At our Aleja Bielany meeting place in Wroclaw, visitors can find FOROOM, an intercultural community point where people don’t necessarily speak the same language, but where everyone wants to understand each other.
With our size and scope come responsibilities as well as great opportunities to do something good for the many people. We strongly believe that through our business we can support as well as influence positive change, so we continuously look for many chances to make people’s lives better.
What does this mean at a practical level? How do we turn our people-positive strategy into concrete actions? Well, one way is to engage people in a lively agenda of initiatives, experiences in our meeting places aimed at promoting diversity, equality and inclusion. And FOROOM is the perfect example of how this comes to life.
Created by our team at Aleja Bielany meeting place in Wroclaw in collaboration with many different partners, FOROOM is a lot more than just one spacious room: it’s an intercultural community point both for immigrants and the people of Wroclaw created to inspire inclusion for all visitors of the meeting place. It’s a space for exchanging ideas, sharing experiences and life stories – all of this, always in an international environment.
FOROOM allows everyone – regardless of nationality, gender, age, beliefs, etc.. – to participate in creative workshops that offer an insight into various cultures and promote diversity. It also offers language courses, clubs, meetings and cultural events.
People from the local communities can join the Young Diversity Trainers Programme, a yearly training consisting in sessions aimed at developing multi-cultural competences and skills to fighting discrimination, hate and exclusion. At the end of the first semester, participants are able to join meetings, lectures, cultural days and other projects co-funded and co-organised with different partners of our Aleja Bielany meeting place.
Children and families are particularly in focus in the activities that our FOROOM offers. Our meeting place team secured multicultural classes during summer holidays, morning lectures for all kids on equality and multiculturalism, along with holiday workshops for kids from different countries to familiarise them with different cultures. And considering that Polish schools currently host about 50,000 students with migration experiences, our meeting place team set up a course focused on how to work in multicultural classes. Participants have the possibility to increase their didactic, educational and pedagogical skills in working with children with a diverse cultural background.
Also, another big part of the FOROOM agenda is about offering courses for migrants to help them find their way around the Polish bureaucracy and understand important processes like obtaining a humanitarian visa, legalising their stay, reuniting with their families, and other similar formal issues.
The pilot conducted by our team at Aleja Bielany also included free legal advice for a period of time, supporting migrants with no-cost consultations about all sorts of migration issues on labour law, civil law and family law.
The partners that made FOROOM possible span from the Wroclaw Centre of Social Development (Wrocławskie Centrum Rozwoju Społecznego) and the Wroclaw Foundation for European Education and International Cooperation Freya (Wrocławska Fundacja Edukacji Europejskiej i Współpracy Międzynarodowej Freya), to the Foundation Ukraine (Fundacja Ukraina), Move & Development Foundation (MODE) and lots more.
Equality, diversity and inclusion are always great starting point from which to build a better life. At Ingka Centres, we have the ability to directly support gender equality as well as rights and opportunities for elderly people, ethnic, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities and all those groups of our society that in one way or another are the most vulnerable. Through our business and global reach, we can provide opportunities for migrant workers, refugees and other groups who are moving away from their home by choice, necessity or force. We can provide emergency support, training and employment, and work with others to create change in the systems that put people at risk. That’s why we always strive to promote inclusion, and play our part in creating a fair and equal society, while always engaging in and with our communities to create a positive impact on livelihoods and contribute to an inclusive local economy.
As a pilot for the whole Ingka Centres, FOROOM is one of the many ways we implement our People and Planet Positive strategy, and works as a launching pad for all our other meeting places to develop and start off similar local community initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, inclusion and equality.
But what we like the most about FOROOM is that it’s a beautiful place that goes beyond a company’s strategic way forward. It tells everyone stories of integration, as well as kindness, empathy, togetherness and, most of all, respect. It’s a place where people can bring in their problems and find a helping hand and support to look for a solution. Where everyone can learn something about others and is welcomed by a smiling face of someone who’s there to make their life a little bit better. It’s where people don’t necessarily speak the same language, but where everyone wants to understand each other. A small reality that showcases how a more inclusive world would look like.
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