German experts will study immigration while staying with Ukrainian families

Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 19:38
On March 16-18, the Commission of the UGCC on Matters of Immigrants received the specialists from Germany – representatives of the charitable Catholic organization Renovabis. In the meeting took part Natalia Holyns’ka of Caritas of Sambir-Drohobych and Natalia Kozankevych of the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UGCC. This three-day meeting of the Ukrainian and German experts became the beginning of a joint project "Migration and Development" which is aimed at deepening the Ukrainian-German dialogue in the sphere of migration.
On March 16-18, the Commission of the UGCC on Matters of Immigrants received the specialists from Germany – representatives of the charitable Catholic organization Renovabis. In the meeting took part Natalia Holyns’ka of Caritas of Sambir-Drohobych and Natalia Kozankevych of the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy of the UGCC. This three-day meeting of the Ukrainian and German experts became the beginning of a joint project "Migration and Development" which is aimed at deepening the Ukrainian-German dialogue in the sphere of migration. "It is not a secret that Germany is one of the most influential countries in determining the immigration policy of the EU in general, and in relation to Ukrainians in particular. And it has a direct influence on the situation of Ukrainian labor immigrants. Unfortunately, in the countries of the EU the negative attitude toward immigrants is spreading, originating from the mistrust of them by the locals. We aim to find a way of overcoming such mistrust and search for allies in the EU countries," said Hryhoriy Seleschuk, head of the Commission of the UGCC on Matters of Immigrants. The purpose of the project is to study the motivation, chances, and risks of labor migration, and also the challenges of reintegration of Ukrainian immigrants upon their return to Ukraine, in its social, cultural, and economic space; in particular, through direct contact with immigrants in their families. Around ten families will be selected that have experience in migration and are ready to talk about it. For a few days they will receive the German guests so that in a joint space they may better understand how migration has influenced a specific human fate, what positives and dangers it brought, and how much it affected the individual world of a person.  "For us the process of open, free, and lively communication, where a person opens up by his or her own will and begins to talk about his or her immigrant experience it is very valuable. I think that exactly in such free communication without charts or plans we will find real answers for the questions important for this project," said Jorg Hilgers, responsible for organization of project from the German side.    Another expert of Renovabis, Claudia Havrich, noticed that although the theme of the project and the choice of Ukraine for its realization are not connected with the experience of socializing with Ukrainian immigrants in Germany, it is in a way the logical continuation of immigration projects in Ukraine, which Renovabis has supported for a few years. Among them are advice for the immigrant families, extensive research of Ukrainian labor migration, and support of publishing projects in the field of immigration. "We have chosen Ukraine because for us it is the most interesting country in the post-Soviet space; furthermore, Ukrainian migration is widespread throughout Europe," she added. The project is the beginning of new forms of cooperation between non-governmental and church organizations of Germany and Ukraine in the field of immigration. Through the project the next steps are to be planned which will draw together both countries.

Given by the Commission of the UGCC on Matters of Immigrants

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