Network of ‘anti-hearsay agents’ to end topics about immigrants
The Catalan town of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia aims to deploy agents to counterbalance prejudices and stereotypes concerning its foreign residents, with the aim to prevent conflicts and promote mutual understanding The foreign community represents 9.3% of the population.
Sant Sadurní d\u2019Anoia (ACN).- Sant Sadurní d\u2019Anoia, the cava manufacturing city between Barcelona and Tarragona with a 9.3% immigration rate, is developing a course to train \u2018anti-hearsay agents\u2019. These agents will know the problems that affect the foreign community and will mediate with local society in order to prevent conflicts and promote mutual understanding.
Sant Sadurní d\u2019Anoia is a small town of 12,000 people located in the Alt Penedès County. It is also the capital city of the cava wine region. The Town Hall of the cava capital has decided to deploy a network of \u2018agents\u2019 with the sole aim of ending different topics and prejudices about immigrants. The foreign community of Sant Sadurní represents 9.3% of the population, which means over 1,100 citizens. Approximately half of them come from Morocco.
The Town Hall and the African and International Studies Centre are behind the project. Their target group are people who consider that immigrants do not respect commercial hours or that they receive all school meals scholarships. The main intention is to create a network of informed people with a set of arguments to let the locals know the truth behind the prejudices.
Attendees at the course will see which are the most popular stereotypes and discriminatory statements immigrants have to suffer. From here, they will be prepared to know better other cultures and how can they develop communicative abilities such as empathy with new arrivals or the correct use of language and non-verbal communication. By doing this the future \u2018anti-hearsay-agents\u2019 will be provided with real data about immigration. They could reflect cultural problems and diversity in society; analyse stereotypes, hearsays and prejudices, and help as to how to manage these kinds of situations.
Gemma Girona, the person responsible for the Mediation and Welcome Service of Sant Sadurní\u2019s Town Hall, told ACN they decided to run the course due to the crisis: \u201CAs the crisis kicked in so did more and more hearsay about immigration\u201D. Girona added they \u201Cwanted to anticipate conflict situations\u201D.