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International Version N°10

Dear Reader, This tenth International edition of Crosswords magazine focuses on the Red Cross's social activities in the world giving special attention to the international asylum seekers. We wish you a great week! International Section Contact details for the International Section and further information: T: 661 56 74 52 -

Don Bosco foyer, the first asylum centre

Foster care for international asylum-seekers The Don Bosco Foyer in Limperstberg is a transit site for more than 900 migrants and refugees per year, a place bathed in hope, but where space is running out. Each of these refugees waits outside the office of Jeanne Raquin, the social assistant in charge of the Don Bosco foyer. The building, which is capable of housing 150 people, is currently occupied by 250 migrants and refugees. This is already an emergency. With the flows of arrivals, rooms intended for sports or cultural activities, even the Chapel, were turned into bedrooms. "Most of them are families. There are also single people and unaccompanied minors. They usually arrive in Luxembourg escorted by border guards", says Jeanne Raquin who is helping these asylum seekers with their administrative tasks and their daily lives. Although, in theory, the welcome centre is a provisional solution before a further transfer to other centres (RĂŠdange, Rue d'Eich), the Foyer lacks space when it comes to extending the temporary housing period. Waiting for a decision from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their social integration into Luxembourg, the refugees can find everything here from food and clothing to participating to the maintenance and other activities of the asylum centre. Many nationalities are mixed. Upon arrival, most of the migrants have nothing but the hope that survived the hurting past and a culture gradually shared with those around them. "There are a lot of people, but the atmosphere is very good", said one resident arriving from Serbia in February. "They have much to offer", insisted Jeanne. Vincent Rindone, the technician of the centre, highlights the commitment of these people. "There is never any tension. They are sociable, friendly and have a sense of family. Many reject them, but the rejection is often the result of ignorance", he said, when all of the refugees are gathering in the dining hall for lunch. A touching moment of exchange and appeasement.

Nadine Conrardy, the Head of Migrants and Refugees JUNE 2011

International Version N°10

centers, discusses the role of the service When launching the service seven years ago, we were inspired by what was happening in the neighbouring countries. However, many things are different, such as the laws or the origin of migrants. We’re first in charge of the reception centre, welcoming these people in the best possible conditions. But today the occupancy of the Don Bosco Foyer is beyond acceptable conditions. We help these people in the administrative course of action and provide them with what they need most (accommodation, meals, access to care, psychological counseling, etc.). We have, in addition, two other centres at Rue d'Eich (families and unaccompanied minors) kindly provided by the Chomé Foundation, and Rédange (mothers or single women). We also carry out projects and activities related to migrants. It's very interesting to work with people from many different cultures and rewarding to see how these people get by with their experiences and resources. We learn a lot thanks to them.

Examples of integration :

Yunus, 16, UAM (unaccompanied minor) I had to flee from my country, Afghanistan, and to be separated from my family due to the political issues of my father. In 2008, I arrived in Luxembourg as an unaccompanied minor. I was assisted by the Red Cross in all the administrative paperwork, especially for the asylum request files. I was also helped in finding accommodation and in training research. I had a maths test organised by the Ministry of Education in order to follow a technical high school class. Next year, if all goes well, I will attend the international section to pass the A levels. The school in Luxembourg has allowed me to learn French and Luxembourgish, which helped me to integrate more easily. I now wish to learn German. I could also practice sports such as kung fu and gymnastics and have voluntarily trained other young people at the gym for a few months. I really enjoyed this experience. I regularly participate in expeditions in Luxembourg. I am in constant contact with the head of the "Mérite Jeunesse" to keep me up to date on the planned sports and cultural activities. My school recently elected me as a member of the "Mérite Jeunesse" as a reward for my achievements since my arrival in Luxembourg. The country gave me the chance to do what I do today and become a good person.

Entering into the labour market

Interview with a director of a company in the construction JUNE 2011

International Version N°10

industry You have hired an applicant for international protection. Are you satisfied? Our employee has his residence permit and regularly works with us, but I do not hide the fact that the beginning it was difficult, mainly because of all the administrative issues. It was necessary to have a temporary occupancy permit every 6 months. For a company that wants to rely on stable trained staff, this is not an ideal situation. Although, this situation was unknown to us, is was offset by the commitment of the employee, and I couldn’t hire only such people in this situation. Did you experience other problems? Yes, there may be some cultural issues. Someone may be motivated, but the work practices sometimes change drastically between the country of origin and Luxembourg. It takes some time to get used to it. But as these people are grateful, they develop a high degree of loyalty within the staff, and therefore, may encourage them to assign tasks of confidence which gains our appreciation. So a very positive profile? Exactly. A person just wanting to work. No absenteeism and always available when needed. Are you ready to repeat the experience? There are not more problems as with another European citizen with the benefit of greater loyalty, and for a company this is an important point. But as I said, there are different mentalities and we are objectively researching for people with papers in order (or under regulation), meeting our expectations. Administratively, the steps are not complicated, but the uncertainty could hold one back.

Summer Agenda

July 2 - Festival MeYouZik – Luxembourg The Red Cross attends the festival MeYouZik, on July 2, 2011 from 11h to 18h in Place Guillaume ("Knuedler") with a stand and animations. The festival of world music has been organized for a few years now and is known for its variety of groups on the scene, reflecting the variety of cultures in Luxembourg.

JUNE 2011

Crosswords International n10 - Social Care  

Quarterly newspaper on the activities of the Luxembourg Red Cross n10

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