With grateful thanks to our funders…
What makes the sense of “local”?
My name’s Giulia and I’ve come from Italy to work with City of Sanctuary for four months. I thought I’d share my impressions after my first month in Sheffield.
What has positively impressed me most is the high involvement of asylum seekers and refugees as volunteers in group activities.
In my past experience I have seen that it has often been difficult to get them involved in social initiatives promoted by local people.
The reason might be that they felt it was a “charitable gift” from local people rather than a social occasion useful for everyone from the community. In the case of asylum seekers and refugees participating, it was because they felt it as compulsory and not wanting to seem “ungrateful” for the “support” they were receiving from other people.
The spontaneous questions which arise from this are: who decides who is the rightful member of the community if it is not the community itself? Who makes the community? What makes the sense of “local”?
I can, instead, observe in Sheffield a mutual engagement from all people living in the city – whether or not they were born here- in organising, handling and participating in local events or activities: that gives the real meaning of what is local and attests to the simple essence of what is ‘community’