How it Helps

HOW DOES TANDEM HELP HOST ORGANISATIONS?

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Supporting Your Role In Integration Work

Many people working in European-level NGOs care deeply about the difficult situation facing refugees and asylum-seekers but are often unsure as to how to make a meaningful contribution at the local, Brussels level. This initiative aims to facilitate this contribution and enable the NGOs to play a part in the integration and support of individuals.

Bringing new perspectives to your work

Often, these organisations are working at the ‘macro’ level on migration and asylum issues: the perspectives that a Tandem volunteer could bring to the work you are doing may benefit your organisation and staff and could feed into research, policy and advocacy work.

Engaging a volunteer under this initiative could also provide an opportunity to develop links with the home countries of the refugees/asylum-seekers, and identify partners/contacts in those countries.

 

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Increasing your capacity

Engaging a Tandem volunteer will also, of course, provide organisations with additional volunteer capacity and allow staff and existing volunteers to meet new and interesting people.

HOW DOES TANDEM HELP REFUGEES & ASYLUM-SEEKERS?

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Offering opportunities and supporting autonomy

Many refugees and asylum-seekers are eager to work, contribute and give back to the Brussels community. Despite this, they are often stuck in reception centres with little structure to their day, and facing a lack of opportunities. Volunteering may help to restore their sense of self-worth and their dignity, crucial to their individual well-being and health, but also valuable in their path to rebuilding their lives here in Belgium.

After arriving in Belgium, many refugees and asylum-seekers often find it very hard to build a network of contacts and friends. Such a network is vital to get support, advice and to access employment opportunities, and for general well-being. Volunteering with European-level NGOs will enable refugees and asylum-seekers to meet and engage with new people - many of whom are themselves migrants to Belgium - benefit from their experiences, and establish and widen their social networks.

Alleviating financial uncertainty

Currently, all refugees and asylum-seekers living in reception centres (those with a right to 'material assistance') receive a daily allowance of 1 EUR per day for all their costs outside the reception centre. Volunteering placements with a small, legally authorised allowance for costs, will be a great help to alleviate the uncertain financial situation for many refugees and asylum-seekers.

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Supporting change-makers

Engagement with your organisation may also support the capacity of individuals to work for change/reconstruction in their countries of origin.