Although Poland is very reluctant to accept refugees and even more reluctant to grant them protection, it is estimated that there are several thousand people in our country who are under various forms of protection or are seeking it. According to a 2018 study by the Center for Public Opinion Research, as many as 61% of Poles surveyed declared that “Poland should not accept refugees” – this is an increase of 40 percentage points in 3 years. Negative social attitudes have a direct impact on the daily life and functioning of refugees: violence, discrimination or negative attitudes. Our observations show that this results mostly from little knowledge about other cultures and reluctance to meet people who are different from us. We aim to change this situation thanks to integration and educational activities, that will reduce manifestations of discrimination against specific individuals, as well as social tensions around the subject itself.
We will be targeting our activities at inhabitants of Warsaw and its surroundings. It will be conducted in the dialogue process and educational activities, focused on integration and good practice. We will run a series of open meetings the participants of which will learn about the integration process and will come up with their own ideas for optimising it. The ‘Otwarty Dom’ foundation, which held pilot workshops devoted to this topic in 2020, will support us with organising these meetings. We will carry open workshops devoted to migration and refugeeism at interested libraries or local cultural centres. In schools in Warsaw and in the entire Mazowieckie province we will organise lessons devoted to refugeeism, migration, multiculturality, cross-cultural communication and anti-discriminatory practices.
We will also set up a ‘Friends’ Club’ – an integration platform for Polish and refugee families and will also expand the functioning of the existing ‘To straszne słowo na u…’ podcast, debunking myths on refugeeism.
Thanks to the project, the participants will be able to change their attitude towards refugees, basing it on more rational grounds.