Newsletter February 2010 English.pdf


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Newsletter February 2010 English.pdf

  1. 1. Return & Reintegration NUMBER 08-February 2010 Content 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- 0 Country information Alexander Coppens gium. ja n v -0 8 ju in -0 8 ja n v -0 9 ju in -0 9 ju il-0 8 ju il-0 9 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 m a rs -0 9 m a i-0 9 s e p t- 0 9 o c t- 0 9 d é c -0 9 +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- 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 Thomas Jézéquel Serbia 9 Georgia 14 Georgia 9 Bosnia 11 Cameroon 6 Macedonia 11
  2. 2. 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 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 unanimously positive. Annelieke Carlier
  3. 3. 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- Mongolian community. BEL ( and the Cameroonian BRUKMER On 13th of December the Ecuadorian migrant organisation ( 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.
  4. 4. 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 this. Ine Lietaert 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.