Foundation for Development of Polish-African Cooperation Southern Connect
Minority communities, with special focus on migrants and people of colour, will be empowered against targeted violence through:
- open-source investigation advocacy
- building literacy in visual and testimonial evidentiary technologies through workshops and social campaigns
- research on main obstacles to efficient prevention of violence
- sensitizing police to cultural differences through lectures
- public integration events - novelty football games between police officers and minorities
Direct (live) activities: city of Poznań and Greater Poland Region.
Research: Poland in general.
According to the Polish Ombudsman, discriminatory attacks towards foreigners in our country keep increasing in numbers. Such violations are not limited to abusive words but often turn into physical aggression and, worryingly often, they are addressed towards children. Language, cultural barriers, and prejudice are some of the factors fuelling these issues. Migrants and people of colour often report they feel not protected in their environments, even by the police.
In some countries they could seek support from independent open-source forensic bodies, however, no such institution exists in Poland. Our country lacks a cohesive strategy to protect and integrate migrants into society. There is little dialogue and not enough opportunities for communities to familiarise with each other.
One of the features of a democratic system is that all citizens can participate freely and fully in the life of their society. However, the part of the population that is under higher threat of violence than the rest, is not mentally and often physically free to take part in many events in society. This includes all spectrum of activities from joining public discussions through volunteering to simple entertainment. This is why the improvement of security is key to their participation and integration with the rest of society. Moreover, building friendships within local communities will not only improve society image, but also enhance the level of tolerance and understanding, and strengthen the democratic values.
The aim of our work is to improve safety of migrants and people of colour in Poland. We plan to set up online platforms where people in a disadvantaged position will be able to share their stories. We are aware that many people who experienced violence were often afraid to report it to the police and we want to create a platform where their voices will be heard. This will be the foundation of our research. Moreover, we will also engage in dialogue with the police in order to establish the main obstacles that prevent them from providing protection for the minorities. In this way we will consider various perspectives on the issue. On top of that, people of African descent will not only be subsidiaries of the project but, most importantly, active contributors and creators of the project.
1. Establishing a network of activists, members of minorities through social media.
2. Conducting outreach to communities and activists through technical workshops in order to establish an open-source investigation network.
3. The work will be translated into and established through audiovisual media (such as film, animation, virtual reality and recordings). We will publish our work in media and disseminate it through exhibitions.
4. At the same time we will deliver lectures for the police officers about cultural differences and how to avoid misunderstandings while interacting with foreigners.
5. Novelty football games will be organised between the migrant and local community groups in order to help them to integrate and establish friendly relations.
People will be educated on the importance of technology and media when dealing with evidence materials which will increase the accountability of all parties involved in cases of violence. Police officers will have greater awareness about how to approach people of different cultures. Prejudice between both people of colour and the police will decrease as a result of integration activities and conducted lectures. Friendships will be made between people who so far belonged to completely different groups of society and did not have a chance to familiarise with each other before. Migrants and people of colour will feel more free to participate in local activities due to more efficient and accountable interventions of the police supported by the investigation office.
Increased number of refugees and asylum seekers that have come to Europe since 2013 led to many European citizens being politically and socially divided. Fears, prejudice and conflicts in various communities increased and pushed many people to support far-right parties which might in extreme cases pose a serious threat to the health of democracy on the continent. Improving minorities’ safety and participation in social life is of high importance as trust amongst citizens who can work collectively as a part of the society is crucial to rebuilding democratic values. Including migrants in social activities will also motivate them to play their part in protecting democratic values in their new homelands which will have a positive impact on their and their children’s lives.
I am a wife of a Nigerian and a mother of a little baby. Poland is a country where 10 years ago a decent Nigerian man was shot by a police officer. He had a wife and children, just like my husband. Living in such reality terrifies me. I want to improve this situation so that neither my own nor any other family has to live through such drama again. I want all migrants an people of colour to be able to move around, work and function in this country freely. I am fortunate to have a great team of dedicated and competent activists who are my family and friends at the same time. We all care about social justice and we all are determined to find ways to improve this aspect of our society.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Salary for the team of 4 — 42,000 EUR
Office expenses — 9,000 EUR
Accounting — 1,500 EUR
Online 3D platform — 3,500 EUR
Travel and accommodation — 1,000 EUR
Football gear for novelty games — 300 EUR
We will highly appreciate any comments and insights from people experienced in combating violence and working with the police.