Aims, objectives and mission
Jarit (friend in Wolof) is a civil no profit association founded in 1996 and based in Ruzafa, a multicultural area in Valencia with a high presence of immigrants.
The mission of the organization is to spread and raise awareness among citizens by promoting intercultural values and fostering solidarity, respect and pacific coexistence among different cultures. Besides that, it promotes global and active citizenships through social participation, development education and community development and by working on creating synergy among Southern and Northern countries.
Jarit is a “mixed” association where immigrants and local people work hand in hand to break down discrimination, racism and to change multicultural society into intercultural.
It represents an added value and an innovative organizational model of integrative intervention, valuated as best practice within the organization itself.
Jarit is part of various network and platforms (like European network of Anna Lindh Foundation, Alternative Forum on Immigration, Platform for Ruzafa, Ruzafaart, Ruzafa Conviu, The Valencian Community Coordinator of Non-governmental organizations for Development, etc.) and participates in human rights campaigns. The organization also cooperates with other immigrants associations like Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Uruguayan, Argentineans, Chinese, Pakistani, Moroccan, Algerian, Senegalese organizations.
Jarit develops its projects also for the support provided by local volunteers (of any age) as well as by foreign young people, interns and volunteers, coming from different programs, such as Leonardo’s, European Voluntary Service, Eurodyssee, etc.).
In 2011 Jarit was officially recognized as a Public Interest Organization by the Spanish Ministry of Interior.
Main activities and projects areas
Social Action: it refers to an integral assistance program by which Jarit team provides immigrants and people in need with several services, like language courses (Castilian and Valencian classes), computer classes, integration in labour market, intercultural mediation, legal advice on immigration matters (such as, permit of stay and health assistance). Besides that, the organization is responsible for managing the Assistance Point for the Young Immigrant within the Municipal Youth Centre of Valencia.
Education for Development: the projects that refer to this area aim at promoting the respect and appreciation of cultural diversity and to foster an intercultural coexistence through non formal and informal education tools, such as, trainings, awareness extra-curricular activities in Primary and Secondary schools, online courses and festival of música mestiza.
Community Development: Social participation in immigrants’ areas through platforms and network that develop different kind of activities, like art, intercultural, social rights, etc. Organization of events like, Intercultural Days and Ruzafa Carnival. Management of an intercultural open space (Jarité) where different activities take place, like, concerts, dinners, trainings, cinema discussions, etc.
International Cooperation and Co-development: responsible tourism travels, awareness work camps, international cooperation projects (development and co-development projects in Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Saharawi camps, etc.) that manly focus on women and youth social participation.
Best practice regarding migrant inclusion
For many immigrants volunteering, which is the action of helping others, has become not only an altruistic feeling but also the opportunity to join the technical team of Jarit, some of them being hired. To reach this goal, some took the road teaching language classes; others by requesting a service, for example from legal advice and training in the Social Action Area.
Jarit is composed of a multicultural team. In the recent past, there were people from Morocco and Senegal working on various projects.
Two immigrants from Senegal have also received scholarships for university exchange. One of them is finishing his doctorate at the University of Valencia and the other is still coordinating an NGO.
In the community development projects, Art Migrant has been organized, which is a participatory tool in which migrants are integrated into a project such as the Carnival Festival of Russafa or A Les Balconades.
It is a multidisciplinary festival based on mutual enrichment through collaboration and the exchange of cultural identity between people from different backgrounds.
These projects work on social cohesion through interculturality.
Currently, the person who is coordinating the area of development cooperation is of African origin; also the coordinator of this project is from Senegal.
Lucia Andreu Ferrer
Russafa Carnaval website: http://russafaculturaviva.org/es/carnaval-russafa-2017/
Jarit website: http://www.jarit.org/