The Catalan Committee for Refugee Assistance (CCAR) and the restorer Ada Parellada organize a day of solidarity in the old prison to open a shelter for Ukrainian refugees
More than 200 people have attended this Sunday The model of Barcelona in a solidarity act organized by the Catalan Committee for Aid to Refugees (CCAR) and the restorer Ada Parellada. Cooking and live music have combined to raise funds for a project that wants to open its doors next March. Is about Shelter Spacea place where people who have been exiled from their country can access psychological care, legal aid, courses to learn Catalan and Spanish or try to find a job. A service that, mainly, has been devised to serve the more than 20,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Catalonia, but which also includes serving families from other countries in the same situation.
“For me, the kitchen is a symbol of welcome. Putting a plate on the table, cooking for someone, is the first step in welcoming”, explained Parellada, who did not hesitate to join this initiative because he considers that the war in Ukraine is a “social emergency”. But, he added, music also makes it possible to give this first reception. “It allows us to relax… it’s a party!” Parellada commented. Invited by the restaurateur and the NGO, and in a totally disinterested way, nine cooks and five artists have participated in the day. Àngels Puntas, Anjalina Chugani, Gessamí Boada, Carme Picas, Eva Hausmann, Laura Veraguas, Sofia Janer, Saloua Loqmane, Lola Puig and Carlota Clavé offered cooking workshops for all attendees throughout the morning. The music has been provided by Gessamí Boada, Jhana Beat, Joan Dausà, Dàmaris Gelabert, Anaïs Vila and the group Pantaleó.
a place for hugs
The Espai Refugi will be located on Calle de Béjar and is the result of a donation from a company. Apart from offering endless services for refugees, it will also serve to host the association leave it. It is a Ukrainian entity that, after more than 15 years in the city of Barcelona, will finally have its own premises. “We have never had a space for ourselves, we used to hold meetings at my house…”, explained its president, Olga Dzuyuban, visibly moved. She is concerned about the emotional state of the children and mothers who are arriving in Catalonia and the need for them to access courses to train or learn the language. “Finally they will have a place to meet other Ukrainians so they can talk and feel embraced”, said the president, who has insisted on the need to end the terror of war. “Not even today, which is Orthodox Easter, has Putin stopped killing children and civilians,” Dzuyuban lamented.
The director of the CCAR, Jorge Jarillohas recalled that in Catalonia there are already more than de 20,000 refugees who have fled the war in Ukraine, and has insisted that apart from civil society, it is important that the administrations take action on the matter in order to guarantee their reception in a “constant and long-term” way. He has also insisted that, apart from the situation in Ukraine, There are hundreds of refugees who request asylum in Spain and Catalonia and do not obtain it. In 2020, the Ministry of the Interior granted refugee status to 5% of the people who requested it, although the average in the rest of the countries of the European Union is 30%.
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