Sunday, 25 April 2010

Status: Refugee PR

During the last week, 21-23rd April , Greenhouse organized a series of raise awareness events on African irregular migrants. This was achieved by screening a film, organizing an information meeting and through debate presented by Studenti Harsien Socjali.

When working on Status: Refugee, as the series of events were dubbed, Greenhouse felt that the Maltese community lack information about why these people flee, embarking on such perilous journeys in search for a better place

Thus, Greenhouse decided to hold an information meeting -Exodus from Africa,- which took place in the University Quadrangle. Many were the students who stopped and listened to what was being said. The guests from JRS, UNHCR and the Refugee Commissioner’s office were well prepared to answer the various misconceptions. This complimented the film screened a day before- God Grew Tired of Us- which touches on the different and difficult situations of immigrants when they start a new life in another country.

Coincidentally a week before Status: Refugee Greenhouse came across a Facebook group,- Against Islam and African Refugees in Malta- disseminating xenophobic messages towards the refugees. Such groups epitomizes the sentiment of discomfort that Greenhouse tried to address through its events.

Although programs for the asylum seekers are important, Greenhouse believes that educational programs and information should be given to the Maltese. The geopolitics of Africa are rather complex, post colonial effects may still be felt in these troubled countries and the local government cannot just send back the people who come to seek protection here as that puts these people’s lives at risk.

Greenhouse is a non-governmental, non-political organization set up by a group of university students which hold common together common values; social justice, respect for environmental sustainability, animal welfare and participatory democracy.

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