Mayyar and Elena met at the Pompeu Fabra University’s patio. In Barcelona. He was giving a speech on Syrians refugees just like him. He’d recently arrived and it was his first speech, so he was quite nervous. Him and Elena became friends. Nowadays, Elena has moved to England to pursue her studies and Mayyar lives in Elena’s childhood room with her parents. We often talk about the need to give shelter to the refugees who risk their lives in the Mediterranean, but we seldom talk about how giving shelter can benefit a society.
Amnesty International has produced a miniseries about shared experiences, and Mayyar’s story is the first chapter, titled ‘S’ha de fer’, which in English means ‘We ought to do it’. Welcome Communities –Comunitats Acollidores exists within AI’s campaign Jo acullo/ I welcome, which exists since 2016 to put pressure on governments so they welcome and shelter refugees, especially in the case of rich countries.
Even though the Spanish government hasn’t kept the promise to give shelter to more than 17.000 refugees, Amnesty International insists we as people can make a difference by helping people like Mayyar. Welcome Communities-Comunitats Acollidores wishes to spread consciousness about the existing ways in which we can help those who reach Europe in extremely vulnerable conditions.
Amnesty International Catalonia gives us some ideas on how to help refugees. It doesn't have to be a room or a house: there are other options, and one of them is to help newcomers with the paper work, or to aid them by voluntarily teaching them languages. For more information on the subject you can click here.