Together with GATAM: Building a warmer society… and a new starting arch for the Refugee Walk!

25 September 2023 14:43

This year, GATAM's Cultuurfabriek, together with its particpants, is building the new starting arch for the Refugee Walk. This collaboration symbolises not only a physical connection between events, but also a symbolic connection between newcomers and the labour market, citizens and communities. It is a great example of how cooperation and opportunity creation promote integration and prevent poverty.

For many newcomers, the obstacles to getting an education or finding a job are great: the language barrier, the diploma, prejudices in the labour market ... At GATAM, motivated newcomers can find meaningful employment and are assisted to bridge that distance.

GATAM is an acronym. It stands for ‘Grote Afstand Tot de ArbeidsMarkt’, meaning 'Great Distance to the Labour Market'. This is a label that very people with a refugee story are given. Something along the lines of; "work for you is not for tomorrow, there is still a lot of work to be done, that will be a tough assignment". GATAM, however, is a firm believer in their participants' abilities. They are extremely motivated to get to work, to earn a living for themselves and their families, to make Belgium their country and Antwerp their home town.

This is why we are delighted to announce that this year we will be collaborating with GATAM's Cultuurfabriek. The Cultuurfabriek - an initiative of GATAM - is specifically dedicated to the socio-cultural sector and focuses on manufacturing furniture and interior design. So, we are hugely honoured that they will build our start-up arch and that we may contribute to connecting people with a refugee background with the labour market, citizens and communities through this assignment.

Because, the future of society lies with all of us. Work is an important factor in this as it promotes integration and prevents poverty. As GATAM aptly puts it, "Connection works!" Together, we will strive for a more inclusive society in which work plays a key role in bringing about this change.