Refugee families welcomed in Valencia thanks to #Seguimos

One of the projects implemented as part of the #Seguimos campaign has been emergency care and shelter for vulnerable families in Valencia. Since the arrival of the pandemic last year, the involvement of the SJM Valencia team with the most vulnerable people who lost their income and suffered the consequences of the crisis was very high thanks to the support of #Seguimos, covering basic needs. Among those people accompanied and cared for are some of the asylum seeker and refugee families who live in several of the residential resources that the entity has in Valencia and surrounding areas. These are some of their stories:

Erika’s story

“My name is Erika Posada, I am a Colombian from Cali, I am 28 years old, and I have two small children. The situation in Colombia was very violent, with many robberies and intimidation, we didn’t feel safe. Together with my mom, we decided to take a new direction towards Spain, something we had been thinking about for a long time, because here there is calm and tranquillity, something we did not have there. I also wanted a future of hope and peace for the children.

Education is very important. I would like to complete my studies, I am in the 4th year of ESO (Compulsory secondary education) and I would like to finish so that I can support my mother, my brother and my children, and live calmly and happily”.

Refugee families

Edward (wife and one child):

“They demanded an amount of money from us that we couldn’t pay, that’s why we decided to leave the country. It is a very difficult situation to handle, if you don’t do what you’re told, they pressure you and extort you, with phone calls, they chase you and threaten you”.

“The departure from Colombia was above all with our son in mind, to give him a better life, to take him away from a life in which you get used to the conflict. The idea is for him to get ahead, to support him in whatever he wants to do”.

“In Valencia I feel very safe, I feel satisfaction and freshness. I can go out to the street without fear and I don’t have the stress of being chased. It’s a very nice feeling and I’d like to grow in Spain and move on”.

Robinson and Yamilet (a son with Down’s syndrome):

Robinson: “My wife belonged to a political group and so she was threatened. We were afraid that they might do something to me, to her or to our son, so we decided to travel to Spain and ask for international protection.

“From the beginning we were hosted by the Jesuits, in the SJM flats in Valencia. They have helped us with the asylum process, psychologically, socially, culturally, educationally; and also financially. We are now living in one of their homes, waiting for the asylum process to progress.

Yamilet: “Hopefully the asylum process will go through and we will be able to live in a regular situation in Spain. To be able to settle down, for our son to have a good education and a better quality of life.

The #Seguimos campaign of the Society of Jesus in Spain continues to offer attention to the needs of the most vulnerable population suffering the effects of the crisis resulting from the covid-19 pandemic. In this link it is possible to collaborate to ensure that aid to those who need it most can be carried out.

At SJM we continue to accompany vulnerable families in Madrid, thanks to the #Seguimos campaign

From the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM), with the support of the #Seguimos campaign, we still want to be close to women with dependent children who are especially suffering from the crisis resulting from covid-19, by opening flats of autonomy. In Madrid, Pueblos Unidos accompanies several single-parent families with care to cover their basic needs, legal, social and employment advice in this difficult context.

Alicia lives with her four children in a flat in Madrid. Of Ecuadorian origin, after having gone through all the processes of regularisation, job search, schooling, she is now facing the impact of covid19 on her life. After more than a month confined for being positive for the virus, without even being able to see her children in the same house, she is grateful for the support offered and faces the immediate future with caution but optimism.

“My family was directly affected in terms of work because I had to stop working… My four children were suspended from school for a few days and although I have not lost my job for the moment, the worry is always there. I have been on sick leave for a month now and I continue to test positive, although the symptoms are easing. During the confinement we had a very bad time, they were very hard days, but thanks to the support of Pueblos we never lacked food or the basics”.

Thanks to the support of #Seguimos, the network of organisations belonging to SJM has set up a series of autonomy flats for around 60 women with dependent children in seven autonomous communities. This project aims not only to provide residential accommodation for these families, but also to promote psychosocial support in this context, create a stable social network that facilitates their inclusion and provide legal support to help regularise their situation. Alicia tells us how Pueblos Unidos has supported her family during these months:

“They are always keeping an eye on the evolution of my illness with the whole family through phone calls, being a support with whatever we need at home whether it is in paperwork, food, medicines, etc. Above all, they have given us words of encouragement and impulse at all times, always offering themselves for whatever is needed, they have even gone to pick up the food that they give us monthly because we were all confined to the house. I have not seen my children for more than a month and they are taking care of the house because I am locked in my room and my children are still small, except for the eldest who is 20 years old. Personally, I am very grateful to everyone”.

The #Seguimos campaign of the Society of Jesus has set up more than 30 projects to help the most vulnerable population since the pandemic began.

Proposal for the Reform of the Regulation on Aliens to guarantee the inclusion of unaccompanied migrant children and young people

CHILDHOOD AND MIGRATION ORGANISATIONS AND PROFESSIONALS PROPOSE A MODIFICATION OF THE REGULATION ON FOREIGNERS TO GUARANTEE THE RIGHT TO DOCUMENTATION FOR CHILDREN ARRIVING ALONE IN SPAIN.

