Myths about migration such as the fact that foreigners are an economic burden for the state budget, that they spread dangerous diseases, contribute to increased crime, or that a Muslim woman must wear a burqa, were teared down by students of the Evangelical Gymnasium in Banská Bystrica as part of the project “People from another land”.
It is the project “People from another land” that responds to the reopening of the topic of migration as a potential threat to Slovakia, which was also opened during the recent presidential elections.
The main theme of the project is migration, its causes and consequences, together with the students’ discussion about their views on the subject, but also about the facts and myths that comes along with migration.
Students’ project took place in 2 phases. In the first phase, individual workshops consisted of various activities, which were supposed to lead the participants to reflect on the topic of migration and to express and to evaluate their opinion. No opinion is wrong, everyone could enrich the debate with his/her opinion and motivate all students to look at the migration in a different way.
For example, students should imagine the situation, that their new classmate would be a girl wearing a hijab, or that a Muslim prepares and sells their favorite kebab, or that their new doctor is from the non-EU country with a very basic Slovak.
In the second phase of the project, discussion groups were held, where students could personally talk to migrants living in Slovakia. The migrants told their story to small groups of students who, through authentic stories, could learn about their reasons for leaving their home country. The whole event was a great success, learning experience and food for thought for all the students.