Return & Reintegration
NUMBER 08-February 2010
Statistical analysis Caritas 2009
Statistical analysis Caritas 2009
In 2009, 3 years after we started working world- Out of the need and the concern to evaluate and
International Partner week 2009 wide, the cell Voluntary Return & Reintegration adjust our program on a permanent basis, 9 evalua-
worked in 38 countries and our network of local tion missions were undertaken in 2009, some in the
Information sessions about voluntary frame of the national project FEDASIL, others in the
partners was expanded.
return frame of European projects as ERSO and CRI.
In 2009, 259 persons were assisted during their Throughout 2009, our partners and projects in Ar-
A return story: Nepal and Macedonia
return and reintegration, whereas in 2008 they menia, Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Cam-
numbered 347. In total more than 850 persons eroon, Nepal and Mongolia were visited and evalu-
have been supported by the cell Voluntary Re- ated in this way.
turn & Reintegration since 2006. At the begin-
ning, only Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and Serbia Besides these evaluation missions, an international
Caritas International were our partner countries. Ever since the activi- partner week was organized in Brussels from 26th to
Cell Voluntary Return & Reintegration ties in 2007 have widened to a worldwide level, 30th of October. In this week partners from 12 coun-
788 people have been assisted. tries met to prepare in a very intensive way our new
European project “Strengthening Tailor Made As-
Head of service Anne Dussart The toughening of accessibility criteria of the sisted Voluntary Return: STAVR”. From 2010 the
+32 2 2293604 reintegration program and the announcement of local partners will function as “focal points” in this
a large regularisation campaign in July led to a project (see article p2)
remarkable decrease of the number of demands
compared to 2008. The very last weeks of the In 2009 two projects that started in 2006 and 2007
year showed a slight increase of the normal were closed. Both of the projects where we have
Asia Annelieke Carlier number of returns, as many had only postponed been cooperating in an active way, namely CRI
+32 2 2293586 their departure to check if they met the criteria (Country of Return Information) and ERSO
Africa Thomas Jézéquel of the regularisation campaign. (European Reintegration Support Organizations).
+32 2 2111052
60 The CRI project has ended but it brought to Caritas
Balkan Sofie De Mot
and the concerned partners a lot of expertise re-
+32 2 2111059 50
garding the cooperation with local partners for col-
Latin America Rut Van Caudenberg
40 lecting information. We continue to cooperate with
+32 2 2293602
these CRI partners in the frame of the new STAVR
Caucase/Ukraine Ine Lietaert 30 Series1
project and requires of the 14 focal point countries
+32 2 2293602 20 who are now fixed partners, that they should be
10 able to provide quickly a detailed answer to any
question from migrants or social services in Bel-
Country information Alexander Coppens gium.
ja n v -0 8
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n o v -0 8
n o v -0 9
fé v r - 0 8
a v r-0 8
a o û t- 0 8
fé v r - 0 9
a v r-0 9
a o û t- 0 9
m a rs -0 8
m a i-0 8
s e p t- 0 8
o c t- 0 8
d é c -0 8
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m a i-0 9
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+32 2 2293650
The ERSO project, officially closed in august 2009,
persists through an internet platform which creates
Our main return countries remained essentially
the opportunity for Caritas and other European
the same as in 2008, though the Latin American
NGO’s who are member of ERSO, to continue work-
and the African countries became more impor-
email@example.com ing together. Thanks to this ERSO project our part-
Main return countries ners from different countries as Caritas Armenia,
2008 2009 Mongolia and Ukraine got reinforced. As a result,
Brazil 65 Ukraine 58 returnees from Belgium, Austria, Germany and the
Mongolia 32 Mongolia 44 Netherlands could been offered the same assistance
Ukraine 22 Armenia 34 in these countries. The extra reintegration support,
Nepal 16 Brazil 34 offered by different ERSO-partners, has been equal-
Bosnië 12 Nepal 24 ised which made disappear the existing differences
Armenia 11 Kosovo 17 in between national reintegration programs.
Kososvo 10 Serbia 14
Serbia 9 Georgia 14
Georgia 9 Bosnia 11
Cameroon 6 Macedonia 11
RETURN & REINTEGRATION-NUMBER 08-February 2010 2
International Partner week 2009
The traditional partner week of Caritas International Belgium was The last day of this “work week” (this year we had no time for a
organized in October 2009. 14 partners of 14 different nationali- trip!) was dedicated to Country Information. After years of ex-
ties were invited. 3AE (Guinea) and Caritas Nepal were unable to perience in European projects, Caritas Belgium wants to continue
come, the others were present: Caritas Armenia, Drina (Bosnia), the information gathering on his own and in an appropriate way.
