Since its opening on the 28th of September 2010, it has promoted various projects and initiatives to help Ecuadorian immigrants living in the United Kingdom and, provide them with information about the services administered by the Ecuadorian state.
Meetings, workshops, musical events, agreements to promote the integration of this community in the United Kingdom, and a fruitful meeting with the deputy mayor of London, Richard Barnes, have been some of the initiatives that this entity has undertaken during the five months since its creation.
As agreed in the Latin American council meeting, organized by the Ecuadorian Consulate in London, which took place on the 19th of January, when the coordinator of the National Secretariat for Migrants (Senami) in the English capital, Jorge Moreno, reviewed the initiatives developed in 2010.
In November, the Third Meeting of the Ecuadorian Community was held, where issues about university studies in the United Kingdom and rights to work were discussed. In December, The Workshop for Human Mobility took place, with the participation of Oscar Jara, representative of Senami in Europe, alongside members of Ecuadorian organizations, in order to discuss the migration policies that Ecuador has developed in the last years.
Also in December, collaboration agreements were signed with the Carila Latin American Welfare Group (for co-operation on health, housing and education issues) and with the Association of Latin American Workers (LAWAS) for the protection of workers’ rights.
Perhaps one of the more emotive and important dates was the celebration – last 18th of December – of the International Day of the Migrant, a day in which various activities related to migration were organized and, in which there was information available about the rights of Ecuadorians abroad.
Another well received appearance, was the visit of the musician Héctor Jaramillo, who besides receiving a commemorative plaque from the House for his artistic contribution, said to those present: “Do not lose your identity and our roots, you can have a British Passport for circumstantial reasons, but the most important thing is to never lose your Ecuadorian heart”
This is not just an attractive expression but a means to strengthen the work of the institution, through a twin-track approach involving both solidarity and support, which achieves an improved service in the majority of cases.
The idea, since its inception under the name of ‘Network of Friends of the Ecuadorian House London’ has worked: in the short period of time that has passed, many Ecuadorian and British organizations have joined the network.
At present, the members of the network are, the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom, the Council of Ecuador in London, the Municipality of London, the Anglo-Ecuadorian Society, the Association of Ambateños, the Association of Catamayo, the Association of Gonzanameños, the Association of Lojanos, the Association of Quilanga, the Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce, Cidalia, Carila, Ecuadorian Community Association (ECA), Immigration Advisory Service (IAS), Latin American Womens Aid (Lawa), Latin American Workers Association (Lawas), Latin American Womens Rights Service (Lawrs), Migrants Resource Centre, Movimiento Ecuador en el Reino Unido (Meru), Nabas Legal Services, the International Organization of Migrations (OIM), the Society of Tungurahua, the Telephone of Hope and The Prisma.
On the13th of January this year, a diplomatic delegation from Ecuador in the United Kingdom, met the Deputy Mayor of London, Richard Barnes, and informed him about the work of Senami for the Ecuadorian community in London.
Barnes supported the initiative of the Ecuadorian House and considered this to be a great example for other communities of immigrants in the English capital.
The meeting was conducive to strengthening the links between both institutions, and the Ecuadorian delegation, headed by the ambassador Ana Albán, expressed her willingness to work alongside the Mayor of London.
By the end of last September Richard Barnes had visited the Ecuadorian House, on the occasion of the inauguration of its offices in London and with a view to initiating links between City Hall and the recently created institution.
(Translated by Evelyn Dench – Email: email@example.com)