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21 October, 2016

Amina Khalid participating in SPUR programmeAmina Khalid, Initiatives of Change’s Sustainable Communities Consultant, took part in a new programme aimed at looking at ways of building bridges and integration within the European Union. The SPUR programme took place in Athens, Greece in June.

The project brought together participants from 14 different European countries who discussed issues such as protecting the rights of minority communities, stabilizing aspects of society affected by poverty and economic recession, promoting social cohesion and encouraging interfaith dialogue at a European level.


The aim was to encourage new ideas on how to overcome discrimination and segregation and move towards a more tolerant and integrated Europe. With the current refugee crisis and immigration fuelling hate crime and xenophobia across the continent, the group looked at ways to:

  • Stabilize the social welfare, health, employment, education, environment and culture affected by economic recession and poverty
  • Protect the fundamental rights of people, in particular of minorities
  • Help restore law and civil equality for a peaceful society
  • Promote and foster economic development
  • Creating a new narrative for Europe that is based on moral principles and values

Amina said: 'This was a fantastic opportunity to be part of a European-wide initiative aimed at seeking new ways of encouraging integration and social cohesion. I was grateful to be invited to represent Sustainable Communities and Initiatives of Change at such a platform. We each have a part to play in building a better society, one that is tolerant of other faiths and cultures and inclusive to all.'

The project, supported by the Europe for Citizens programme, was an initiated by the town of Nea Smyrni in Athens, Greece. The town has historic links with refugees as a large number had arrived and settled from İzmir in Turkey (formerly called Smyrna) in the 1922 population exchange between Greece and Turkey.

More information about the four events, click here.

For more information about the project, programmes, videos and photos, click here.

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