Migration: Think better, think critically

„Migration isn’t a one-directional process; it’s a colossal process that has been happening in all directions for thousands of years.“ – Mohsin Hamid

When we were leaving for this project, everyone had their own opinion about migration, and with time and through the project, those opinions changed or adjusted a bit with new knowledge, or maybe some of the opinions were strengthened.

At the very beginning of the project, the Croatian team was discussing our opinions about migration. We had different opinions and different arguments about it because of our background and experiences. Also, some of our opinions were based on stereotypes, and that is important because later I will write more about it.

On the first day of the project, we met all of the participants from Poland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Greece, and Croatia. There were a lot of different people, everyone unique in their way. After the morning’s meeting, we had to write down our hopes and fears from the project. Fears that I remember most people wrote were public speaking and that they will not be accepted within us. I can already now say that all of the people were accepted, and that atmosphere on the project was amazing.

First day of the project

In the afternoon, organizers decided to bring and mix all of us together, so we had groups with different nationalities in order to do tasks together. It was an interesting task, not related to migration and topic, but it was very important for socializing aspect and removing fears of people.

On the second day of the project, our team member Tomo recommended the energizer game in order to remember all names of the participants, and to be honest, it worked, because people memorized more names in this way. Later that day, we did presentations about our sending organizations and also we had to present how is migration looking like in our countries. That part was very insightful, because it varies from country to country, also how people and government treat people who are migrating. Furthermore, same day, we decided on types of migration, which was very important in order to understand the contexts of it. Later on, we were doing stereotypes about countries. We were mixed up in groups, and we needed to do stereotypes of each country. That was very fun because with this exercise we could see, how much truth or lies there are about your culture and country.

On our 3rd day of the project, we went out on terrain in order to find out what local Polish think about migration and how do they deal with it. A group that I was in went to the cultural centre in Mielno, where we found 3 retired ladies that were learning English. It was very interesting to talk with them, and to see, that at their age, they are completely open for migrants who are coming to Poland. Personally, it positively surprised me. We also touched on the topic of Ukraine immigrants to Poland and how they were handling them, and they were very positive about them (this was before the Ukraine-Russian conflict). We collected data about it and presented it to other groups.

The following day, we had a workshop about fake news – how to recognize them and prove they are fake without being subjective. We found many good examples up to date. Later in the afternoon, we had a simulation of us becoming refugees suddenly, in a second. We approached these exercises in a fun way, and I know this sounds weird, but it was set up in that way. Firstly, it started positively with explaining your family, who is what, and the background of each person in the group. Some goals of the family and hobbies. And then the war started, you need to escape, how, when, what to do. It was a very good exercise because it gave all of us, a sort of cold shower about a topic.

Presenting about the migration in Croatia

The next day of the project we were supposed to do videos about migration, and we spent all day doing that. Some of the videos were amazing, story, acting, editing. People really showed their best through these videos.

On the final day of the project, we needed to do flyers about the project, that we would show to our meeting/presentation to the public. Also, we got youth pass certificated and thanked each other for a very insightful week. 

Croatian team

All in all, the project was very educational and fun. We got the chance to meet young people from all around Europe with whom we will stay friends. We would definitely recommend everyone apply some of the projects!

Author: Tomislav Pušić

Participants: Mirna Makovac, Matea Maljković, Branko Miloš, Daniel Ranogajec, Tomo Rajić, Mia Gojević, Tomislav Pušić

Related articles -> Mielno project: Informing Croatian Youth

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YE: “Migration- Think Better, Think Critically”, Poland

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