The third edition of “Réussir sa migration” starts 15 September, a programme where local residents can coach refugees to facilitate their integration in the grand duchy. Pictured: Nicki Schilt of Asti, an NGO behind the initiative.
Photo: Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés
The immigrant-rights NGO Asti launched “Réussir sa migration” (“successful migration”), a project in which refugees are coached by locals to facilitate their integration in Luxembourg in 2015. Here’s how you can get involved.
For many refugees, integration starts after they have obtained asylum status from the immigration service. To guide newcomers with administrative matters such as school registration, employment and health insurance, Asti partnered up with the EU’s Amif and Olai, Luxembourg ’s integration agency, to launch “Réussir sa migration”.
Asti assigns refugees to a local coach, based on matching characteristics. After a first meetup, the two parties sign a contract of 7 months to seal their duo-ship. Asti trains the coach and keeps a record of their meetings.
Nicki Schilt, the head of the project, explained the tasks of a coach to Delano on 1 September:
“It does not only include administrative work, meetings can be regular, or specific appointments at Adem [the jobs agency], for example. Sometimes it is sufficient to have an exchange over WhatsApp or phone calls, depending on the refugee’s needs. Some are quite independent and just need to improve the language, or just want to meet up for coffee and chat about their lives and families.”
The matches between coach and refugee are based on location, spoken languages, family constellation, work background, hobbies and, if requested, gender. According to Schilt, the exchanges between coach and refugees are constructive both ways as it helps with giving the “refugee” an individual face and story. Many duos have stayed friends after the official 7-month contract ended.
To be eligible as a coach one must be fluent in French for administration, but preferably also in English because most refugees speak English. Luxembourgish is not mandatory, but helpful.
Coaches should be over 18, preferably back from university abroad and possess a thorough network of contacts to reach out to others.
The project starts its third edition on 15 September, and Asti expects to set up 35 pairs. Volunteers can contact the organiser by mail [email protected] or call 43 83 33 47 (except on Wednesdays).