From 24th until 26th of November, Stredoškolská študentská únia Slovenska (ŠUS) organised a Seeds for Integration initiative called “Neignoruj, Integruj!” (“Do not ignore, integrate!“)

Despite Slovakia being a country that does not have to deal considerably with migrants or refugees integration, as it is not one of the traditional final destinations for migrants, ŠUS finds important to spread the message of open-mindedness among Slovak students.

The event saw participants sharing insights and ideas on this topic, trying to approach it in a holistical way. One  of the highlights of the two-day event was a first hand presentation of the life story of a migrant from Ghana who managed to come to Europe in order to live a safe and peaceful life. Participants had no hesitation in asking him questions and fruitfully discussing about his peronal experience.

On the first day, participants were involved in a United Nations simulation game. They were delegates from chosen countries and led an interesting debate with a meaningful resolution for the topic they have been discussing.

During the second day, we put more emphasis on ‘feelings‘. We implemented a role play for participants, where each of them received a role according to which they had to behave during the entire afternoon. We also provided a coffee break during which some of the groups were (done in purpose) disadvantaged and felt highly discriminated. Following the outcomes of this activity, in the evening we identified several stereotypes towards migrants and refugees, trying to break down the "wall of stereotypes"  together!

Participants have been very satisfied with the event and the overall feedback on the project was very positive. They cocluded that inclusive behavior towards people in need is very important and this is what a Seeds of integration initiative should foster!

Written by Maríán Stankovič, ŠUS International Officer