31st of July, Bucharest
On Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th of July a delegation of the Municipality of Constanta, Romania together with Novapolis Association visited the city of Rhodes, Greece as part of the actions planned in the «Snapshots from the borders» project. Within the context of the project, delegations from cities that are partaking in the project visit one another in order to exchange opinions, knowledge and good practices. In that perspective, the Constanta Municipality chose to come in closer cooperation with the Municipality of Rhodes and it is planned to pay back this visit in the near future.
The Municipality of Constanta was represented by Mr. Noni Niculae, Mr. George Lupascu and Ms. Loredana Iacob. They were accompanied by Ms. Iris Alexe on behalf of Novapolis Association.
Within the context of the visit, the delegation of Constanta Municipality and representative of Novapolis met with the Vice Mayor on Social Policies and Health, Ms. Anna Zoannou, who briefed the visitors on the policies and the strategy of the Municipality of Rhodes concerning migrants and refugees. Then a visit was made to the site where refugees and migrants are received and hosted. There, the visitors were provided detailed information about the living conditions and the management of the facility by the head of the facility, Mr. Mantikos Konstantinos.
On the following day a workshop was held at the municipal council’s meeting room. The Directorate of Social Policies and Health of the Municipality of Rhodes, the UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency, the Department of Human Studies of the University of the Aegean, the Department of Social Welfare of Rhodes Hospital, the Consultation Service and the Hosting and Protection Service of the Municipality of Rhodes for violated women were all there to present their contribution, the means available and the resources used to support and assist the migrants and refugees.
At the end of the meeting, the delegation of Constanta Municipality and the representative of Novapolis met with the Mayor of Rhodes and the two parties exchanges views and experiences regarding the consequences of the migration / refugee crisis to Rhodes, Greece and Europe in general.
On Thursday 25th of July the visitors, with their minds and hearts filled with the best impressions of Rhodes, flew to Athens, where they are meeting the colleagues of the Master’s Course in «Global Health– Disaster Medicine» of the Medical Department of the Athens University and other organizations active in the migrant and refugee issues.
On the 26th of July they had a meeting with representatives of the NGO PRAXIS (https://www.praksis.gr/en/) at the premices of the organization. During the meeting they discussed issues related to the projects the NGO is implementing and the challenges they are facing. Afterwards they visited the Open Polyclinic of Medecins du Monde (https://mdmgreece.gr/en/missions/in-greece/social-structures/open-polyclinics/) that offer primary healthcare services, pharmaceutical coverage and psychosocial counseling to persons with limited or no access to the National Healthcare System, such as undocumented migrants, refugees, uninsured and homeless persons.
Finally, they had a meeting at the premises of the MSc Global Health – Disaster Medicine of the Medical School of Athens, with representatives for the MSc and discussed educational needs for NGOs working with migrants. They also met a representative from the WHO Athens Office and discussed the role of international organizations in refugees’ integration efforts.
Snapshots from the borders –Small towns facing the challenges of Agenda 2030 is a 3-year project co-funded by the European Union (EuropeAid DEAR budget line), run by 35 partners based in 14 European Countries. To be more precise, 19 border Local Authorities and 14 Civil Society organisations are partaking in this project. The project objective is to strengthen a new horizontal, active network among cities directly facing migration flows at EU borders, as a way to promote more effective policy coherence at all levels (European, national, local). Several of the actions carried out within the project aim to make EU people more informed and aware of the determinants and actions so that they will become protagonists in calling for a fair world. Messages reaching the EU public through media present migration as an emergency problem with negative impact oversimplifying causes and determinants. Once people are aware of the dimension, implication, causes and solutions, they will seek a change of attitude in terms of support for civil society.
For more information regarding the project activities: http://www.snapshotsfromtheborders.eu/ or https://www.facebook.com/snapshotsfromtheborders/ and / or by phone 0725 259 919 or e-mail: asociatianovapolis@gmail. com, contact Iris Alexe, National Coordinator.