At the invitation of UNHCR in Sofia, on Oct. 23, 2019 D. Lozanova and S.Gabova from SDA met with Mr. Ion Hoaseter - Deputy Representative of the United Nations for Central Europe and Ms. Walaa Anu Garbie - Regional Planning Advisor. Discussions focused on integration issues in Bulgaria and other countries from Central and Eastern Europe, and the potential for future partnerships aimed at improving the governance of migration at local and national level. Among the key areas for cooperation will be improving the access to the labor market for migrants and refugees, municipal housing policies, capacity building for the municipal administration for diversity management, etc. 

On October 10th, Integration Centre Prague officially launched a new podcast series Salad Bowl of Prague: Voices as a part of the INTEGRA campaign. The series introduces the stories of 4 foreigners, who have settled down in Prague and who make it a more interesting and richer place. They run interesting restaurants, sew beautiful dresses or make delicious ice cream. What is it like to leave home for a foreign country and succeed in it? How do they deal with a language barrier, xenophobia and homesickness? And what can make a person leave their home? Each week from the 10th of October, you can listen to a story of Juanita of Indonesian origin, the Tibetan Sonam, Mimi from Vietnam and the Balkan family trio Biljan, Zlatka and Bojan. The podcasts (in Czech) are available at: https://saladbowlofprague.cz/voices/ but they can also be listened to on Spotify, iTunes, or Youtube. 

The official launch took place as a part of the Open Doors event of Integration Centre Prague in the presence of three of the main protagonists as well as the author of the series, Petr Bouška, all of whom shared their experience with making the series. They all expressed hope that the series will help raise awareness about the presence of foreigners in Prague and help their better acceptance by the Czech majority. Sonam and Juanita prepared special Indonesian and Tibetan snacks for the occasion and the event ended with a musical performance by a Kurdish singer of Syrian origin, Miran Kasem. 

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

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