How celebrating together can be seen as a step towards local integration

On the coming Christmas Holidays in Romania, we found the perfect occasion to celebrate together with the Ukrainian community.

Christmas event

Brings the spirit of Christmas

    On 19th of December ARCA organized a cultural event at the intersection of multiple relevant events, both international and national, Ukrainian and Romanian. We met on this day with the occasion of International Migrants Day (18th of December), St. Nicholas Day in Ukraine (19th of December) and Christmas on 25th of December in both Romania and officially also in Ukraine since the legislative change took place in Ukraine in the middle of 2023. Since 2017, the date has been one of the official state holidays. Before that, Christmas was celebrated by many on January 7 by the Julian calendar.

    We made a public invitation to Ukrainian families, but places were limited. So mothers and children who called first were given priority to participate. The event gathered 111 participants. It was definitely a challenge for our team members to manage all people’s kind requests, while cramming in a reasonably sized office space.

    Drawing on the board was a leisure activity keeping children preoccupied and enthusiastic about the Christmas holidays, some moments to unleash their creative potential. Adults also assisted children with drawing, becoming not just a source of joy for children, but an opportunity for parents to guide children in their artistic expression.

Gift sharing was also on our agenda

    Christmas presents for young children were prepared before, ready to be offered by Santa’s assistants to the little ones. The packages included fruits, sweets and snacks, as well as stationary in case they enjoyed drawing and coloring.

    This opportunity was used to provide assistance to other organizations, special presents for teens over the age of 15 were distributed also, Romanian Angel Appeal being the organization who offered them to ARCA to be assisted with one of their specific activities addressing youth. 82 children received gifts from our sponsors and spent time with pleasure in a cheerful atmosphere.


Christmas event

    As members of the civil society we consider that by working on creating a welcoming environment and offering the migrant community a shared space of values and traditions more possible steps can be taken towards local integration, thus building on the existing commonalities while addressing the existing gaps and differences. The wellbeing of people is vital for any efforts to be considered further as required by any new society in terms of language, culture, employment prospects and social integration. In the end, a good human relationship with the other triggers the best results in any of us.

Happy New Year!

The current article is part of a series of communication materials with the overall objective to increase awareness around migration-related issues through #constructive narratives.

The project #UkraineNow is co-financed by the European Union through Erasmus+. The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the content, which reflects only the views of the authors. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.