On June 27th, Integration Centre Prague organized another event as a part of the INTEGRA DAY series. This time, it was a guided tour of SAPA for elementary school students. SAPA is a well-known centre of trade and culture of the Vietnamese, the second largest TCN community in the Czech Republic and the third biggest one in Prague. It was also one of the places identified within the INTEGRA city audit conducted last year - ICP organized one of the city walks there as it belongs to one of the most interesting and relevant migrant-related places in Prague. Furthermore, it is where one of ICP´s offices is located.
The guided tour was a great opportunity for the participants to learn about the Vietnamese community living in the Czech Republic as well as to meet some of them in person. The tour was guided by one of ICP´s most experienced intercultural workers for the Vietnamese community, who showed the students interesting SAPA places, including the famous Dong Do restaurant, the “financial road” where various businesses and institutions are located (banks, insurance companies, travel agencies, etc.) as well as the SAPA Buddhist temple. She also discussed with the students the specifics of Vietnamese culture as well as some of the hardships the Vietnamese face integrating into the Czech society. At the end of the tour, the participants enjoyed tasting of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
Finally, the event was also a great chance to share and disseminate the INTEGRA project results and campaign outputs, as well as a great networking opportunity - it was just a start of future and potentially fruitful cooperation between ICP and the schools in the Prague Libuš city district (where SAPA is located), that deal with integration challenges (not only regarding the Vietnamese community) in their everyday work and who can thus greatly benefit from the INTEGRA project and ICP´s work more generally.
Migrant women’s empowerment was the topic of a joint event organised by RiskMonitor and Academy Ekaterina Karavelova on the 26th of June in Sofia in the framework of INTEGRA project. The event gave the floor to five women who are migrants in Bulgaria and Bulgarian women whose work is focused on providing legal and humanitarian services to migrants. The panel discussion explored the reasons behind the root causes of why women have to flee extremely conservative societies, the difficulties they experience on the road to safety and the challenges they encounter in host societies.
After the panel discussion the participants worked in small groups to discuss what kind of specific support is needed for migrant women in Sofia. The event raised awareness of a topic that often is left overlooked and silenced due to its complexity. Migrant women typically have numerous vulnerabilities that need to be addressed such as health issues, being single parents, the risk of trafficking and exploitation, limited access to the labour market due to residency status, childcare responsibility, etc., Often, embedded cultural barriers prevent them from seeking help and defending their rights. Negative attitudes towards them on the part of the host society nationals attitude make it even harder to find accommodation or work.