Earlier this year a delegation from Bulgaria composed of unionists, education staff and local authorities’ representatives visited Spain to share practices with Spanish counterparts with regards to integrating newcomers and refugees in education and explore joint strategies to tackle common challenges.

The peer-to-peer visit took place from 10 to 14 April 2018 in Valencia, Mislata and Aldaia where the host union FECCOO has been implementing a number of initiatives aiming to promote the education rights of newcomers since 2016. The president of the Bulgarian union SEB, Yanka Takeva and the mayor of Lyulin, a district of Sofia, Milko Mladenov, were amongst the Bulgarian delegates, together with teachers and school principals. 

The group visited the IES La Morería in Mislata and attended one of the artistic activities implemented with students and education staff by FECCOO throughout the schoolyear, as part of its programme “School without borders” (Escuela sin fronteras). The group also had the opportunity to exchange practices and pedagogical techniques with administrative and teaching staff in Colegio Santa Creu of Mislata. 

The delegation met with all partners collaborating with FECCOO in advocacy activities in favour of refugees’ rights: cultural center Ker África, the local education authorities (Consellería d’Educació, Investigació, Cultura y Sport), the mayors of Valencia and Mislata, the Accomodation Centre for Refugees in Mislata (Centro de Acogida a Refugiados, CAR) and the local section of the Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR). 

Finally, a closing “working” meeting was organized with local and national representatives of FECCOO and its confederation CCOO, to discuss the role of unions in promoting the rights of migrants and refugees and democratic values.