Building Communities

New UNHCR Malta magazine contains human interest stories, articles, opinion pieces and information about the experiences of refugees and asylum-seekers in Malta.

Members of refugee and migrant-led community organisations, and NGOs, posing for the cover of UNHCR Malta magazine.
© © UNHCR/Tümer Gençtürk

UNHCR Malta began the year with the publication of a new magazine, honouring the resilience of people in our community who have fled war and persecution as well as the organisations and individuals working towards a more inclusive society. Building Communities is the second magazine published by UNHCR Malta.

As the title implies, this magazine continues where the first edition, Moving Forward, left off; focusing on refugees living and working in the local community. The 72-page print publication was distributed with local newspaper Malta Today on Sunday 5th January. Copies will be distributed among governmental and non-governmental stakeholders working with UNHCR, as well as local organisations and the general public.

Building Communities aims to bring the experiences, stories, challenges and successes of refugees and asylum-seekers in Malta to a wider audience. Members of the public who may not usually come across such topics in their daily lives, through the media, or on social media, can access in one place a collection of informative content, engaging stories and first-person accounts of what it feels like to have to flee your home in search of safety, and rebuild your life anew in Malta. One of our feature articles, Empowering Communities, provides a glimpse into the progress refugees have made in Malta.

Refugees are not passive bystanders but active contributors, forming their own organisations and making an impact in society.

The magazine also reflects on the increased number of rescues and disembarkations that happened in Malta in 2019. While many are rescued, thanks to the Armed Forces, coast guards and Search and Rescue NGOs, many perish in the tortuous journeys across desert and sea. Abuse is rife on these journeys. You will get snippets of their experiences through some of the testimonies from asylum-seekers who travelled through Libya and spoke with us in Malta.

Amid all this suffering, there is also a great deal of humanity. This is demonstrated in the story of Mahat, a midwife from Somalia who even while detained in Libya, helped women to deliver their babies. It shows how even in the bleakest place people show bravery and solidarity with others.

The magazine also features the results of an employment study carried out following consultations with stakeholders and refugees. Employment is integral for the integration of refugees in society, as is also evident in the story of Nawras, a Syrian dog trainer; Sara, who was able to continue her architecture career; and a group of women getting the qualifications needed to build a new life.

We would like to thank all the people who feature in the magazine for sharing their stories, as well as all the writers and photographers for their contributions.

We’d also like to thank Hangar agency for the graphic design, and Sarianna Mileski for editing and proofreading.

If you or your organisation would like to collect (free) printed copies of Building Communities, kindly email us on [email protected]

A digital copy of the magazine is available to download here:

Building Communities (PDF) 


We hope you enjoy the read!