On the fourth of April, the Altochtonen van de Toekomst came together to talk about the Burgerkabinet. ‘BurgerWHAT?!’ was the reaction of several youngsters who joined us. One of them is Meri. ‘I didn’t know what the meeting was about,’ Meri admits. ‘It doesn’t matter to me what we do. I just like to be with the group.’
The first activity of our day is called “mini-burgerkabinet”. It’s a preparation in which we make recommendations for Minister Sven Gatz, that we will discuss on the sixth of May during the Burgerkabinet in the Flemish Parliament, which will focus on Brussels. We talk about Brussels as a place to shop, Brussels as a capital and diversity in Brussels. In small groups we discuss what we like, what could be improved and we come up with some great new ideas.
Brainstorming session Burgerkabinet
During lunch break I ask Meri how she likes it so far. ‘I like to talk about Brussels because I live here and I can talk about it. I know what Brussels is like and what can be improved.’
Meri is 18 years old and came to a meeting of Altochtonen van de Toekomst for the first time in December 2016, after she heard about the project from two of her friends. She says that she felt very welcome the first time she came to an activity and that everyone is very nice to new people, even though she does not speak a lot of Dutch. ‘These meetings can help me to learn Nederlands better’. Meri is very happy to see new faces every time she comes to a meeting. Today as well, there are two girls who came to a meeting for the first time.
After the lunch break we talk about how we, as Altochtonen van de Toekomst, can promote the Refugee Walk. We discuss whether we are going to make a video like last year, or maybe use pictures instead? We discuss who wants to walk in the team of Altochtonen and come up with some cool group names.
Brainstorming session Refugee Walk
Here are some more photos of last Tuesday: