HOW DOES TANDEM HELP REFUGEES & ASYLUM-SEEKERS?
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.
Engagement with your organisation may also support the capacity of individuals to work for change/reconstruction in their countries of origin.
HOW DOES TANDEM HELP HOST ORGANISATIONS?
Supporting Your Role In Integration Work
Many people working in 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 provide organisations with additional volunteer capacity to meet their objectives and in some cases help to identify new ones.