This project was born out of a need. In no way we had imagined having to step in humanitarian issues, but the year 2015, the integration work we have done and the new image we were growing through our public engagement taking the position in the Slovenian public, all has pushed us to do more.
Following the initiatives, it was interesting to see how very differently the different member states or better the citizens of the different member states were engaging themselves. In this regards we got interested in a specific, in that times already in many countries initiated idea and systematic approach to make it possible for people that want to help, to offer their help and on the other hand to offer the refugees the possibility to find their “helper”. In a way a contact platform, supporting the start-up meet up, supporting in questions of documentations and administration procedures.
First step was contacting the founder, a Berlin located youngster that launched the idea and supports all other national initiatives with their experience and expertise. They were open, happy to provide their entire web page, which we then translated and adapted to the Slovene law. During that time, we searched for partners, obviously humanitarian organizations. Quite some of them bothered during those times about the same issue, but with conventional methods, providing food, clothes, etc….
Our concept was new and we understand it to this day not as a humanitarian act, but as an impulse, suggesting a cultural shift. Co-habitation, sharing a flat or a house, offering a room within once own four walls. This idea, in certain countries quite popular, was not received well, and it seemed to be difficult to get it done. In the picture of this post, we were meeting, before we launched the web-platform refugees-welcome.si with the colleagues from other institutions and a representative of the ministry of interior of the Republic of Slovenia, to discuss further steps of proliferating the platform.
The result was that we were listed as a cooperating entity, we did not get any funding, but they used our unique initiative to promote their engaged doing. In a way, we may state after some years running, that this impulse may have come too early for Slovenia.
The concept of cohabitation is a wonderful one, in many aspects, not only for integrational reasons, but as well ecologically, socially and in many other ways, being together is the essence of human existence.
Cohabitation and sharing economies need much more attention in our times!!!