How it Helps



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.



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.



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.


Supporting change-makers

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