Let´s get to know each other: Local government level community events in the field of international protection
The project in brief
Ministry of the Interior / MTÜ Pagulasabi (Estonian Refugee Council)
October 1, 2017 - March 31, 2019.
TITLE: Saame tuttavaks! Kohaliku tasandi koostööüritused rahvusvahelise kaitse valdkonnas (Let´s get to know each other! Local government level community events in the field of international protection)
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the project was to create an environment in which refugees, other foreigners and locals can come together, meet and socialize.
The aims of the project are:
- to increase the collective awareness of forced migration and adaption/early integration processes among Estonian society
- to increase the sense of unity of local communities and openness towards people who have been granted international protection in Estonia
- to increase active participation in community events of people who have been granted international protection in Estonia.
- Partner NGOs: Johannes Mihkelson Centre, International House Tartu, Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation
- Local governments all over Estonia
Challenges and how they were overcome
The main challenge encountered was the fact that there are rather few refugees in Estonia, especially who speak Estonian and/or English and who are interested in attending and selling their products/offering services/sharing their experiences at such events.
Also, there are areas, such as islands or some peripheral areas, which don´t have any refugees and few people with a migrant background in general. At the same time, in these areas, there was a lot of interest for such events and local cafes contacted the project partners for further cooperation.
How they were overcome
In order to overcome the lack of potential participants with a refugee status, same people participated for various events in different areas of Estonia. This gave chance for locals in remote areas or areas where there are no refugees, to meet and get to know each other through the community events.
Results of the Good Practice
- The host community has become more aware on forced migration
- The project supported creating contact between locals and refugees/ foreigners
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
This particular good practice meets concretely this objective by giving to the target group different networking opportunities.
A similar project started November 2019, and it will last until end of 2020.
Kerli Zirk, Ministry of the Interior / MTÜ Pagulasabi (Estonian Refugee Council)