Ecolectia, integration project

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Ecolectia is much more than a fair trade project, it is a commitment to the integration of people.

There have been some critical voices, which we don’t share, saying that fair trade is a business based on charity on the part of NGOs in which volunteers are put to work without giving them a salary, which is a contradiction since in the Fairtrade chain has to pay the activity at each one point of development, from harvest to trade.

These critics don’t know that volunteers work by giving their time "by will" and that it is a way of having occupied inactive sectors of the population that give an added value. We, on the other hand, go further and believe that the added value is to integrate migrants.

The Ecolectia team is made up of people who are trained and paid, and they are exclusively immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

In these months of work, Ecolectia has sought through collaboration with some associations such as Impulsem, Fundació APIP, CEAR or Servei Solidari and also the municipal service of SAIER, applicants of migrated men and women who would like to bet on our project and finally we have had colleagues from America, Africa and Asia.

With the opening of the project we have the indispensable help of Romuald, a fellow from Congo who now resides in France and who has been the great commercial support since day one. His experience also helped us to understand that there is still a racial discrimination that we don’t want to see and that we still have to overcome.

Another colleague who helped us from the beginning is Shukhrat from Kyrgyzstan, a boy seeking asylum to whom we regularized his situation, we trained and helped with the language. Many of the service companies (managers, banks, real estate agents) don’t know the effectiveness of a red asylum seeker card that after 6 months allows you to enjoy a regular life as a citizen while there is no firm resolution of your case, that with the few means available to the Ministry, it can be extended in years.

The case of Jamal from Syria was different. This future dentist to whom we wish many successes in his professional career, is a refugee, a status that is granted according to the situation of origin and although the Syrian war is very mediated, there are still conflicts on all continents that are silenced. Of course, we hope that with cases like his, it will help us to visualize the feats that refugee citizens who want to save their lives by entering Europe will have to overcome.

Carolina from Venezuela, the female member of the team that we wanted to achieve for a long time.

In this case it is also interesting to highlight from our humble experience with candidates that the gender gap is a handicap to overcome: many migrated women have no training, nor experience, nor knowledge of the language, limiting their stay in the Western countries to be housewives or women with low-visibility jobs such as cleaning and domestic services. This migrant collective should have more means of support to empower them and they can choose on equal terms than men and have all their rights protected.

In addition, we must remember that Carolina, who is an excellent worker, comes from Venezuela, a country that has seen hundreds of thousands of compatriots flee, being the nationality with the most asylum applicants that Spain has. We should not be equidistant to point out the human drama of Venezuelan families fleeing, for ideological or economic reasons, from a regime that we didn’t know how to criticize at the time.

Immigration is a natural human phenomenon and from Ecolectia we join the cry of the actors who demand national and European governments safe ways and a policy of asylum more guaranteed and efficient. Our team will always be of different nationalities because we believe that diversity has added and will continue to add.

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