Jointly with the minors we have created 2 large banners (4.5 x 1 m) called “Future” and “Love,” which will be exhibited at medieval Swiss castles. The children have been closely involved in the design and all phases of the project, and of course they have visited castles and learned the history of the Swiss castles.
Castles bring history to life, they landmark time, and symbolize a nobility that we all share. For many, a castle is a refuge of the soul and spirit, and a common backdrop connecting our lives with those of our ancestors and prodigy as well. In these thick and sometimes musty walls we are safe … in one sense, even immortal, where our moments, our emotions, trigger or create memories and phantasies that may last forever. Passing through time’s vaulted arches of stone is to mark our very existence. This shared passion reveals the essence of who we are. Above all else, we are true.
1- 16 April, 2017 Museum Schloss Werdenberg, Werdenberg, Switzerland
The circumstances, desperation and grief of the increasing number of refugees in Europe is touching us all deeply. Among the refugees many children between 14-18 are included who are traveling without parents or an adult family member. We are talking about a devastating 400,000 worldwide per year. About 75% of the unaccompanied minors are male and about 90% are between the age of 14-18.
Unaccompanied minors come to the EEA to:
- escape from wars and conflicts, poverty or natural catastrophes, discrimination or persecution or serious harm, i.e. international protection (asylum);
- in the expectation of a better life, following economic and aspirational reasons;
- to join family members;
- as victims of trafficking in human beings destined for exploitation, such as sexual exploitation and forced labour or services.
The majority of the unaccompanied minors currently seeking asylum in Switzerland are from Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the processing period of their asylum requests the unaccompanied minors are taken care of by the Swiss government. Jointly with other unaccompanied minors they receive a safe shelter, food, some money and a professional is appointed to represent and support them on a day-to-day basis during their stay in Switzerland. During the day the minors go to a school to learn German and other subjects. Amongst others at the Kolbenacker School in Zurich.