Dan Kitwood:Getty Images Migrants

Singa, the association making refugees feel at home

4 May May 2017 1515 04 May 2017
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Singa is an association, that was born as citizen movement in France in 2012, promoting the meeting between refugees and the hosting country, thanks to their passions and to different projects.

Singa is an association promoting the meeting, exchange and collaboration between refugees and the hosting society. Born as citizen movement in France in 2012, Singa creates meeting and cooperation opportunities for refugees and their hosting communities.
The aim is to build bridges between people, encouraging dialogue, promoting cultural enrichment and creating job opportunities. Singa acts to raise awareness, to oppose prejudices on refugees and asylum seekers.

Singa is based in 4 French regions and in 6 countries and develops tools for every citizen wanting to participate to the welcome of refugees everyday in France and in the world. The association gathers today a community of more than 20,000 members.
It is first of all a community of professionals, of entrepreneurs, of artists, athletes, students who meet to participate to the welcome of refugees. The various programmes of Singa aim at organising and facilitating the opportunities to meet other people in the community of Singa.

As reads the website: “ In order to stay in France refugees have to ask for the status of refugee. This gives them the opportunity to have a visa that can be renewed every 10 years, and gives them the same basic rights as a French citizen. Unfortunately, once the legal status is obtained, refugees often face numerous barriers. These include the lack of knowledge of the language and of social and cultural habits, the non-recognition of their degrees/diplomas, lack of opportunities to put into practice their professional competences, difficulties in defending their own rights, and lack of knowledge of how the legal system and public administration work. Moreover refugees arriving in France are often subject to racism, discrimination and they feel refused by society, which further contributes to their social exclusion.

The objectives of Singa are:
- Raise awareness of the asylum issue in hosting countries and change the perception of society towards refugees and their role in the community
- Promote social and economic integration of refugees, helping them to play an active role inside society
- Create dialogue and comprehension opportunities between refugees and other members of society

Among the programmes of the association:
- CALM (Comme à la maison): a programme aiming at putting into contact refugees looking for a temporary accomodation with individuals who have a room to host them. CALM proposes an accommodation from 3 to 12 months at private homes, allowing refugees to devote entirely to their insertion project.
- Projects: the “projects” community has the aim to help refugees in their professional project but also to help them create an ecosystem that is favourable to the development of these projects, with the aim to facilitate living together and the creation of wealth and jobs
- Passions: the “Passions” programme allow to put in contact refugees with citizens of the hosting society on the basis of passions and common competences.

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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