OLBIOS CORRESPONDENT CZECH REPUBLIC & RUSSIA
Ekaterina Kokkalou is a community activist and educator. Since 2007 she has been engaged in the educational system and has worked as a lecturer at universities, developed and facilitated European trainings/seminars/initiatives. Since 2009, Ekaterina has been active in the civil sector: first as a volunteer (educational programs with Roma and migrant children) in local organizations and later as a project manager/ coordinator/expert (migrant integration). Ekaterina is a president and co-founder of migrant youth platform Youth Included, which aims to support, advice, guide and educate youth by giving them a chance to develop and organize the project of their dreams, by providing them opportunities to volunteer and experience other cultures, by showing them that changing the world starts with small steps of self-exploration, self-respect, self-development and self-expression. Ekaterina is also a production manager and coordinator of volunteers of the intercultural festival Refufest, initiative uniting migrant communities, refugees and locals in Prague every year. The festival is based on active engagement of volunteers (up to 100 people every year), migrant communities, refugees, NGOs, universities and other stakeholders. The event gathers up to 7000 visitors every year. She also lectures at the integration course “Welcome to the Czech Republic” for newcomers in order to make them aware of the legal framework on permits, social and cultural specifics of the Czech Republic and access to the public institutions and NGOs. Ekaterina holds MA in Marketing and Branding (Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia), and works on her PHD project in Regional Studies (University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic). Her thesis is dedicated to the social integration of migrants.