Zaragoza“Zaragoza, ciudad acogedora” – A community-based reception for new arrivals
What is inspiring?
In August of 2018, the city council launched the community reception and inclusion programme “Zaragoza, reception city” (“Zaragoza, ciudad acogedora”). The main aim of this scheme is to empower its participants to become as socially autonomous as possible. Similarly to the “Nausica” scheme in Barcelona, its activities are geared towards an integrative approach to community reception, which is specifically targeted at highly vulnerable refugees.
How does it operate?
Its primary mode of operation is to involve civil society, social movements, NGOs and grassroots initiatives in developing and implementing the programme. Secondly, the programme focuses not only on reception, but also on the subsequent social and economic inclusion of migrants.
Who is executing the programme? How?
The “casa de las culturas” coordinates and runs the programme. It provides legal advice and translation, as well as assistance with clothing and food. Furthermore, the city council and “casa de las culturas” collaborate with “Zaragoza housing” (Zaragoza vivienda) to secure accommodation for the refugees and asylum seekers participating in the municipal reception programme. The “Casa” has dedicated two of its floors to accommodating 10-12 persons each, while City Hall provides alternative accommodation in emergencies.
What is the outcome?
Since “Zaragoza, ciudad acogedora” was launched, the “casa de las culturas” has taken care of 717 asylum seekers, mainly from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador and Ukraine. Since the “casa de las culturas” and the municipal reception programme have become well-known across Spain and beyond, many migrants and refugees are keen to participate in the programme.