IMDH Name (Brazil), HIAS (Ecuador), Caritas Georgia, Caritas India, It is important that the foreign partners know exactly what we
CCEY (Cameroon), Caritas Kosovo, Caritas Mongolia, Solidarity Net want to achieve and which type of practical, useful reports we
Ukraine, Caritas Senegal and BCGO (Togo). want to publish together and update on our website
www.reintegrationcaritas.be. In addition, we expect that our
partners are always willing to investigate any question about
their country and that they answer quickly. Through a short
Each partner was given the time to present himself and his organi-
training we explained the criteria the information should meet
sation and Caritas International too introduced its activities. On day
(recent info, profound sources, thorough and reliable examina-
two, the new STAVR project for 2010 was explained. The goal of this
tion). Only in this way it is possible for Caritas Belgium to func-
pilot project is to create in 14 countries with a high return percent-
tion as a solid help desk were each migrant may ask his/her
age, an intensive and professional assistance, for vulnerable groups
questions about his/her country.
and persons who want to start up a micro-business, through a fixed
structure of local partners (focal points). These 14 countries are
Armenia, Bosnia, Brazil, Cameroun, Ecuador, Georgia, Guinea, India,
Kosovo, Mongolia, Nepal, Ukraine, Senegal and Togo.
Therefore, during the partner week, the development of independ-
ent businesses in the homeland was focussed upon. For this pur-
pose, the brand new partnership with UNIZO was explained and
UNIZO members introduced themselves and their organisation.
They confirmed that, from now on, they are willing to guide individ-
ual returnees intensively to prepare a business plan. Beside this
option, special attention will still be given in 2010 to vulnerable
returnees (sick people, minors…).
On Wednesday, we had a separate meeting with each of our foreign
guests about the strengths and weaknesses of the project: what
should we pay more attention to, what can be done differently?
Things as the impossibility to overview huge countries (Brazil,
Ukraine…), difficult internet connections (African countries), the
prominent and permanent presence of the past in former conflict
The partner week was a success, and perhaps it was the most
zones (Balkan), recurred in these meetings.
valuable partner week so far. Together, we worked, listened,
In the afternoon, a maating took place among the Africans, in discussed en debated harder than ever about the sense and the
preparation of the African conference that will be organised by Cari- nonsense, the success and the objectives of reintegration. The
tas Belgium in Senegal in November 2010. Also Cordaid from the past was evaluated, the future project was explained, planned
Netherlands and Caritas Europe were present as involved parties. and carefully considered. The fundaments have been laid for
The African conference will be a meeting between more than ten 2010, a year with a lot of changes: increased and tailored social
African organizations working in reintegration, from as many coun- support for each problem, more detailed reporting and higher
tries. Its objective is to strengthen a common awareness about rein- budgets for micro businesses. Caritas realizes that they cherish
tegration. high expectations from their international partners and tries to
comply with any need for support or concerns and comments.
For the social workers in Belgium, the climax of this week was the
partner day, where everyone confronted with voluntary return in Besides the planned activities, the partner week caused an unex-
Belgium, had the chance to question the local partners about very pected and fascinating border phenomenon. What began as a
concrete possibilities and events in the specific countries. The turn- gathering of delegates from around the world, who introduced
out was very high (up to 50 attendees) and participation was ani- themselves with much reserve, ended in a gathering of a close
mated and interactive. This busy day of workshops was concluded group of friends in a very positive atmosphere. To be repeated.
with a casual reception. The feedback we received afterwards, was
RETURN & REINTEGRATION-NUMBER 08-February 2010 3
Information sessions about voluntary return
Besides providing increased reintegration assistance in the At the beginning of Christmas holidays, Caritas International
country of return, the information to the target group in opened its doors for the Georgian, the Armenian and the
Belgium about the possibilities after a voluntary return is Ukrainian community. The Armenian migrant community
also a major objective of the new STAVR project. From ex- Narek represented by mr Jamharyan, and mrs Managadze as
perience, Caritas International realizes that migrant organi- important key figures in the Georgian community, as well as
sations are the most accessible way to reach migrants. mr Kiryenko of the Ukrainian church, had put their forces
Therefore different migrant communities have been con- together to organize
tacted in a first phase of this project. With Caritas Interna- an information ses-
tional they published an information leaflet in their mother sion and were trans-
tongue. Some migrant organisations organised already an lating simultane-
information session where the possibilities of voluntary ously for the present
return have been explained. participants. Mr
Jamharyan as well as
mrs Managadze had
The first information session on 12th of December was or- experience of orga-
ganised by Ev Negdel, an organisation representing the nizing information sessions out of an earlier cooperation
Mongolian community in Belgium. As the majority of the with Caritas International through the CRI project. After
Mongolian community lives in Antwerp, the information presentation and questions, everybody could stay and have
session was organised in this city at the Scheldt. After the typical and original Armenian, Georgian and Ukrainian drinks
presentation of the reintegration possibilities in Mongolia, and food.
there was an opportunity to ask questions, concluded by a
As far as the African communities are concerned, contacts
drink. The interest and the attention for the information
have been settled with the Guinean, Cameroonian and Sene-
session was high and this offer of clear information in their
galese communities. The meetings are difficult to organise
own mother language was an important matter for the
but the representants of the Senegalese association SENE-
BEL (www.wasenebel.be) and the Cameroonian BRUKMER
On 13th of December the Ecuadorian migrant organisation (www.brukmer.be) are already spreading the information in
ASERB started their session, which they chose to organise on the heart of the community, and Caritas International inter-
a wide variety of subjects (and not only voluntary return). venes on 6th of February during the Cameroonian cultural
Therefore, also Oscar week in Brussels with a debate about the possibilities to
Flores of CRER and start up a business in their country.
