Project owner J’accueille by SINGA

Welcoming refugees in a new way

To ensure a warm and inclusive welcome for refugees, ‘J'accueille by SINGA’ offers them the chance to stay with a local person. The programme provides the ideal conditions for refugees to set up their new life and learn the customs that are essential for successful integration, while both hosts and refugees benefit from the richness of intercultural exchanges.

Issues

The current international situation and the public outcry over the war in Ukraine have brought the issue of welcoming immigrants back to the forefront. Thousands of refugees and people in exile are arriving in France without stable housing; meanwhile, many local people have volunteered to open their homes to them on a temporary basis.

Homestay is a solution that has been developed as part of the ‘J’accueille by SINGA’ programme since 2015. At the beginning of 2022, the conflict in Ukraine posed a twofold challenge: taking in 100,000 people in 4 months and speeding up the emergence of a ‘welcoming culture’ among people in the community, defending diversity as an asset. Against this background, the key challenge for SINGA is to succeed in structuring its strong growth.

Actions

SINGA defends the idea that progress is born of encounters. Its programmes encourage the creation of ties between new arrivals and local people, in order to build an inclusive and supportive society.

The ‘J’accueille by SINGA’ programme puts refugees in touch with people in the community who are willing to offer a free room in their home for a period of a few weeks or a few months. This homestay accommodation creates beneficial social links. For refugees, it opens a way towards relationships in the host society, and for hosts, an opportunity to view exile through a new lens.

These housing conditions give new arrivals the stability they need to carry out their projects (going back to school, looking for a job or permanent housing). They also provide a daily opportunity to practise the French language and learn the country’s customs. The whole process is supported by the association. Hosts receive training, personalised support and a mediation service, while refugees are supported by a social worker who assists them in accessing their rights and seeking independent housing.

Key figures

Our support

  • Release of emergency aid of €100,000 for the reception of Ukrainian refugees in France, divided into two budgets of €50,000 each for France Terre d’Asile and Singa. This emergency aid is in addition to a €100,000 donation from Mirova for the International Red Cross and its work in the conflict zones. 
  • Targeted financial support for the development of a tool to facilitate the roll-out of the J’accueille programme throughout France, and to help set up two new branches in Lyon and Montpellier and reinforce the Paris branch.

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