In January 2016, the Jesuit social apostolate organisations in Spain launched the ‘Hospitality’ campaign covering four areas of action: welcoming, international cooperation, social awareness and advocacy. It aims at protecting the rights and covering the needs of migrants and refugees, where the official system’s services prove insufficient.
Different Jesuit social centres in the Basque Country, Catalonia, Andalusia and Madrid have redesigned, reinforced and expanded their reception facilities, offering new places and activities. Moreover, they have contributed to the dialogue with public institutions and collaborated closely with specialized refugee institutions and citizen solidarity platforms.
In March, Hospitalidad.es, participated alongside Caritas’ network Migrants with Rights, CONFER and Justice and Peace in the campaign 72 hours to act to try to stop the EU-Turkey Agreement,. Together with other organizations and citizen platforms, it has participated in 115 public advocacy events in 30 Spanish cities.
During 2016 alone, Hospitalidad provided legal and social counselling and support to 1,425 people. In addition, 46 people were hosted and 100 people received an emergency welcome in educational facilities and Jesuit communities. In all, 33 nationalities - mainly Moroccan, Pakistani, Ukrainian, Senegalese and Russian -, benefited from the campaign.
Hospitalidad paid special attention to migrants and refugees on our borders. Together with JRS, emergency aid was provided to the refugee population in Hungary through legal assistance and an educational project for unaccompanied minors. In Lebanon, the team worked to guarantee the right to education to 1,440 children in five schools in Bekaa, one of the areas with the highest refugee density. Also, in collaboration with the Diocese of Tangier in Nador, health assistance was provided to migrants and asylum seekers arriving from various African countries to reach Europe.
The campaign made available a series of educational resources, in addition to the photographic exhibition We are migrants promoted by Entreculturas, SJM-Spain and SJM-Mexico.
During 2017, the campaign will continue working to create a culture of hospitality within and beyond our borders.