The First Network Practitioners Annual Meeting

Brussels, May 10-12, 2022

For the first time Network Practitioners alongside A World of Neighbours researchers and practitioners within the broader network met in person.

Being the first annual meeting and in a formative phase of A World of Neighbours development, the meeting was dedicated to strenghtening the bonds between people and setting the structure.

decisions and outcome

A World of Neighbours Network is an outcome of the programme Interreligious Praxis for Peace – A World of Neighbours which was run by the Church of Sweden between the years 2018-2022. At the first annual meeting an interim board was elected and the interreligious European network for practitioners, A World of Neighbours, will now be registered as a foundation.

The purpose of the foundation is to provide practitioners with a useful and relevant network of colleagues working with people on the move  in order to facilitate: mutual support, good practice and learning exchange, communications including rapid response, in country collaboration, advocacy and research.

The interim board
The meeting voted in favor of a 9-person board, with quorum of 5 people and decision possible with only 4 votes, making sure we can move forward dynamically:

  1. Jean Duff, Partnership for Faith & Development, Ireland (cohort 4)
  2. Atallah Fitzgibbon, Islamic Relief Worldwide (cohort 2)
  3. Rebecca Lillian, rabbi at Shir Hatzafon in Copenhagen (cohort 1)
  4. Ryszard Bobrowicz, researcher and acting director for the Network Practitioner Programme and
  5. Maria Kjellsdotter Rydinger, theologian and practitioner
  6. Aude Sathoud, Public Relations & Lobbying Manager at Voice of Ezidis, (cohort 4)
  7. Aida Moayedzadeh, project leader for social innovation at Church of Sweden, (cohort 1)
  8. Alaaddin Uslu, student (cohort 2)
  9. Sayed Parviz Khyber, student and member of the European Commission Expert Group on the Views of Migrants

Next annual meeting
Next annual meeting will be held some time between May 29 and June 2, 2023.

Editorial team
To work on the development of strategy and content of internal and external communications the meeting elected Magdalena Wernefeldt, journalist working for the Church of Sweden, Zoé Balakrishnan, project manager Jesuit Refugee Services, Amloud Alamir, journalist working at Amal, Berlin! and Aude Sathoud, Public Relations & Lobbying Manager at Voice of Ezidis.

A group of twelve people went to Calais and Dunkirque directly after the meeting for The Walk of Shame. It is a project where people join people on the move in places where they are temporarily staying with no other intention than spend time together. It’s proven to be an excellent way to ‘rehumanise Europe’ bit by bit.


who met?

Invitations was sent to all practitioners who have been through the Network Practitioners Programme, the AWoN researchers and to some practitioners and affiliates in the broader network. If you have any questions, send us an email:

Organizing team

Rikko Voorberg

Rikko Voorberg

Maria Kjellsdotter Rydinger

Maria Kjellsdotter Rydinger

Ryszard Bobrowicz

Ryszard Bobrowicz


About the Network Practitioner Annual Meeting

To the degree that refugees and migrants have been received and integrated into European society, there is a robust and committed ecology of actors at work, in grassroots receiving communities, humanitarian organizations, centres for research and advocacy, local, national, and pan-European governing bodies and inter-governmental agencies. 

The unique and pivotal role of receiving communities — those that will walk step-by-step with their new neighbours — is now gaining greater recognition in policy and institutional arenas. When receiving communities are networked together, they can offer mutual support, share best practices, and advocate on behalf of each other. 

The Network Practitioner Programme of A World of Neighbours seeks to establish a supportive and dynamic community among practitioners across Europe, serving receiving communities and affiliated humanitarian organizations on behalf of refugees and migrants. 

Network practitioners  will gather together annually with people on the move from across Europe to strategize and implement a bottom-up agenda.