to see them in your actions, too. Too many leaders have been preoccupied with stopping people from reaching Europe, at the risk of reducing access to protection for those who need it the most.

 

You have the responsibility to manage migration in a fair manner that addresses the legitimate concerns of citizens. It must be principled and based on facts, not on populist rhetoric. Strength doesn’t mean turning away those most in need. Strength is about showing a way forward that upholds values.

 

Further, if the EU and its member states want to remain credible international actors, they cannot expect countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to host millions of refugees, while simultaneously pushing migrants and refugees back at EU borders, stranding thousands in inhumane living conditions on the Greek islands, or pushing them back into an uncontrolled conflict zone like Libya. Your decisions have life and death consequences, and if you continue to lower standards, countries around the globe will follow suit.

 

Instead of countering the rise of xenophobic populists, Europe’s response has too often been to copy their recipes. But an approach based on deterrence and border closures cannot override an effective long-term policy. We expect statesmanship that stands up for humanity and dignity and that addresses people’s fears, instead of fuelling them. We expect sustainable, long-term migration policies that guarantee respect for people’s rights rather than pushing them into danger. These include expanding safe and regular pathways to Europe, such as humanitarian and other visas, increasing resettlement spaces and improving access to family reunification schemes, as well as improving worker mobility across skill levels. Other global concerns such as conflict and instability, poverty, inequality and climate change must remain at the top of the European agenda.

 

You and your governments must assess the impact of your policies on the human rights and living conditions of women, men and children on the move, as well as Europe’s long standing commitment to uphold these rights and improve the lives of people everywhere.

 

On the brink of the European Union’s 60th anniversary we ask you to show solidarity, respect for humanity and dignity, and responsibility. We ask you to be truly inspiring leaders for the future. Our commitment to the European Union’s core values cannot falter. Only a Europe that really stands by its values can be a strong and credible leader in a world shaken by increasing populism and so-called alternative facts.

 

European history is full of people who were forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution.  The work European nations have done to develop and protect the rights of people over the last 70 years cannot be lost. Only a Europe that defends the rights of everyone, without exception, is a Europe we can be proud of.

 

Signatories

 

1A Proposito di Altri Mondi Onlus
2ACAT
3ACRA
4ACT Alliance EU
5Action Against Hunger
6ActionAid Italy
7ADP Amici dei Popoli
8African Media Association Malta
9Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme
10AI.BI. Amici dei Bambini
11AIDOS
12Albanian Human Rights Group (AHRG)
13AMERA International
14Amnesty International
15Anna Lindh National Network in Finland
16AOI – Associazione Organizzazioni Italiane cooperazione e solidarietà internazionale
17ARCI
18ARCS
19Arsis
20ASGI – Associazione Studi Giuridici Immigrazione
21Asociacion en Prevencion y Asistencia de la Violencia   APAV
22Asociación pro derechos humanos de España (APDHE)
23ASPEm Onlus
24Associació Salut i Família
25Associaton for Integration and Migration (SIMI)
26Associazione K_Alma
27ASTI – Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés
28Austrian Red Cross
29CARE International
30CARITAS – Luxembourg
31Caritas Europa
32CEFA Onlus
33CEFIS
34CELIM
35Centar za integraciju mladih
36Centro per la Formazione alla Solidarietà Internazionale
37Cercle de Coopération
38CESVI
39CIAI
40CICSENE
41CIES
42CIRÉ (coordination et initiatives pour réfugiés et étrangers)
43CISV Onlus
44Civic Committee for Human Rights from Croatia (CCHR)
45CLAE
46CODE – Coordination des ONG pour les droits de l’enfant
47COMI
48Comitato Collaborazione Medica CCM
49Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ)
50Concord Italia
51CONCORD Sweden
52Consejo de la Juventud de España
53Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations in the Czech Republic
54Consorzio Ong Piemontesi COP
55Coordinadora de ONG para el Desarrollo – España
56Coordinamento Italiano NGO Internazionali
57Cordaid
58COSPE Onlus
59CrEA Onlus
60CVM Comunità Volontari per il Mondo
61Danish Refugee Council
62Detention Action
63Diaconia – Center of Relief and Development
64DNK – German National Committee for International Youth Work
65Doras
66Dorcas Aid International
67Dutch Council for Refugees
68Dutch League for Human Rights (DLHR)
69EMERGENCY ONG – ONLUS
70EU-CORD
71EuroMed Rights
72European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH),
73European Evangelical Alliance
74European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation ENGSO Youth
75European Youth Forum
76Federación de Asociaciones para la Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos España
77FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
78Finnish League for Human Rights (FLHR)
79Finnish Lutheran Overseas Mission
80Finnish Refugee Council
81FMSI
82FOCSIV – Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario
83Fondazione Fontana
84Fundación Atabal
85Generation 2.0 for Rights ,Equality and Diversity
86GVC
87Habitat for Humanity International, Europe, Middle East and Africa
88Handicap International
89Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR)
90Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights – Poland
91Human Rights Watch
92ICMC Europe
93International Aid Services
94International Association For Refugees
95International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
96International Rescue Committee
97International Young Naturefriends – IYNF
98INTERSOS
99IPSIA
100Islamic Relief UK
101JRS
102JRS Belgium
103KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism
104Kopin
105La Strada International
106Lafede.cat- Federació catalana
107Latin American Wome’s Rights Service (LAWRS) – UK
108Latvian Human Rights Committee (LHRC)
109Le Monde des Possibles ASBL
110Legambiente
111LIDU – Lega italiana dei Diritti dell’Uomo
112Ligue des Droits de l’homme en Belgique (LDH)
113Ligue suisse des droits de l’homme (LSDH)
114Link2007 – Cooperazione in rete
115LVIA
116Macedonian Young Lawyers Association
117MANI TESE
118Marche solidali – coordinamento organizzazioni marchigiane di cooperazione e solidarietà internazionale
119Médecins du Monde
120Menedek – Hungarian Association for Migrants
121Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
122Migrant Voice – UK
123Migrants’ Rights Network
124Missing Children Europe
125Movimento Shalom onlus
126Naga
127Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre
128Norwegian Centre against Racism
129One Third Sweden
130ONG para el Desarrollo
131Osservatorio AIDS
132Overseas
133Oxfam
134Pax for Peace
135PICUM
136Platform Kinderen op de vlucht – Plate-forme Mineurs en exil
137Polish Migration Forum
138Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law (PSAL)
139PRO ASYL
140PRO.DO.C.S.
141ProgettoMondo Mlal
142Rainbow for Africa
143Red Acoge
144Save the Children
145Secours Islamique France
146SKOP – The National Platform of Maltese Development NGOs
147SONIA per un Mondo Nuovo e Giusto
148SPARK15
149stichting LOS (National Support Organisation for the Undocumented)
150Stichting Vluchteling
151Swedish Refugee Advice Centre
152Terra Nuova
153Terre des Hommes
154The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU Kehys
155The Migrants’ Rights Network
156Trócaire
157U.V.I.S.P.-ASSISI
158United Protestant Church in Belgium
159Welthungerhilfe
160WeWorld
161with the support of CONCORD Europe
162World Vision

 

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