Return & reintegration
                                                                                            Number ...
RETURN        &   REÏNTEGRATION-NUMBER                    7   -   october      2009                    2

Visit to our p...
RETURN        &   REÏNTEGRATION-NUMBER                   7   -   october      2009                     3

Voluntary retu...
RETURN          &   REÏNTEGRATION-NUMBER                       7   -   october       2009                      4

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Newsletter october ENG 2009.pdf

  1. 1. Return & reintegration Number 07 - october 2009 Table of Contents: General Statistics General Statistics STATISTICS FIRST SEMESTER 2009 Visit to our partner Caritas Mon- golia 2009 January February March April May June Total Voluntary return to Peru: Ana’s Dossiers 24 15 14 18 23 28 122 story Persons 34 22 15 23 31 31 161 Cameroun: the necessity of a well prepared return Following the tendency of the year 2008 with more returnees than fore- Reab A B C seen, during the first half of the year 2009 161 persons returned, despite of Dossiers 5 54 63 the clear tightening of the criteria for the Ukraine, Brazil en Mongolia, coun- Persons 5 69 87 tries in which abuses had been noted. The first semester of 2009 shows a “Top Out of a total of 112 dossiers, there are 110 5” with few surprises, confirming the im- persons we met directly. The other dossiers portance of returns to Nepal where an were advised over the telephone or through evaluation mission was held in March. A the intermediary of the return counsellors. student, supported by Caritas Interna- tional, wrote a thesis after having evalu- ated during three weeks the situation of Consequences of regularisation the persons who returned to Nepal through the programme of Caritas in Not surprisingly the rumours and afterwards 2007 and 2008. the announcement of regularization under conditions, let to a clear decrease of volun- tary return applications, as well as to a wave of cancellations of ongoing dossiers. An un- Country Départs derstandable situation, since the migrants wish to inform themselves on all possibilities Mongolia 23 of regularization. With the registration for applications closing the 15th of December, Brazil 22 we are expecting a recommencement from that moment onwards. Nepal 14 Caritas International Ukraine 13 voluntary return Bosnia 12 Liefdadigheidstraat 43 1210 Brussel If the REAB C’s are in majority, this is mainly due to the development of our Anne Dussart: +32 2 2293604 Annelieke Carlier: +32 2 2293586 activities in Latin America. 16 persons Thomas Jézéquel: +32 2 2111052 returned to countries such as Bolivia, Sofie De Mot: +32 2 2111059 Ecuador (recommencement of CIRE’s Rut Van Caudenberg : +32 2 2293602 activities), Chile, Peru, Paraguay and Nicaragua. The nationals of these coun- tries usually don’t ask for asylum. They mainly come to Belgium for economical reasons.
  2. 2. RETURN & REÏNTEGRATION-NUMBER 7 - october 2009 2 Visit to our partner Caritas Mongolia From the 19th to the 25th of August, Annelieke Carlier Our beneficiaries’ biggest problem is access to housing and and Thomas Jézéquel from Caritas International’s « Vo- to health care. We met a number of persons that were living luntary return and reintegration » unit made an evalua- together with several families in a small apartment or in sim- tion visit to their partner in Mongolia. ple barracks in the immense slums of Ulaan Baator (mainly composed of wooden houses and traditional tents, the “ger”). Caritas Mongolia does a close follow-up of the dossiers and Mongolians represent an important part of the voluntary re- tries to remedy these precarious situations with the budget turn cases that Caritas assists throughout the world, with granted by FEDASIL via Caritas Belgium. over 70 people having received help since March 2007. The Mongolian community in Belgium is principally concentrated in the city of Antwerp. In Mongolia, Caritas International works in close cooperation with Caritas Mongolia, which is managed by father Pierrot Kasemuana, a missionary originally from South-Kivu in the Congo. He can count on a professional English-speaking local team. Caritas Mongolia focuses mainly on emergency aid (natural disasters) and agricultural projects but has, since our first visit in December 2007, accepted to become a structural partner of Caritas Belgium in offering reintegration assistance to migrants as well. Our latest visit allowed us to witness the seriousness and professionalism of Caritas Mongolia’s team which some- times has to operate under difficult circumstances. Many migrants cooperate without problems; however, Caritas Mongolia also has to deal with aggressive people who de- mand to unblock the funds “without asking any questions”. This led us to carry out a stricter selection of dossiers that One of the persons we visited was able to reopen a small can be considered for reintegration assistance from Bel- business in the outskirts of the capital. This shop is running gium. fairly well, despite the meagre means: poverty generally obliges the grocer to let numerous families buy on credit, hop- Nonetheless, the returnees benefiting from the project are ing to be reimbursed at some point, which causes problems in helped efficiently. We witnessed the conditions of great pre- renewing her stocks. cariousness in which they would live if they would not re- ceive any return assistance. The Mongolian society is pene- A young couple, with a child that was