These proposals, made within the framework of the public consultation process opened by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration at the beginning of February, have the sole purpose of facilitating the transition to adult life for all children.

The proposal for modification put forward by professionals and expert bodies aims to guarantee the full and effective integration of these children and young people into Spanish society, in accordance with national and international legislation that guarantees the protection of human rights, and in particular, children’s rights.

The document presented focuses on the articles relating to the identification, documentation, processing and renewal of residence and work authorisations for children and adolescents who have arrived alone in Spain and who have been under the care and/or guardianship of the public protection entities of the Cities and Autonomous Communities. In line with the Ombudsman’s recommendations already accepted by the Ministry, the need for an exhaustive modification of Articles 196, 197 and 198 is proposed, and, going a step further, modifications to Articles 148, 190 and 211 of the same regulatory text are proposed.

In addition, several Transitional Provisions are included for the retroactive application of the Regulation, with the aim of documenting all young people who, although they were minors from 1 January 2018 to the present day, did not have access to their documentation despite being entitled to it, which places them in a situation of social exclusion.

The current regulation multiplies administrative procedures, dilutes responsibilities between the different administrations and does not provide agile and effective responses to the real needs of these children. The lack of automatic work authorisation for young migrants of working age, the demands on the business sector and young people for the processing of their work authorisation and subsequent hiring, the validity of only one year for the residence cards of minors under guardianship and the obstacles to their renewal, the difficulties in obtaining registration cards and the disparity of criteria at provincial level for their processing, and the non-recognition of the validity of children’s identity documents issued by the authorities in their countries of origin, are some of the issues that have left children and young people in a state of absolute defencelessness.

HERE THE PRESS RELEASE WITH ALL THE PROPOSALS

CONSULT HERE THE FULL DOCUMENT OF RLOEX REFORM PROPOSALS

SIGNATORIES:

Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Alucinos la Salle, Asociación Española de Abogados Extranjeristas, Asociación Noves Vies, Asociación Pro Derechos de la Infancia (Prodein), Asociación Progestión, Cáritas, Col.lectiu Hourria, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR), Comisión de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR) – Euskadi, Coordinadora de Barrios, Coordinadora Estatal de Plataformas Sociales Salesianas (CEPSS), Coordinadora Obrim Fronteres, Cruz Roja Juventud, Federación Andalucía Acoge, Federación Estatal de SOS Racismo, Fundación Raíces, La Merced Migraciones, Plataforma de Infancia, Pueblos Unidos – Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, Save the Children, UNICEF España, Voluntarios por otro Mundo Wasata Sans Frontières

350 people from 10 peninsular cities will learn Spanish thanks to Radio ECCA and SJM

Faced with the impacts and challenges arising from covid-19, Radio ECCA and the entities of the SJM network are working together, with the support of the #Seguimos campaign, to promote blended and distance learning methodologies.

Thanks to the support of the #Seguimos initiative, around 350 people will be able to benefit from the ‘Comunícate’ project, in which Radio ECCA and the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM) have joined forces to develop a set of Spanish language teaching methodologies combining online and blended learning.

In a context of a covid-19 pandemic that generates new challenges, this collaborative project aims to strengthen the accompaniment capacities of the Social Sector works with the most vulnerable people, incorporating the proven experience of the teaching methodology to improve the learning tools, based on didactic material, audio classes and tutorials. Knowing the language is a key element for the inclusion and participation of the migrant population, as well as generating initial meeting spaces. The health emergency has affected the methods of learning Spanish by reducing the presence of volunteers and the capacity of the classes.

The project consists of 12 pilot experiences that combine ECCA’s learning methodology with SJM’s model of proximity accompaniment. There are 2 literacy courses, 2 distance learning courses and 8 blended learning courses for people with limited connectivity or digital difficulties. This project will be implemented in 10 cities on the peninsula: Seville, Cordoba, Madrid, Burgos, Valladolid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lleida, Bilbao and Tudela.

#Seguimos, the campaign of the Society of Jesus, has launched more than 30 projects to assist the most vulnerable population since the pandemic began.

SJM renews its corporate image

Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM Spain) renews its corporate image to continue the consolidation of its work of accompaniment, serve and advocacy for the rights of migrants and refugees. SJM was born more than 10 years ago now as a network that agglutinates the Jesuit social organizations that work with migrants in different cities. During past few years, this network has enhanced and covers more locations. This change is consistent with the mission ad vision that have been with SJM since the very beginning: the must of answer to social transformation and the certainty that mobility and adaptation are inherent attributes of human beings.

This image and website restyling is an instrument that helps to convey who we are in the actual context. New logo is a more simplified, modern and stylish figure, with the same colour as Social Apostolate in Spain, to which SJM belongs. The soft typography symbolises the closeness and warmth with which both staff and volunteers perform their duties every day.

