Сonference on "Migration: a challenge for Ukraine" within the IX Ecumenical Social Week took place in Lviv

2016-11-07 09:45

The event started with greetings of Antoine Arzhakovsky, doctor of historical sciences. In his welcoming speech, he emphasized the relevance of the theme, calling the migration "the most blatant" Ukrainian problem today.

Oksana Mikheieva, sociologist and historian, in her report noted that with the latest wave of migration, people's interest in the past, their history, including local, as a component of adaptation to the new living place increased: "Finally people realized how valuable is to be a citizen of your own country. And it compensates today for all the bad things. Resettlers actively go to museums, visit exhibitions, attend cultural events, as it is a way to increase Ukrainian environment. It is a way to become a part of it. A new important social group of our population appears, volunteers, who initially were worried, and in all that time have not lost a high level of trust from the community.

However, in our society there are not only good volunteers who doing their daily routine help others, but also "situational volunteers" – ordinary people who occasionally resort to the practical mutual aid. The range of variations of such mutual assistance is quite wide – people help to find housing or provide with their own, cook and bring food, collect and pass on clothing and shoes, help to find employment. Ordinary people. And they are among us. This concern of people is a huge achievement of our society. It feels like Ukraine becomes an adult before our eyes." Oksana Yakovets, advisor to the Ministry of Social Policy in matters of displaced persons, noted the complex relationship of the spiritual life of the city and the government: "the issue of religious direction remains problematic. We do not even have a place where Muslims could pray. There is no separate chapel for prayers. It's also the challenges, the parts of the work with forced displaced, which usually are not talked about."

Yurii Shyvala, deputy director of the NGO "Crimea SOS", spoke about the role and place of media in the integration of internally displaced persons: "This issue requires a deep rethinking and discussions. Because it is relevant not only for resettlers but also for all citizens of Ukraine. Media highly influence the creation of stereotypes about migration processes. After all, we read and see very little of good things about our people from Crimea and Donetsk. And they are expanding our horizons in the cultural, historical and socio-cultural life of the country."

Executive Secretary of the Church Commission for Migrants in Europe, Torsten Moritz focused on the biblical perspectives of the challenge for Ukraine: forced resettlers. In addition, he noted that the cultural and spiritual life of immigrants needs to be taken care of at the same level as about comfort.

Anna Holishevska, press center of the  ІХ Ecumenical Social Week