born in Belgium, al- trated with corruption and the high unemployment rate is in lowed us to have a better understanding of the improbable part explained by the fact that a candidate for a job is sup- mechanisms leading exile candidates all the way to Antwerp. posed to “remunerate” the person who helped him/her find a From the purchase of a Visa (800 euros), forged thanks to the job (friend or simple acquaintance). This general practice of collaboration of local European consulates (specifically bribery discriminates to a great extend those persons who Czechs and Germans), to passing through Russia in the do not benefit from a social network which allows them to hands of different Mongolian traffickers who take turns integrate themselves easily into the local economy. throughout the entire route. The destination is often the Czech Republic, where the Mongolians are employed in black in factories and on the countryside. The important and invisible Mongolian community formed in Belgium attracts those who are disappointed by the “Czech” dream. In Antwerp, certain people are in the hands of “gangs” who force them to shoplift and to pickpocket. Others have more luck: several persons testified about having worked as a housekeeper for rich fami- lies in Antwerp. The salary seems to be around 800 euros a month and the working conditions appear to be correct. Our service is more than satisfied with the mission and with the information and the lessons learned. A better knowledge of the real living conditions in Ulaan Baator allows us to adapt our programme and the advice we give to migrants in Bel- gium. The structural cooperation with Caritas Mongolia will continue in 2010 and they will be present at our traditional international partner week in Brussels. Annelieke Carlier and Thomas Jézéquel
  3. 3. RETURN & REÏNTEGRATION-NUMBER 7 - october 2009 3 Voluntary return to Peru: Ana’s story In March 2009 thirty nine year old Ana decided to ex- So there would definitely be a market for it and it could pro- change her life in Belgium, without the right papers and vide Ana with a source of income. The reintegration budget in great insecurity, once again for a life in Lima, the ca- was used to buy two sewing machines and the necessary pital of her country of origin Peru. She had been living sewing equipment. Before actually getting started with the in Belgium for 5 years already, and had recently given workshop, Ana wanted to update her knowledge on sewing birth to a son. As she did not have any source of in- and confection so she enrolled in a sewing course. Ana’s son come and furthermore did not have anyone to rely on also gained from the reintegration assistance: various neces- here, returning seemed to be her best option. She tur- sary vaccinations were paid with the money and in addition a ned to Caritas’s Social Service to ask for help for the supply of infant milk for six months was purchased to ensure arrangements for her voluntary return. Because of the baby received sufficient and healthy nourishment. Fur- Ana’s difficult situation: single mother, no source of thermore Caritas Peru facilitated the access to free health income and with a baby, Caritas’s Social Service refer- insurance to which the baby was entitled. red her to the Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit so she could count on reintegration assistance after her return to Peru. Before Ana returned, she talked with the Voluntary Return and Reintegration unit about her options and her plans. As a single mother she was entitled to an extra budget for ‘vulnerable groups’ which allowed her to have a total sum of 2100 euros for her reintegration. As for her living arrange- ments, she could move in with her mother. Her brother was living there too with his two children. So at least she did not have to put money aside for housing. Ana’s main concern was to be able to start an income generating activity once she would be back in Peru, which would allow her to support herself and her son. Once she was back in Lima, where her mother and the rest Ana is the second case that received reintegration assistance of her family were waiting for her, she contacted Caritas Pe- in Peru through Caritas International Belgium. In the mean- ru. After a few meetings between Ana and the local contact time a third person has left for Lima and has been able to person within Caritas Peru, it was decided to invest the mo- purchase, with the reintegration budget, the necessary equip- ney in a little sewing workshop which she could run from her ment for her dentist practice which at the moment of this wri- house. The idea was to make and repair clothes for the peo- ting is about to be opened. ple in the neighbourhood. Caritas Peru brought the Voluntary Return unit in Brussels up to date about this plan and infor- The story of Ana, a single woman, with an irregular status in med the unit that they considered it to be a very good invest- Belgium, who can not longer accept the difficult and insecure ment since sewing workshops are very popular in Peru and situation in our country as a liveable option and thus decides there were not that many of them yet in Ana’s neighbour- to return to her home country where she still has a tight fami- hood. ly network, fits well into the general picture of the majority of Latin American voluntary returnees. Because of the network and support of the family, the reintegration assistance and the efforts of the local partners, which enables the returnees to get back on track with their lives, reintegration in these situations often turns out to be successful. Ana is doing well at the moment. She is still very busy with the training but hopes to be able to make and sell some chil- dren’s clothing when the holidays arrive. Her son is also doing fine. Caritas Peru stays in regular contact with them to check on how Ana and her son are doing and to do a follow- up on the development of the sewing workshops. Rut Van Caudenberg
