World Refugee Day: I Get You
20 June 2016
Brussels, 20 June 2016 – For World Refugee Day, we celebrate two months of our ‘I Get You’ campaign. In that time, you have told us your stories and shared experiences of local activities run together with refugees. ‘I Get You’ goes to the very heart of World Refugee Day: it’s about people with diverse backgrounds learning and having fun together.
During the campaign so far we’ve heard about families hosting refugees in France, a bike workshop in Zagreb and a seminar on herbs and flowers in Malta amongst many different activities in different countries.
Volunteers, locals and refugees have all shared their experiences, showing us how building new communities together is even more than possible – it’s enjoyable, exciting and opens up new horizons for all involved.
Over one million people came to Europe in 2015 seeking safety from conflict and a chance to re-build their lives. They came from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea and Somalia. A big wave of welcome washed over Europe as locals opened their arms to these people in need. ‘I Get You’ is about sustaining and nourishing that spirit of welcome.
Above all, refugees are normal people who have faced extraordinary circumstances. ‘I Get You’ is not about politics or economics, it’s about enjoying our common humanity together. Through simple everyday acts we can show that the leaders who close borders and restrict access to protection are denying this.
In just one of the experiences shared as part of ‘I Get You’ Vyacheslav in Malta said: “No one is born with prejudices against migrants. As the person responsible for the JRS school outreach programme, I saw how open-minded children are. Being in the same class with foreigners and refugees is not an issue for them. They are together and they cannot even imagine that such differences might prevent them from playing, living or having fun together.”
We are pleased to announce that we have so far mapped almost 100 initiatives in the nine participating European countries. To find out more and nominate an initiative near you visit the ‘I Get You’ website here.
The more local initiatives we map, the stronger our voice in calling for positive and open societies.
During the ‘I Get You’ campaign so far we’ve heard about families hosting refugees in France, a bike workshop in Zagreb and a seminar on herbs and flowers in Malta amongst many different activities in different countries.