A tool to help with family reunification
The parents have lived in Barcelona for years while their children stayed on in their country of origin and lived with other family members. These are youngsters who arrive in the city to resume family life with their parents in summer, when there is no school. The programme ‘Noves famílies’ [new families] helps make it easier for newly-arrived youngsters to adapt to family life, their social environment, their neighbourhood and the city.
One of the initiatives included on the programme is the project ‘A l’estiu, Barcelona t’acull’ [in summer, Barcelona takes you in], which is particularly aimed at youngsters arriving in summer, outside term time. The objective? To ease their arrival in Barcelona as they resume life with their parents and become familiar with new circumstances and new surroundings.
Lola López, Commissioner for Immigration, explains: “The activity is voluntary and the main areas of work are to promote the Catalan language, interculturality as an exchangeable value and familiarisation with the social make-up of the city. The process also involves their parents and those closest to them”.
Seven Barcelona libraries act as meeting points for the activity. Every summer some 140 youngsters arrive in the city and in groups of 20 they are provided with the tools to relate to others, work on self-confidence and learn Catalan as a way of connecting with their local surroundings. The activity also brings them into contact with other youngsters in the same situation.
Libraries are not the only places for the activity though, as activities also take place in markets, parks and public squares, where youngsters can come into contact with residents in their new city.