VIDEO campaign: spotlight on refugee integration

19 June 2017

PRESS RELEASE 19 June 2017, Brussels – As part of the ‘I Get You’ campaign, JRS Europe mapped 315 grassroots refugee initiatives across 9 EU countries. Now, for Refugee Day, we proudly launch 9 campaign videos that put some of these projects into focus.

“We thank everyone who took part in the filming, refugees, volunteers and ordinary citizens. We hope these videos will inspire others to take part in initiatives and help build new and diverse communities,” says JRS Europe regional director, Jose Ignacio Garcia SJ.

To get a flavour of the entire campaign watch the European video, which contains highlights from all 9 national videos. They cover a huge range of communities and activities:

Belgium: Flavia, a refugee from East Africa is hosted by Brussels local, Brigitte

  • Croatia: Cooking project ‘Taste of Home’ in Zagreb
  • France: A Christian family from Iraq find refuge in the Taize community
  • Malta: Mohamed from Sudan set up an association and works as a car painter
  • Italy: ‘Luz y Norte Musical’ are a band of locals and refugees who perform concerts
  • Germany: Locals in Plauen, eastern Germany call for integration not isolation
  • Portugal: Meet Saddam who gets his first surf lesson in Nazare, his family fled Syria
  • Romania: Meet Syrian rapper, Ali, at Timisoara cultural festival
  • Spain: Local students support Moroccan youth migrants in Bilbao

Each 3-minute video is available in English and the local language. Media cleaned versions are available for television. Please see this YouTube playlist for all videos.

These community building initiatives are breaking down fear and stereotypes and they are creating new opportunities for all involved.

“I cannot do anything about the war, I cannot stop the influx of migrants, but maybe I can change the life of one person,” says Brigitte who hosted Flavia in her home in Brussels.

Across all the initiatives filmed refugees and migrants themselves are key actors, volunteering and helping on an equal footing with locals. 

“We have to make some effort as migrants, not only the Maltese or European people. It is up to us, I think. This is what I believe.” – Mohamed, refugee from Sudan and founder of the Sudanese Association in Malta.

The JRS campaign ‘I Get You’ breaks down stereotypes and combats racism and xenophobia by bringing people together. We believe joint activities are the best way to build mutual understanding and new friendships. 

This project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union.

Press contact:

Oscar Spooner

JRS Europe Communications Officer 

Tel: +32 2 554 02 21

“We hope these videos will inspire others to take part in initiatives and help build new and diverse communities.”