Just over a month ago we talked to Claire Juchat about Essaim d’Accueil – for the full article, click here. This week we caught up with her and her colleague Raya to see how their project has developed since then.
What are the key words you want people to remember about Essaim d’Accueil?
Watch your attitude: be a peer!
Essaim d’Accueil is non-profit organization with the mission to make society more inclusive. We work towards this goal by putting in touch people of various legal status and sociocultural origins while specifically including asylum seekers. We keep it informal and fun!
Last time we talked, you were about to launch a crowdfunding campaign on OneMillionSparks. Where are you now?
Our crowdfunding campaign is coming to its end! So these are the last days you can help us out! If we reach our goal on OneMillionSparks, we will be able to launch a “recreational education package” for our members. The idea behind this package is to legally and socially contextualize asylum in Switzerland. This could avoid misunderstandings and misconceptions such as that we are equally free to go visit the Salève smiling at Geneva from just across the border. The package consists of a presentation held by a legal expert, followed by a workshop on what it means to have a horizontal attitude, on what it means to engage in peer-to-peer interactions. Peer-to-peer interactions are not only fun, but also a powerful and eye-opening educational tool.
What’s your next big goal?
Our next big goal is to involve more people. Who knows: maybe we’re looking for you? Drop us a line in case you may be interested in joining our network of activities (parties, BBQs, cups of tea etc.) or you’d simply like meeting new people! Of course, some of you may be curious to learn more about what asylum seekers’ lives are like in Switzerland. In that case, you’re also in the right place! We’ll put you in touch and you can continue the conversation from there on ☺ The same goes for those living in housing facilities for asylum seekers: if you’re looking for new people to hang out with, get in touch!
Our structure leads us to constantly enlarge our circle of friends, so please talk about Essaim d’Accueil in your surroundings!
What will be possible when you achieve that goal?
One day, we will get rid of prejudice! Because there will be no need to fantasize about how someone else’s lifeworld could possibly be. And no, we’re not just a bunch of dreamers ☺ We have seen misconceptions fade away!
What do you need to do (or need readers to do) to reach this goal?
We need you to become our member. Then, we need you to sign up in our monthly calendar to suggest a hangout. At least one other member will join you, and then you can go meet new people residing in facilities for asylum seekers. Sounds simple? It is! Don’t worry if you’re shy – we also organize bigger events, which can establish the first link. Afterwards, you’ll be more comfortable suggesting a more intimate hangout. A typical hangout could be 5-7 people. But of course participation is voluntary and open to all, so you and your fellow member could find yourselves in a situation where 10 people are spontaneously interested in joining your hangout!
How can our readers help you?
Check out our campaign on OneMillionSparks! You may be interested in supporting our recreational education package! Also, share this article and don’t hesitate to become a member! If you have an idea very much in line with a peer-to-peer attitude, please tell us about it! We would love collaborating with you to make it happen!
What have you learnt since the last time we talked that might be helpful for other innovators?
Be clear about your mission. There are many brilliant things happening, but nobody can do everything.