The Agency hosted a meeting in its Brussels office at the end of May as part of L’arte dell’accoglienza. Lampedusa porta d’Europa (‘The art of welcoming. Lampedusa door of Europe’).
It is the fifth time that the Agency has collaborated with Comitato 3 Ottobre, an association that works in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Education to raise awareness of immigration, following the deaths of 368 migrants in a shipwreck just off the Italian island of Lampedusa on 3 October 2013. In 2016 and 2017, Agency representatives participated in events in Lampedusa, and the Agency also hosted meetings in Brussels in 2017 and 2020.
On the morning of 31 May 2022, Mr Tereke Bhrane, President of Comitato 3 Ottobre, joined a delegation of students and teachers from 15 schools from Italy and other European countries at the Agency office in Brussels. They met Agency representatives to discuss the Agency’s work on inclusive education, and described their personal experience of being involved in Comitato 3 Ottobre projects throughout the years. They expressed appreciation for the campaign to raise awareness of immigrants crossing the Mediterranean, their challenges and stories. They also underlined the importance for them of connecting with other European schools and the enriching experience of being confronted with different realities.
In the afternoon, a conference took place at the European Parliament. In the first panel, students expressed their ideas for raising awareness of migrants in the educational field. In the second panel, members of the European Parliament Pietro Bartolo, Brando Benifei, Marie Arena and Alessandra Moretti, together with Desislava Ivanova from the United Nations Refugee Agency and Italian journalist Nello Scavo, emphasised the right of people escaping from all wars to be welcomed, and the importance of youth participation in decision-making in public institutions.