Follow-up event in Croatia
The project entitled “Muslim minorities and the refugee crisis in Europe” was conducted on Saturday, 12.01.2019. in “Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall”. I am employed in “Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall” and I work with other students from different faculties.. I decided to spend this project there because I was spatially enabled and working with my colleagues. To the other participants I came across my fellow students because they informed their colleagues at their faculties and their friends.. At my workshop, a total of 32 participants participated and I carried out the workshop in one of the official premises of the institution I was employed in. To carry out the first activity, it was necessary to divide the participants into two groups so that one of the two types of chocolate would have to be extracted from the bag. It was possible to choose either red or green chocolate. Those who pulled out the red chocolates made up a one group, while those who pulled out the green chocolate were another group.
Divisions in two groups were needed because they played the ” Quiz of Knowledge ” game. At the question asked, group members could agree on what they thought might be the correct answer. If they answer correctly, they win 1 point, and if they get wrong, then the other group has the ability to answer, and if they answer exactly, they will win two points. The award for the winning team was a pack of various chocolate. ” Quiz of Knowledge” lasted a total of 15 minutes. “Quiz of Knowledge” consisted of the following questions:
- Where do the refugees come from?
- a) African and Asian countries
- b) Syria and Afghanistan
- c) Syria
- d) the whole world
- What are the religions of refugees?
- a) Islamic
- b) Catholic
- c) Atheists are
- d) all religions
- How many refugees from 2004 to 2018 have applied for asylum in Croatia?
- a) more than 15 000
- b) 50
- c) less than 3 500
- d) more than 5 000
- How much money do asylum seekers get in Croatia?
- a) 10 kuna per day
- b) 100 kuna per month
- c) 2 500 kuna per month
- d) 10 kunas per week
- How many admissions do you have for asylum seekers in Croatia?
- a) 2
- b) 4
- c) 3
- d) 5
- After how long can an asylum seeker be employed?
- a) after 10 days
- b) after 9 months
- c) after 4 weeks
- d) after 5 years
- How many refugees from 2004 to 2018 received international protection in Croatia?
- a) 1340
- b) 646
- c) 3593
- d) 5427
- What year did Europe hit the “Breaking Crisis”?
- a) 2016
- b) 2014
- c) 2017
- d) 2015
- Who are the “Ambassadors of Solidarity”?
- a) Ambassadors of Syria and Afghanistan in Croatia
- b) MPs who are fighting for refugee rights
- c) a group of people who reject myths about refugees and fight for their rights
- d) Religious association
- What is the ‘Welcome’ Initiative?
- a) a political party
- b) Refugee Support Initiative
- c) a religious association
After the “Quiz of Knowledge” was conducted, there was another activity. The second activity was just about discussing quiz issues. We talked about all the questions and their answers, but they raised some questions. The discussion highlighted questions that either did not know, or surprised the solution, as a questions.
How much money do asylum seekers get in Croatia?:
The two groups wrongly replied to this question, thinking that much more money was gained. They were surprised to learn that this amount was only 100 kunas per month, which is very little. This has triggered a debate on the right to a dignified life, and I got the impression that the participants were sensitizing the refugees at that point
After how long can an asylum seeker be employed ?:
In response to this question, some of the participants expected that asylum seekers could be employed much earlier. And this issue has triggered a debate. Some of the participants said one of the known stereotypes about the refugees, and that is to keep the young people from being left out of business because of their arrival. Such statements influenced the other participants, which led to the discussion being delayed. I managed to moderate this discussion between the participants. I think some participants have changed their opinions in a more positive direction.
How many refugees from 2004 to 2018 received international protection in Croatia?
Some of the participants were mistaken that this figure is much higher than this real. They started with conservative ideas and stereotypes that we needed to feel endangered, that the number of refugees in Croatia was too big for the Croat population.
During this debate, we also addressed topics related to the education of children. I asked the question: “What do you think about the education of refugee children as equals compared to Croatian children, and should they go together in the same classroom?” Mostly everyone said they should be educated and have to go together in classes with Croatian children. we talked about the challenges faced by refugee children, the challenges for Croatian education, the benefits of involving refugee children, etc.
This activity lasted for 60 minutes
The third and final activity was the evaluation of this workshop. We placed chairs in a circle so that everyone could see and hear each other. The task was to tell each person three positive things he or she learned at this workshop or what he got for himself. Comments from most participants were that they were happy and satisfied with the workshop. They argued that numerical facts helped to change their minds. Most of them emphasized that they did not have the chance to talk about the outbreak of crisis through their studies, and rarely did they talk about that topic in their surroundings. They said they helped them much to hear the rest of the thought, as others think. Some of them have changed for this reason and their opinions because they have often heard only those opinions similar to them, and now they had a chance to hear the attitudes of the other. In most cases, the opinions were changed to a more positive one, while part of the participants retained their opinions that they had since.
I would evaluate this workshop as successful because in most of the participants there was a positive change of opinion about the Muslim minority and the refugee crisis in Europe.