Cultural diversity & social inclusion, by SH Foundation

PlacaFSHOne of the new Associate members of Les Rencontres is the cultural Foundation ‘Serra Henriques’, based in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Fundação Serra Henriques is a private non-profit institution, created to promote and sponsor cultural and social activities. Since their first steps, they have worked with international organizations that need a dynamic support to pursue their missions. The Foundation actively pursues its statutory aims through a wide range of projects and programmes including Excellence Awards: architecture and urban development policies; Human Rights with Amnesty International and UNICEF; Migration Policies with IOM and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.  Rita Pinto Coelho is the Chairman of the Board since 1997.

Mr. Alexandre de Resende (Arts, Culture and Education Affairs) sent us the following text for sharing it with the readers of our blog. It is titled “Cultural diversity & social inclusion”:

“Working in cooperation with international organizations as IOM gives us two different perspectives: a strong comprehension of the facts in its global dimension and an immediate consciousness of the necessary humility to intervene before crucial challenges facing societies.

Policies on immigration have proved to be a major socially divisive in most European countries. The question is not merely the dispute for jobs and competition for social welfare assets but about cultural values and principles. The issue was relevant yesterday and today is critical. Should we expect immigrants to adopt the customs and behaviours of the country where an opportunity was provided? What about maintaining cultural links with homeland?

Mankind has always shifted to better settings but the movement has brutally increased over the last thirty years and the need for an effective social coexistence is peremptory in loss of major source of cultural richness: diversity.

Regular immigration policy must consider the demographic situation and labour markets, measures against criminal people-trafficking and, above all, it is mandatory to establish a procedural framework that enables different people to coexist and let education systems work.

There is space for those who believe in an honest socioeconomic integration, peaceful and enjoyable. It may seem utopia but as much as universal respect for human dignity.

One mastermind of Sustainable Development in a Diverse World expressed it purely: “Fish comes with chips and sometimes it doesn’t”.

Contact: ar@fundacaoserrahenriques.org

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