Workshop for Gymnázium Giraltovce teachers in the ERASMUS+ project
Refugees and migrants seeking future in a united Europe
On 31.1.-1.2.2018 we participated in activities and discussions about raising awareness of the life of migrants in Slovakia. The meeting took place in a pleasant atmosphere in the recreation area of Domaša Dobrá. Project coordinator Mrs. Kopčáková has prepared an excellent meeting. Migration-related materials were precisely prepared both in terms of form and content, in the form of texts, images, videos and Internet links. At the beginning of the meeting, we draw up a questionnaire about the attitudes of people and our own to people of different nationalities, religions and skin color, which we entered into the subject matter. Later on schedule was a short documentary film about migrants who were able to adapt to life in Slovakia and successfully lead their lives here and at the same time talk about how locals perceive them after long years. Immediately after the end of the documentary film, we worked up quizzes about migrants. Then we opened a fruitful discussion about what we saw in the film and whether our opinion on migrants has changed. The opinions were different, what helped us to reflect on the different points of view on migration. After a really busy discussion, we ended this educational meeting with activity on the Internet, focusing on how much we perceive various racial, religious and sexual references to the public.
Migration as a current global problem has also affected Slovakia in recent years. We are often associated with fear, despite the fact that in most cases it is not in the interests of migrants to harm the country in which they want to settle. On the contrary, their motivation is to find a new home in both the foreign and our country. Can we just leave our country without a serious reason? People leaving their country leave their loved ones for very serious reasons such as fleeing from war, persecution and oppression. This makes it impossible for them to live a normal life in their own country. Although migration should primarily be addressed by the country from which people flee, I think that in terms of humanity, we should feel co-responsible.
As the culmination of the meeting, a questionnaire was prepared, which was a summary of the discussed topics. Each participant had the opportunity to express himself freely and was given the opportunity to express his opinion and view on the subject of migration.
The meeting and our project activities were a useful source of migration information. They brought us another look at the refugee. Therefore, refugees are not just inadaptable people who promote their culture and damage our country. Even though some of them are like that. But there are also people who have found a job here, are successful, have found a new home and family here, often having to face competition from our population, a strange look, allusions of passers-by, children mocking classmates. They are people who desire for free life.
On the other hand, we agreed that, unfortunately, the topic of migration is still present in the media and is mainly given as a contribution to our society. However, there is a lack of perspective that would also point to the negative aspects of migration that unfortunately exist and which we will not learn about in the mainstream media, because only one view of the issue is pushed. And this distorts the view of migration, as well as the understanding and opinions of ordinary people.
After our activities we confirmed that Slovakia is not ready for mass migrants’ income, we still see them as a threat, which is obviously justified. However, in small quantities and with certainty that they will adapt, we could tolerate them and change the overall view of them. Anyway, these are current questions that each of us will be confronted with sooner or later and will have to take a stance.