This Sunday opens the summit for A World of Neighbours network, which we are associated with. It is a noteworthy initiative, which we have already taken part in multiple times.
This year’s programme for the summit consists of workshops, lectures, discussion panels, film screenings and concerts. It is a week devoted to debates and meetings on how to work together for a humanitarian, inclusive and socially cohesive Europe of neighbours.
How did it all start?
During the peak of the 2015 refugee crisis, Antje Jackelen, Head of the Church of Sweden since 2014, asked herself what role she should play being the religious leader in Europe. Media reports of the tragic living conditions of people arriving in Europe made it clear to her that supporting and empowering migrants across Europe is essential.
That is how A world of Neighbours network was created. The main objective of this initiative is to develop an effective strategy of supporting migrants and refugees as well as practitioners, religious groups and NGOs working with them. The goal is supposed to be achieved through media and the way we talk about migration in public.
New solidarity – a world of neighbours
Together with activists from around the world, we aim to build more cooperating, empathetic societies that will be able to respond to the two greatest challenges of the modern world – migration and climate change.
The entire event takes place online and runs from February 20-24. The afternoon and evening meetings are open to the general public.
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We would like to draw your attention especially to these two events:
A conversation “THE BORDERS OF DEMOCRACY – WELCOME TO FORTRESS EUROPE!”, held on February 21 at 3.15 p.m. During this meeting, Prof. Itamar Mann, human rights lawyer, Prof. Katja Franko and Prof. Peo Hansen will discuss the normalisation of violence and the violations of human rights against migrants taking place at European borders. We will also take a closer look at the economic exclusion of most asylum seekers and political refugees. The discussion will be moderated by Aude Sathoud. You will find a link to this event, which takes place on the Zoom platform, below. More information can be found here.
Join the discussion “The borders of democracy” >>>
Read a testimony of people who tried to force a fortress Europe >>>
Another event we highly recommend joining is a discussion panel “HOW IS SOLIDARITY CONSTRUCTED IN PRACTICE? SUPPORTING ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM GRASSROOTS ENGAGEMENTS TO EUROPEAN LEVEL POLITICS”. It will take place on February 22 at 2 p.m.
The guests will be Ulla Siirto and Timo Keskitalo from the Finnish Ecumenical Council. Key speakers will be also Sanna Valtonen, who actively supports asylum seekers and Tuija Samila. Tuija is a parish priest from Olari parish in Espoo. They will discuss how to help individuals in our communities and create friendly communities for migrating people. Other subjects that will be discussed are questions on how to lead volunteers or how to talk on the media. How we should submit the already developed solutions? How to communicate to decision-makers the goals necessary to achieve a safer future for people coming to Europe? A link to the meeting can be found below. More information can be found here.
Join the discussion “How is solidarity constructed in practice?” on Zoom >>>
Thirdly, on Thursday, February 24 at 3:30 p.m., we invite you to a discussion “Keeping our humanity alive”. It will be led by the archbishop Antje Jackelen with the participation of, among many others, Anna Alboth. The discussion will be broadcasted on our fan page on Facebook.
We kindly invite and encourage you to join!
Article by Katarzyna Makarowicz. Translation by Justyna Krawczyk. Reviewed by Maja Robaszkiewicz.