NIGHT 2019 is the biggest cultural event in Plovdiv and it is visited by more than 40 000 people. One of the highlights of the NIGHT 2019 festival held on 13-15 September was the event ‘Human Library, Community, Communication, Common space’ organised by CVS Bulgaria and UNHCR. Risk Monitor took part in the event and presented the INTEGRA project.

The Human library is a method which aims to address people’s prejudices by helping them to talk to those they would not normally meet. The organisation uses a library analogy of lending people rather than books. These people have experienced prejudice, like social exclusion or stigma, and participants can ask them questions so as to learn about the other person and also challenge their own prejudices.

The Human Library event in the framework of NIGHTposed migrants as books and attracted hundreds of visitors who sat down with one or more books and read their stories. The event was very emotional and many people who met a refugee for a first time came back to ask how they could support and be more involved with migrants integration in Bulgaria.

Integration Centre Prague has organised two presentations on Syria and refugees for elementary school students as a part of the INTEGRA-day campaign series. The presentations took place on 11th of September in a cultural centre at Prague 22 as a part of local community event Day of Health and Equal Opportunities. The presentations were prepared in cooperation with Rober Netuka from Organisation for Aid to Refugees and Roz Somolíková Shero, who is a Kurdish woman originally from Syria and who has been working as an inter-cultural worker for the Arab-speaking community at ICP. The presentations were attended by 4 classes of 4th graders and 5th graders who learned interesting information about Syria, Roz´s home country, as well as her story of becoming a refugee and building a new life in the Czech Republic. As a part of the presentation, a short documentary was screened about Roz´s younger sister Silva and her experience with going to school and making friends in the Czech Republic.

As there are not many foreigners from the Middle East present at Prague 22, the children showed great excitement about meeting a Kurdish woman face to face and asked Roz various questions about her life in Syria, her refugee journey as well as her experience with integration into the Czech society.

As a part of the event, ICP also introduced and disseminated the latest outputs of the INTEGRA campaign – the PhotoVoice zines (and website), introducing selected PhotoVoice authors along with photos and comments expressing their views and experience with integration in Prague. 

This project is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

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