Last week at YO!Fest, a workshop on refugees brought youth together and fostered discussion. The program was called “Voices of Refugees,” and two short documentary films were shown. Afterwards, the attendees discussed the videos together.
The first film showed that regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status, all human beings are equal and the same. It was about the goals and objectives of refugees. Some of them were personal, some of them were general, and some of them were very specific. For example, one person was speaking about his favorite football player, one was speaking about studying medicine and the other about education, rights and freedom.
The second video showed how people perceive refugees. The people in the video were shown pictures of refugees and their reactions, feelings and expressions from seeing those pictures were recorded. Most of them felt poorly when seeing refugees in various situations, and some event felt guilty. Through this it was evident that people are not indifferent towards each other, and ultimately want to take care of each other.
The discussion focused on how the role of the media is important in the refugee crisis. The media is able to teach people about migration and refugees via news presented on television, in newspapers and on internet platforms. The press can provide insights into the migration crisis by showcasing refugees in various difficult situations. Through this, other people can better understand what refugees are going through, which is crucial to helping to build tolerant and open societies. Media also has a crucial role in fostering intercultural dialogue. It holds a powerful position to educate young people on refugees and related topics.
Overall, the videos showed that young people have a vital role in the integration of refugees to societies. The audience learned that there are outstanding initiatives in place that they can get involved in, such as special learning programs, which help refugees to be integrated into communities as smoothly as possible. Above all, the movies and discussion encouraged youth to join forces in promoting tolerance, non-discrimination, freedom and solidarity for refugees throughout Europe.
Photos by Jonathan Vos Photography.