Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Welcoming refugees

An occupied hotel in Greece models how to welcome refugees :
"And in this one year they did not just give aid to people in need. “We do not say ‘we are saving refugees.’ We are an example, a voice that says ‘an alternative is possible,’” said Olga Lafazani, one of the core organizers, in an interview for their publicity and fundraising project “A Day in the Life at City Plaza.” She explains how through the processes of self-organization people become empowered — how the tools and platforms they obtain in group sessions allow them to think and act for themselves and understand their own situation, thus step-by-step taking on more initiative and responsibility.
When some of the residents were granted asylum in Germany and were about to leave the country to reunite with the rest of their families, Lafazani had a moving experience that demonstrated the power of City Plaza. “When we said goodbye, one of the women asked me, ‘if things don’t work out, can I come back home?’” she said. “It’s in these moments that I’m reminded that we’ve done something really important. We have created a home.”"

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