The ’M’ of migrants represents our main essence: the top is a bridge of approach and encounter with other cultures and religions, where diversity is richness and there is no place for discrimination. The bottom part are three pillars that represent the three words of our motto (and JRS’ as well): accompany, serve and advocate.

SJM is made up of Jesuit social entities that works for the defence of the rights of migrants and their full access to citizenship, presents in 10 cities: Barcelona (Migra Studium), Bilbao (Fund. Ellacuría), Burgos (Atalaya Intercultural), Madrid (Pueblos Unidos-Padre Rubio), San Sebastián (Asoc. Loiolaetxea), Sevilla (Asoc. Claver), Tudela (Centro Lasa), Valencia (SJM Valencia), Valladolid (Red Íncola), alongside with a technical office in Madrid and a legal office in Melilla (Southern Border).

The Jesuits Social Sector of the joins the citizen complaints about the lack of legal assistance and information about the rights of migrants arriving in the Canary Islands

Several organizations denounce the lack of legal assistance and interpretation in the first research activities of migrants carried out by the police in the Canary Islands, including the Illustrious Bar Association of Las Palmas. In this way, people are deprived of a guarantee provided by law. Ignoring the legal framework, they can hardly express their needs for protection. In the past, numerous entities have denounced the poor reception conditions of migrants arriving in the Canary Islands, whether they have an international protection profile or not: among them, the Migrants with Rights Network (Red Migrantes con Derechos), which includes the Social Sector of the Society of Jesus.

The Social Sector, which is part of JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) and has experience in the southern border through SJM; in the countries of origin and transit with Alboan and Entreculturas; and with children and youth through the Mimbre network, maintains close contact with the diocesan secretariats of migration, with other entities and with some journalists who cover the situation, supporting their work and their demands. Through these channels, it is in contact with some Malian migrants with a clear asylum profile through subsidiary protection, who fear being returned without having been able to apply for international protection. They explain that the day after their arrival, the police gave them a document. A translator simply assured them that this paper did not necessarily imply that they would be returned. But no lawyer explained to them their rights or how to apply for international protection. Nor did they give them the names of their lawyers and interpreters, so they could not maintain contact. After two months, they are confined to a hotel, passing the quarantine, without anyone having advised them of their rights or taken steps to request protection. They fear that the police will send them back to Mali, a country in armed conflict, even via Mauritania.

SEE HERE THE FULL STATEMENT

More than 58,000 people accompanied by the SJM network in 201

The Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM) presents its 2019 Annual Report, a year in which the work of accompanying, serving and defending migrants and refugees, and their full access to citizenship, has been consolidated. A total of 58,965 people were accompanied in 2019 by the entities that form part of the network in the different lines of work.

In the line of Inclusion, which aims to provide integration tools to the migrant population in the cities where we work, almost 40,000 people were accompanied in individualized legal, labour and psycho-social assistance; first reception and basic orientation; and in employability and training projects.

The Frontera Sur (Southern Border) office in Melilla, which offers legal advice as well as human rights observation, assisted 530 people of 21 different nationalities last year, in addition 130 legal actions have been carried out before different authorities and institutions.

In Hospitality, the line of reception for especially vulnerable forced migrants, 460 people were received in more than 70 solidarity initiatives by lay groups, family networks and religious communities. The Community Sponsorship project in the Basque Country was the most innovative action of the year. 53 of the people welcomed were women who took part in gender-specific projects. Many of the people welcomed were unaccompanied young people.

Another of the lines of work is the presence in CIE (Internment and Foreigner Centres) where a group of volunteers and technicians visit the interns in 5 different places in the territory. In 2019, in addition to presenting the ninth annual report, 1462 visits were made to 793 people; and 61 legal actions were carried out in order to improve the conditions of internment and to work towards the end of these inhumane centres.

The Interreligious Dialogue line was given a strong boost with the consolidation of three spaces for raising awareness about the diversity of beliefs, which were attended by almost 7,000 people (mostly students from educational centres) and the proliferation of numerous cultural exchange activities, in which more than 1,600 people participated.  

The strategic line of Migrant Women and Domestic Work continued to support almost 5,000 women, especially in the areas of work and training. The work focused on strengthening their lines of defence of rights in home and care work spaces and raising awareness among the public, as well as advocacy with political authorities. In the area of Citizenship and Participation there were numerous innovative initiatives to strengthen community ties in the neighbourhoods and to promote the autonomy and voice of migrants. 420 people attended spaces for citizen participation and some 1,500 attended leisure and free time initiatives.The SJM sincerely and lovingly thanks all the people who make this work possible, which aims to achieve social justice and greater inclusion and equality for migrants: more than 1,200 volunteers and almost 70 members of the technical and managerial teams that make up the team that drives SJM’s work.