Melting pot – swissinfo

In Bern, migrant women are learning German while having fun cooking together. The women’s cook group is held twice a week at the House of Religions, a centre which brings different religions together. Hindus, Buddhists and Christians learn about each other’s eating habits and food preferences, while gardening and cooking together. The project helps migrants put down roots in their new home. (Morven McLean and Christoph Balsiger, swissinfo.ch)
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‘Mountain Maradona’ – swissinfo

He’s only 1.69 metres tall, weighs 72 kilos and is 19 years old. In August, Xherdan Shaqiri was named Swiss Footballer of the Year for his performance in the Swiss national team. He showed the title was well-earned with his hat-trick against Bulgaria in September. The Swiss are hoping he will work his magic again this weekend, when their team face Wales in a qualifier for the 2012 European Football Championships. (SF/swissinfo.ch)
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Asylum in the mountains – swissinfo

The Arab Spring has led to a huge increase in asylum applications in Switzerland: 9,800 in the first six months of the year. Switzerland decided to open up a military bunker in the remote Jaunpass, in the Bernese Alps, to take pressure off the four reception centres on the country’s borders. Residents are free to come and go as they please. But many locals seem unhappy with the decision. (SF/swissinfo.ch)
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Turning off African migrants

sriimg20071128_8474336_2a.jpgSwitzerland is funding a bleak anti-migration television campaign in Africa to discourage would-be migrants from trying to seek their fortunes in Europe. The hard-hitting advert, which has been aired on prime-time television in Cameroon and Nigeria, depicts the life of freshly arrived migrants in Europe as one fraught with problems and dangers. In the film an African migrant phones his father from somewhere in Europe in the pouring rain and assures him that all is well while in reality he is living on the street, being chased by the police and having to beg for a living. “Don’t believe everything you hear. Leaving is not always living,” is the final message of the film. The advert is part of a television, radio and poster campaign by the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration, funded by Switzerland and the European Commission.