Dorien De Troy of
UNIZO were invited.
They gave a presenta- The cooperation with different migrant organisations is very
tion about the regu- important to Caritas. These communities know the people
larisation procedure who they are representing, they speak their language and
and about the possi- they know how they can be reached. Moreover this coop-
bilities to open a busi- eration permits us to get to know better the migrant and its
ness in Belgium if reality in Belgium.
regularised. As a third
issue in this program, a presentation about voluntary return In the near future, information sessions for the Nepalese,
and reintegration followed. That Sunday morning, a lot of Indian, Bosnian, Kosova, Cameroonian and Guinean commu-
people were presentad in the Pianofabriek in Saint Gillis, nities are programmed.
and though the majority of Ecuadorians apply for regularisa-
tion, there was enough interest for voluntary return as well.
Rut Van Caudenberg
Mônica Pereira representing the Brazilian migrant organisa-
tion Abraço then, chose to reach the large Brazilian commu-
nity in Brussels through the church. In January the catholic
church in Saint Gillis and the church of the Brazilian Christian
community in Anderlecht were visited. After the service we
had the opportunity to talk shortly about reintegration in
Brazil. Afterwards people could ask questions. The church is
a very important meeting place for Brazilians. On a short
time, hundreds of Brazilians could be reached and informed.
RETURN & REINTEGRATION-NUMBER 08-February 2010 4
A return story from Nepal
In 2004, the 29 year old Ram Chandra fled the civil war in Nepal and In February 2009, some staff members of Caritas International visited
came to Belgium in the hope to obtain a residence permit here. their partner in Kathmandu and brought also a visit to Ram Chandra
When, after four years waiting, it became clear that he had no and his family in Chitwan. Ram Chandra stressed that it is very impor-
chance to obtain legal documents, he decided to return to Nepal tant to be able to fall back on support from friends and family. That
support made his return a lot easier. Beside that, he thinks that having
an income is the most important factor the have a successful return.
Ram Chandra told us that he is satisfied with his shop and that he will
In order to facilitate his reintegration, he asked Caritas international
do everything to build out his business. Five months after his return,
to support his return. From the start, Ram Chandra had a clear plan
he considered that returning has been the right decision.
about how to invest his reintegration budget: he had obtained a lot of
computer knowledge in Belgium and he wanted to use this knowledge
to start up a computer shop, as the interest in computers and the
internet is strongly increasing in Nepal.
Ram Chandra went back to his country end October, just in time to
celebrate the important religious Deepawali festival, the festival of
light, together with his family. Ram Chandra could live with his par-
ents again. His wife and son had stayed with them during his absence.
After returning, Ram Chandra contacted Caritas Nepal and as planned,
he invested his reintegration budget in a computer shop. While it was
too expensive to start up a business on his own, he became partner in
the business of a friend. The store runs well, although the high com-
petition doesn’t make it easy. Currently, Ram Chandra is looking for
additional budget to extend the store with an electric device depart-
ment. He hopes to be able to borrow money from friends to realize Ram Chandra and his business partner
A return story from Macedonia
Jacob, who returned in November, wished to obtain extra assistance Immediately after his return, Jacob contacted Klara. Klara always tries
upon his return to open a pizzeria. to visit the people at their houses (if people agree with this) to form a
picture of the needs (and life conditions) of the returnees.
Klara and Jacob talked about the reintegration project. During the visit,
Jacob returned in November to Kumanova, a city in Macedonia, at a they agreed that Jacob should take his time to visit different shops and
distance of 20 km from the capital Skopje. In Macedonia, we work companies in Kumanova to compare the prices. After he made a study
together with our local partner Nadez-CSI/Caritas Macedonia. Klara is of all the cost, the required material was bought.
the social worker who is responsible for the return assistance.
Jacob was very pleased with the cooperation with the local partner,
Jakob still has family (wife and children) and friends in his home coun- although the 700 euro appeared to be insufficient to buy the entire
try. After his return, he could rely on them. The idea for his micro equipment for his restaurant. Klara is waiting now for the official open-
business came mainly from his experience as manager of a pizzeria. ing of the pizzeria, which is expected in March 2010…
His plans were discussed in Belgium and Caritas International Belgium
contacted the local partner to check the feasibility of this project.
Starting an income generating activity is encouraged because this Sofie De Mot
gives people the opportunity to support themselves and their family,
but starting up a business is not always evident because often the
economical conditions are difficult in the country of origin.