SOCIAL ACTION

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Today’s world has the highest levels of displacement in the history of humankind. Despite the complexity of the causes that prompt millions of people to abandon their land and their social, family and affective ties, in the majority of cases there is one common denominator: serious and sustained violations of their human rights.

Just as forced migration is inexorably linked to human rights violations, so too are these violations directly associated with the current capitalist, ethnocidal and ecocidal economic system. The implacable denial of interdependency and ecodependency, which is an inherent characteristic of said model, points us directly towards the structural reasons for this phenomenon, which results in a constant increase in the number of those in need of international protection, whether it be on a permanent or temporary basis.

At Mundubat, we believe that, in light of the current situation of territorial plundering and lack of protection, we need to break away from the classic view of forced displacement.

We are convinced that forced displacement occurs as the result of the sustained violation of human rights (economic, social, cultural, environmental, civil or political),

when the state fails, either by action or by omission, to honour its obligation to protect its citizens.

In line with our critical and emancipatory view of human rights, and without forgetting the diversity with which they are materialised in each individual context, at Mundubat we believe it is necessary to take twofold action: first, we need to provide material and social aid to individuals and families who have been forced to migrate; and second, we must specifically strive to protect those groups that work actively to transform this global model and who are directly persecuted as a result, generating safe spaces in which they can rest and regain their strength. In other words, we need to provide spaces that enable the articulation of struggles at different latitudes, but which have a set of common goals.

In response to the demands of different groups working with the migrant population, as well as organisations from the Global South that are harassed and persecuted as a result of their actions, alongside a group of volunteers from Gallarta, Mundubat’s Department of Social Action set up the Martin Etxea Shelter as a space of refuge and protection. The shelter is the main headquarters of the Department and the place where the processes focused on those areas that constitute our raison d’être are materialised.

The Social Action Department consists in 8 action points:

Our shelter programme aims to offer a safe space providing temporary housing to two types of individuals and families:

  • undocumented migrants who have left their homes in search of better social and economic opportunities.
  • human rights advocates who require (international) protection due to persecution in their countries/places of origin, as a result of their social and political activism in favour of changing a system that generates exclusion and injustice, as well as their commitment to defending, promoting and protecting human rights.

This area of action is comprehensive and far-ranging, and includes:

The material support we provide at Martin Etxea comprises temporary housing and medical and psychological care for individuals and families who have migrated in search of asylum and/or refuge.

This support is provided in Gallarta, Bizkaia, which is where the Martin Etxea Shelter is located.

During their stay at Martin Etxea, all individuals and families participate in agro-environmental training activities.

The training process includes not only the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, but also its practical application in the Martin Etxea kitchen garden, which produces food for the shelter’s residents.

The aid we provide to individuals and families at Martin Etxea also includes helping them find institutional resources to ensure their autonomy and independence.

This involves political advocacy work, which is carried out through the direct relationships established by members of Mundubat’s Department of Social Action with the institutional authorities and figures responsible for migration and social aid.

We firmly believe in the power of political advocacy as a means of ensuring compliance with the institutional and public obligation to recognise everyone as full and equal citizens, regardless of their condition or origin.

We believe that the processes of emancipation that are so necessary for transforming our societies must take place at many different levels; it is not only those working and living in towns and sectors suffering a direct violation of their rights who need to emancipate themselves and acquire critical political and collective tools to lead processes of liberation and transformation. Given that the problems threatening social wellbeing today affect the whole of humanity and generate devastating impacts throughout the world, at a global scale, the need for emancipation and to break away from the destructive hegemony is also a global necessity.

Being well aware of this, Mundubat’s Department of Social Action makes a concerted effort to set in motion processes of Education for Social Transformation that aim to close the gap between the North and South, between awareness and the possibility of solving problems at a local and global level. This involves organising awareness-raising activities, engaging in political advocacy and carrying out training actions involving the people and organisations to whom we provide refuge, as well as Basque civil society in general.

Through its Department of Social Action, Mundubat makes a concerted effort to strengthen collaborative ties with other social, social-labour and human rights violation surveillance and reporting organisations and initiatives in the Basque Country, Spain and abroad.

Our commitment to reconstructing and consolidating the diverse and internationalist social fabric has resulted in a firm working base, grouped into different volunteer commissions with members from the very highest levels of activism/professional activity.

  1. Welcoming and mutual humanitarian support commission.
  2. Organisation, finance and legal affairs commission.
  3. Awareness-raising, political advocacy and communication commission.
  4. Maintenance and food sovereignty commission.

We also have a Coordination Team which includes any member of any commission who wishes to participate, as well as the adults (human rights advocates, refugees and/or socioeconomic migrants) living at Martin Etxea. The team meets once a month.

Through our Department of Social Action, we are working to design and implement a communication strategy that will enable us to raise people’s awareness of and denounce situations of injustice.

We believe it is important to disseminate these situations in order to contribute to political and social process that urgently need to prosper in order to put an end to the human rights violations that continue to be committed in a systematic manner.

To this end, we strive to encourage the collaboration, solidarity and responsibility of the media, in order to denounce and render visible the different situations and injustices we witness during our work.

Through our Department of Social Action, we are working to design and implement a communication strategy that will enable us to raise people’s awareness of and denounce situations of injustice.

We believe it is important to disseminate these situations in order to contribute to political and social process that urgently need to prosper in order to put an end to the human rights violations that continue to be committed in a systematic manner.

To this end, we strive to encourage the collaboration, solidarity and responsibility of the media, in order to denounce and render visible the different situations and injustices we witness during our work.

As part of its accompaniment work, Mundubat’s Department of Social Action also develops safety plans for individuals and families returning to their countries of origin.

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