Reconnecting with the Shelter City Alumni Community



July 13, 2022

Reconnecting with the Shelter City Alumni Community

In June 2022 we held five regional webinars for Shelter City Alumni, where they had the chance to connect with other human rights defenders, share their experience at Shelter City and talk about their current projects.

Shelter City Alumni Community

After their relocation to Shelter City, human rights defenders return to their home countries with renewed energy, a larger network and stronger skills.

However, the situation in their home country has rarely changed and their human rights work is still met with threats and challenges.

In April 2021 we have launched the Shelter City Alumni Community, an online platform where former guests of Shelter Cities in the Netherlands could maintain their connections with one another, support each other and show solidarity.

Regional Shelter City Alumni Community webinars

During the month of June, we held 5 webinars which brought together former Shelter City guests from different regions: Asia and the Pacific, Middle East and Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The participants were asked to share their experience at Shelter City and how it has impacted their life.

Shelter City was described as “the best experience of my life” , as having given them a chance to feel safe, rest and gain new energy to continue their human rights work.

Many of the participants shared that the trainings provided by Justice & Peace during their stay were very useful for their work, particularly the workshops on holistic security and digital security.

“I think the security trainings at Shelter City were instrumental for the work here”

Participants revealed that they shared what they had learned at Shelter City with their organizations and communities after their return home.

“Upon my return, we were able to use the new security mechanism that we learned from Shelter City”

One of the participants shared that before arriving to Shelter City, they were struggling with their mental health and at Shelter City they had the opportunity to focus on their wellbeing for the first time and meet a psychologist.

During the meetings, we also discussed how we at Shelter City can improve our support to human rights defenders after their return home. We talked about the challenges they are currently facing and the possibility of creating regional partnerships of former Shelter City guests.

Do you want to help us support our Alumni Community and human rights defenders?

You can donate now to Justice & Peace, which coordinates Shelter City.

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