FURD's Talent Match Coach Sajaad Rauf recently represented us at "Overcome all borders: UNITED against Intolerance", an anti-racist European conference in Mollina, Spain. The event was organised by the European anti-racism network UNITED for Intercultural Action.
The outline of the programme was describing the issues and intolerance towards refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Europe. The conference went through case studies of issues that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers faced in Spain; for example all the demonstrations and video footage of hate crime being committed against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Then local organisations spoke about how they challenged the issue and what worked and what didn`t work for them.
Then the delegates all spoke about what methods we used to tackle racism and intolerance towards migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Sajaad briefly discussed FURD initiatives such as the Belonging Group project, and our involvement in local initiatives such as the One Sheffield Many Cultures festival. Also organising trips to Wembley stadium to watch England play always helped to make the refugees feel included in society. Sajaad then attended a workshop on an online campaign regarding the sinking of refugee boats.
Sajaad has now been asked to help plan, facilitate and host the next conference in Budapest in October, which is currently being planned via emails and Skype, and to deliver a brief presentation and workshop to around 70-80 participants at the conference.
Organisations that were there included the Human Rights Institute and Reach Out Berlin who record and deal with hate crime reports in Germany. Members from ENAR were also present which is an umbrella organisation for other anti-racist organisations in Europe, as were Pocket Stories from Norway who expressed an interest in doing some partnership work with FURD.
FURD's involvement produced numerous opportunities for potential future partnership work. Details were exchanged with Reach Out Berlin and ODIHR to possibly run some training in Sheffield based around hate crimes. No Hate Speech, the Minority Rights Group from London and Bridge to the Future from Ganga, Azarbeijan all expressed an interested in working with us in future. Walter Ry from Helsinki Finland is interested in featuring us in a documentary in the future. Sajaad is also travelling to Sarajevo soon to discuss further partnership work.