Human rights and advocacy
Kopin envisions a global and inclusive society, where citizens are equally empowered to contribute to a world that is free of poverty and any other forms of injustice.
Kopin is a non-profit organisation working on issues of social justice, sustainable development and human rights (especially on & children’s rights). We work in three inter-related fields: global education in Malta, support to refugees and migrants, and sustainable community development in Ethiopia and Kenya.
We focus our services to those who are most vulnerable among the migrant community in Malta, such as children and youth, including unaccompanied asylum seeking minors homeless persons, victims of trafficking in human beings, persons with mental health issues, including trauma. We also provide training and classroom activities to teachers and educators on migrant inclusion in the context of sustainable development, comprising topics such as diversity, racism, stereotypes, privilege or Islamophobia and offering tools and methodologies that are useful for diverse classrooms. Kopin is a founding member of the Malta Refugee Council, whilst we also work in coalition with other refugee support, migrant-led & diaspora organisations involved in Search and Rescue (SAR) in the central Mediterranean to demand that Malta and the EU uphold their human rights obligations. Our focus on the Horn of Africa stems from the networks we have developed in both Ethiopia and Kenya, following research we had conducted in 2009. Since then, we have been working with our partners in the countries, providing access to essential goods and services such as healthcare, clean energy, HIV/Aids assistance and education. More recently, our projects in Ethiopia have largely focused on the provision of quality early education to children of disadvantaged families living in Akaki Kality, which is a southern suburb of the country’s capital Addis Ababa. In Kenya, we work closely with the youth and community organisation Amani Kibera, providing empowerment and peace building activities for children and youth. Concerning advocacy for genuine and effective development cooperation of Malta and the EU, Kopin has been taking a leading role in the AidWatch monitoring process. We use the experiences from our work on the ground to develop educational resources, provide training to teachers and educators, deliver activities to students of all levels and give lectures to tertiary students. Topics relate to (un)sustainable development and (forced) migration, and cover subjects such as climate change, food security, tax injustice or cultural participation. The overarching aim is to stimulate critical (self-) reflection, challenging ourselves to revisit established perceptions, stereotypes and practices. We also engage in informal learning and awareness raising activities, partnering with other sectors of Malta’s society. For example, we work with artists in order to create new spaces that can stimulate discussion about relevant topics; we promote alternatives to mainstream economic activity through research about and dissemination of good practices of social and solidarity economy, placing people before profits; and we engage in prison education programmes that aim to foster the reintegration of convicts into society.