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Migrant Support and Refugee Education
21 September 2017 - 22 September 2017
From 21 – 23 September 2017 the members of the Scribani Network held their biannual workshop, with two public events about refugees and migrants on 20 & 21 September.
There are fifteen centres for academic research and social action associated with the Jesuit order that together form the Scribani network, with Mark Rotsaert sj as chairman. Through workshops and congresses from a Christian and Ignatian inspiration, the network provides incentives toward justice and equality in Europe.
On this occasion, the members of the network exchanged ideas with the public and with researchers, practical experts in education and counselors of migrants in Flanders:
- Which factors and perceptions determine whether people worldwide flee or migrate, such as African women fleeing sexual violence, men and women seeking better economic opportunities (pull factors) or those fleeing slow climatic deterioration such as rising sea levels or desertification or sudden catastrophes (push factors)? The number of climate refugees is supposed to increase fivefold to 250 million people by 2050! Most refugees remain refugees for years and there are noticeable differences between men’s and women’s motives and strategies.
- On which international, regional and local forms of support and reception can ‘non- Dutch-speaking newcomers’ count for education, housing or jobs? What opportunities, for example, do the separate OKAN classes offer to 4,700 refugees and asylum seekers (2016) in Flemish secondary education? Wouldn’t this reception be better integrated into the ‘normal’ classes and does this challenge the traditional role and approach of the school? How does the University of Antwerp engage its students in the guidance of non-Dutch-speaking newcomers and does the university help with their transfer to higher education? How do volunteers, teachers and fellow pupils deal with this and how do other countries tackle the challenge?
- What positive economic contribution does migration bring to Flanders? What can we learn from the resilience and proactive behaviour of migrants and refugees and what intercultural values do they contribute?