On Thursday, February 13, the LCC community and Klaipėda guests participated in the discussion regarding Klaipėda becoming a welcoming intercultural port. The audience had an exclusive opportunity to be the first to watch the short film “Sea of Sorrow. Sea of Hope”, which will be shown this weekend during the Lights Festival in Klaipėda. After the movie screening, the speakers continued a discussion focused on global migration and refugee issues.
A highlight of the event was meeting with three Syrian refugees who have found their new home here in Lithuania. Each shared their challenges when settling in Lithuania, trying to continue their education, find jobs, and learn the language. Renata Kules, Liaison/External Relations Office and Spokesperson for Lithuania from the UNHCR shared her insights about Klaipėda and its attempts to become a more welcoming city. “The concept of local integration is a two-way process, where the person arriving and the receiving society need to cooperate. One has to be open to adopt, while the other is ready to accept, help, and welcome them, but also be aware of how best to manage the diversity. We are here to support Klaipėda in becoming a more multicultural city.”
Simonas Gentvilas, Member of LR Seimas, pinpointed the importance of the welcoming society to understand their moral obligation to give back to the community by supporting and helping refugees.
We are also grateful to other speakers who shared about the best practices that are implemented in their own countries, and how they help refugees: Cheryl Greenfield, Canadian immigration and integration expert, and Helen Nilsson, Director, Nordic Council of Minister’s office in Lithuania. Thank you to our local guests Simas Simanauskas, Director, Klaipėda ID and Alina Birbalaitė, Lietuvos Raudonojo Kryžiaus Infocentras Administrator, for their insight on the migration and economic situations in Klaipėda.