Aktuality

Next Door Family 2017

Project period: January 2017 - December 2017

On Sunday, November 26, Czech families and families of foreigners met to share a non-traditional lunch. A total of 52 meetings took place throughout the Czech Republic, where people with different cuntures, languages and customs met on the same day at the same time. It is the 14th year of the Next Door Family project, which aims to improve relations between the majority and foreigners, build a multicultural society and mutual understanding between cultures. Since 2004, a total of 1550 families have been involved in the Next Door Family.

Sunday lunch always takes place in one of the households that takes on the role of host. This family prepares lunch for the other, previously unknown family. This way the families get to know each other, talk about culture, traditions and life, taste traditional specialities, but first of all establish contacts.

We consider the Next Door Family to be one of our greatest achievements in the field of integration. “At the beginning, there was a simple idea of a shared meal, which became an international project in the years that we organized the project, of which we are very happy. After this gentle way of integrating foreigners at an individual and intimate level proved to us, we expanded its ideas and methods in cooperation with other organizations to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and the Cape Verde Islands,” Says Jelena Silajdžić, Director of NGO Word 21.

We pair the registered families by age, hobbies, interests, language and, of course, the place of residence, simply so that the members of both families have enough common themes to talk about. Therefore there is a greater likelihood that the relationship established can continue successfully in the future.

The role of the host is always taken by one of the pair of families who prepares lunch at home and takes care of the second family that the members haven’t known before. The project involved families of foreigners from third countries who therefore had the opportunity to meet families from the majority society and establish new friendships. The participants of such unusual lunch had the opportunity to taste traditional specialties and to talk about culture, traditions and life.

The main idea of the whole project is to make it easier for Czechs and foreigners to establish relationships through personal contact, which exactly meets the family environment of lunch. For optimal output we consider such interconnected families where relationships persist after the end of the project.

 

Press release

23847366 1508348019214295 1808894919608878397 oNaděžda Lobanova, project participant: “We have joined the Next Door Family project quite recently. And of course we could not have expected to visit the famous Czech actress and model Ester Geisler. It was very interesting. We found common language very quickly. Our girls (Ester’s daughter and niece and my daughter) also befriended very soon and were happy to play together. Ester is very hospitable, cheerful and beautiful. We talked about variable topics. It is very important to communicate personally, ask questions and see and hear people from another country. I think we have a lot more in common that at first glance.”

How did it go this year in the South Bohemian region, the regional coordinator, Marcela Kassai, who participated herself in one lunch, told us: “The meeting was warm, friendly and welcoming with incredibly positive energy. There is no doubt that this was not their last meeting.”

Another interesting Sunday lunch was also experienced by the coordinator of the Moravian-Silesian Region, Simona Jirásková: “The meeting was very pleasant. We talked about the life in Ukraine and about the life in our country. The children played and the families were talking about another meeting, which should be related to a theater performance for children.”

IMG 20171126 135539   IMG 1602

IMG 1603   Moravskoslezsky

Article by Olga Vencovská, who was an assistant at one meeting:
It is Sunday afternoon. I’m waiting for a young couple – Jan comes from Belarus and Olga is from Russia. I myself came to Czechia from Ukraine. So we will have a very intercultural lunch. I with Olga and Jan are going to visit a young Czech family. We are looking forward, and we are discussing what is awaiting us. When we find ourselves in the corridor of the flat, we all suddenly say: “It smells so good here!”
“That’s my husband cooking, and I’m trying to help him with our son,” – smiling and very sympathetic young lady welcomes us, making us feel like we’re having a visit to old friends.
On November 26, 2017, the 14th year of the Next Door Family project organized by the organization Slovo 21 was held. Czech families and families of foreigners experienced a meeting at Sunday lunch. There were 52 meetings on the territory of the Czech Republic, where people of different cultures, languages and customs met on the same dame and hour. Since 2004, a total of 1550 families have been involved in the Next Door Family project.
“It is very inspiring for me – to meet people of different nationalities,” says our host, “I have new ideas, I am filled by new energy.” His wife agrees with him: “When I heard about the project, I thought it was a unique way to get to know the other people.”
As an assistant at lunch, I was in charge of inter-family communication. But in my case it was not necessary: both hosts and guests found a common ground from the very beginning. We enjoyed excellent food, and we talked about everything – interests and hobbies, work and travel, about life in the Czech Republic. And, of course, we shared experiences from our native countries.
We did not even notice how the time had fled. It was slowly dimming and we had to say goodbye. Families exchanged contacts and arranged another meeting. On our way back, we shared our impressions, and each of us was glad to meet another cultures so close at a common table.

IMG 1601

In 2017 an inquiry was held on the topic of the sustainability of the relations between the participants in the project in 2014 – 2016. The questionnaire survey was held in the following regions of the Czech Republic: Prague, Liberecký, Ústecký, Jihomoravský and Olomoucký. The questionnaire included questions about the progress, success and effectiveness of the project and the development of participants’ relationships. The output of this activity is a booklet “They Live Next Door II”, which will be published in electronic form in Czech and English. It serves as a material for schools and various conferences on the integration of foreigners.

Evaluation of questionnaires from the Next Door Family project

they live next door

 

-- Join the project Next Door Family 2018! --

 

THIS PROJECT FOCUSING ON THE INTEGRATION OF FOREIGN NATIONALS IS FUNDED BY

THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

              praha

 

 

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Když se vrátili na podzim roku 2015 z Balkánu, kde viděli tisícové zástupy běženců směřující do Evropské unie, uvažovali, jak by ze své pozice studentů humanitních a společenských věd mohli zasáhnout do vyhrocené české debaty o migraci a více ji racionalizovat. Encyklopedii migrace, internetový výkladový slovník, potom spustilo Studentské hnutí za solidaritu z Univerzity Karlovy v lednu 2017. Původní ambice byly velké: spolupracovat s českými médii, psát kvalitní hesla o jevech spjatých s migrací a natáčet videorozhovory s uprchlíky, které budou hypertextově propojené s encyklopedickými hesly.

 

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O nás

Zapsaný spolek Slovo 21 je nevládní nezisková organizace, která začala působit v Praze roku 1999. Vznik organizace je spjat především s počátky Světového romského festivalu Khamoro, který je dodnes jedním z největších projektů organizace. Slovo 21 se ale neorientuje jen na aktivity, které se snaží celkově zlepšit postavení Romů v Česku. Zabývá se také cizineckými integračními projekty. Asi nejznámějším je neformální setkání českých a migrantských rodin Rodina Odvedle.