  4. 4. RETURN & REÏNTEGRATION-NUMBER 7 - october 2009 4 Cameroon: the necessity of a well prepared return A comparison between the situation of Mr FELIX M’BATIT give him access to credit offered by organisations such as (accommodated in a LOI -Local Reception Initiative- in PAJER-U and PIASI, governmental agencies that support Kasterlee) and Mr. BRADLEY LYONGA (10 months in a independent entrepreneurs in urban and rural environments. centre of the Red Cross in Eeklo and two months in a LOI in Zottegem) can be enlightening for understanding the influence the reception in Belgium can have on a potential return. Mr. M’Batit, who was well integrated in Flanders, learned the language correctly, established an important social network and had enough time to think about his return. The 700 euros financial aid from FEDASIL was merely a supplementary sup- port in addition to the help he received from his Belgian friends: nearly 6000 euros in money or in kind: minibus in good condi- tion, second hand bakery machines (oven, mixer) and financial aid to buy a group generator. The support of the partner consis- ted in administrative support for customs clearance of the ma- terial à Douala (for a total sum of 2700 euros!!), and the elabo- ration of a business plan as well a regular follow-up despite of the distance between Bamenda and Yaoundé (about 7 hours on the road for 350 km) Mr. Bradley Lyonga lives close to Buea, at the foot of Mount Cameroun, in the province of English-speaking south-western Mr. Felix M’babit lives in the village of Guzang, at 40 km from Cameroun. As a leader of a student strike in Cameroun who Bamenda (English-speaking part of Cameroun) at the end of an was violently oppressed by the police, he sought asylum in unpaved road that is inaccessible when there is heavy rainfall. Belgium. Since he had been beaten, he is suffering from back Power interruptions are very common. The impossibility of fin- problems which have improved thanks to the care he was ding an affordable store room in Bamenda made him install his given in Belgium, but have not ceased completely. His de- bakery project in his village of origin. Mr. M’babit was trained as mand for asylum being rejected, he was very quickly put out baker in Belgium by a pensioner form the village of Kasterlee of his LOI in Zottegem, and precipitously took the decision to who took him under his wing during his stay in Belgium. The return. After two difficult weeks, without any social assistance, bread, baked thanks to the imported material from Belgium but marked with fear of being arrested again by the police, the also thanks to the assistance of 1400 euros (vulnerable case) allowed him to spectacular traditional open a little store that provides him with an income. He rents brick oven, is of a su- the store room as well as a little room. For several months he perior quality. Thanks paid for care which he can no longer afford. Since he is ban- to a network of motor- ned for life from all universities in Cameroun, he cannot res- bike-deliverers, the tart his political science studies and obtain a diploma. bread is sold in all the surrounding villages In spite of all these difficulties, his little store that he opened 9 and in schools in the months ago, seems to be doing well. For difficult tasks, Mr. neighbourhood. Lyonga employs a young man who assists him a few hours a week. He puts some money aside and hopes to rent a second The limited accessibility and the power interruptions are, howe- store room at the side of the national road so as to reach a ver, real obstacles for the viability of his project. The revenues bigger clientele. Here as well, M. Biack will try to let him bene- would be considerably larger in Bamenda, where he hopes to fit from possible support for entrepreneurs the government invest, as soon as he can, in a sales depot where he would be agencies offer. able to sell his production. To be able to do this he needs a group generator in order to be protected against the power In the first case, the reception within a personalized structure interruptions and to be assured of a continuous production. Mr. in contact with the population allowed the migrant to build a M’batit plays with the “Belgian bread” aspect to draw custo- network crucial for his reintegration. In the second case, the mers. The quality of his product assures him of a clientele to brusque and sudden return, prepared in difficult circumstan- whom he, however, needs to guarantee to be able to sell bread ces of stress and agony, could have been quite bad. Caritas at all time. wishes to insist on the necessity of giving those people who have accepted the principle of voluntary return, the possibility Our partner M. Biack, who was rather sceptical at first about of staying in a reception network for a reasonable period of the viability of the project, states to be impressed by the work time, so that their reintegration can be prepared in an efficient done so far and by the energy and motivation of the project way. developer. Upon his return in Yaoundé, he plans on trying to Thomas Jézéquel