Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF): Belgium National Actions
AMIF Country Specific Approaches to Reintegration Assistance, counselling, and visibility in Belgium Project (2018-2019) is funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) – Belgium National Actions and co-funded by Fedasil (FR)/(NL), and implemented from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2019. It follows the past EU funded reintegration assistance projects implemented in the previous years.
The overall objective is to contribute and strengthen the national Belgium AVRR programme with measures to increase the sustainability of the returns through a country tailored approach for reintegration while ensuring that information about the project is readily available and visible in Belgium. Accordingly, the project implements the following activities focused on skill development, training, and the implementation of cooperative or join returnee projects with impact on the broader community of return with close monitoring. There are three main outcomes planned.
Increasing the beneficiaries’ employability, skills set, local network and ability to start and manage a business
IOM coordinates and provides country specific reintegration support to eligible Third Country Nationals (TCNs) returnees to Iraq, Afghanistan or Albania. This project specifically focuses on developing the returnees’ set of skills and local network, to create employment or self-employment opportunities.
The country specific activities are coordinated in the countries of origin by dedicated project focal points, who are specialists on the Belgium AVRR programme and caseload. The following activities are implemented:
Technical and Vocational Education and Trainings (TVET) and job orientation to increase the employability of returnees by ensuring returnees skills enhancement;
Entrepreneurship and ‘run your own’ business group trainings, and options to become mentors for next returnees;
Wage subsidy during job placements/internships and living allowances during training.
Ensuring the started cooperatives have a positive impact on the local community
IOM encourages the development of business and social cooperatives that are jointly set up by returnees. IOM, upon selection, provides them with initial investment in equipment, work tools and structural organization by providing administrative training. The positive social impact consists of the creation of employment opportunities and crucial services. These activities will be closely monitored by IOM in the field.
Enhancing accessibility and visibility to the project in Belgium
IOM’s Country Office in Brussels ensures that the activities as planned are widely visible for relevant Belgian stakeholders. These include the AVRR Network, NGO’s and also embassies and diaspora organizations. The visibility efforts consist among others of the organization of yearly information tours in Belgium, the creation of video’s to showcase the in-the-field activities, division of leaflets and other materials linked to the activities implemented in the countries of origin.
During the first 6 months of 2019, 14 Afghans certified in entrepreneurship following two one day curriculum courses on “Micro Business Management Training” delivered by the “United Youth Consultancy & Services” in Kabul and in Nangarhar Province. Following returnees’ needs and feedback and IOM’s evaluation, the course is being extended to 5 days with an extra focus on psychosocial support. A first session is foreseen for the beginning of July and few more sessions will follow after. A video was produced and will shortly be available on the IOM website.
In Iraq, already 29 returnees from Belgium participated in socio-economic courses and psycho-social orientation delivered by IOM in Baghdad, Duhok, and Sulaymaniyah, provided by both IOM Staff and guest lecturers. The beneficiaries received a manual to refer to during the course of their reintegration. Furthermore, during the first half of 2019 already 10 returnees opted for TVET courses of 1 to 3 months in diverse subjects/skill sets such as in business management, English language, barbering and hairdressing, mobile phone maintenance, and car mechanics classes.
In Albania, IOM Tirana is currently assisting 6 Albanians with TVET to increases returnee employability in the sectors of hospitality, secretarial work, call centers, real estate, and tourism (i.e. English and German language courses), as well as in the construction sector. The video is available here.
For more information, contact Ms. Jacqueline Hall ([email protected]) tel: +32 (0) 2 287 74 13.
The AVRR Belgium Support Project was funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) – Belgium National Actions and co-funded by Fedasil(FR) / (NL), and implemented from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017.
Enhanced Reintegration Assistance Packages
The AVRR B-Support project provided enhanced reintegration assistance packages to 30 eligible AVRR cases, thus delivering a viable and humanitarian response to the needs of 38 migrants in 11 countries of origin. The aim of the support is that returnees generate sufficient income to respond to their household need in a long term manner. IOM helped beneficiaries to developed a reintegration plan to invest their grants in an income generating activity, which took shape in the following activities:
Running or partner in a micro-business or in an agricultural/ livestock activity for self-employment
Employment with wage subsidy support
vocational training or tuition fees coverage to increase employability
The reintegration process was monitored for up to 12 month after return. Stories of return and reintegration illustrate the type of support provided:
5 livestock enterprises (sheep, cattle breeding) financed
21 retail and services enterprises supported: 1 travel agency for tourism, 1 customer services facility office for administrative affairs, 2 transportation services, 1 bakery, 1 barber shop, 1 tailoring business, 14 retail stores selling a diverse range of products (from groceries, cosmetics and sanitary goods, informatics, clothing, shoes, to fuel)
3 returnees assisted with education/tuition fees coverage: law studies and job placement
1 wage subsidy support as shop assistant
The program also aims to respond to the identified vulnerabilities of returnees by covering for complex medical or urgent material household needs, which was done for 5 Unaccompanied minors children or aged out adults, 4 medical cases, and 4 families with children.
The IOM reintegration teams in country of origin deliver the assistance in consultation with the IOM Brussels team of reintegration counselors following a flexible, needs oriented, and participative approach. The services provided are:
Orientation and counselling throughout the reintegration process,
development and implementation of reintegration plans,
redaction of micro-business plans,
delivery of in-kind reintegration grants,
referrals to relevant governmental institutions and local partner organizations,
Monitoring and advise for up to 12 months after return.
Specific approach on Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) and group socio-economic orientation (SEO) courses in Iraq
In addition, to enhance the opportunities to make a livelihood in Iraq, IOM organized Technical and Vocational Training delivered by an NGO based in Baghdad, the Nadia Institute for Training: 23 returnees took the English language course and 9 returnees got trained on hairdressing and barbering. The trainees were all provided with an official qualification certificates to support them in their job search and increase their chance of employment. One trainee opened his hair dressing salon for men. A further 40 returnees took a full day group socio-economic orientation (SEO) course delivered by IOM Baghdad on: administrative steps to take to remove barriers to settling back to Iraq; life skills and the psychological aspects of return; entrepreneurship and business startup and management; education opportunities, and provided direct job orientation. The course was evaluated and returnee feedback was very positive as it helped them be more confident and opened further options for reintegration. In addition, it was a rare opportunity to meet other returnees and built their network of fellow returnees. A video on the vocational trainings and a separate video on the SEO course are available in Arabic with English subtitle.
In parallel, IOM produced a video in Albania during the Fedasil/IOM monitoring mission of November 2017 to highlight the available training opportunities for Albanian returnees.
AVRR online application
The AVRR online application was tested and fine-tuned to allow REAB partners to submit voluntary return and reintegration applications online, insert case information during the pre-departure process, and receive feedback on the migrants they assisted. Specific trainings on the use of the application were provided to REAB partners and Belgian counterparts and their feedback was evaluated in a report for future developments in the coming years.
For more information, contact Ms. Jacqueline Hall ([email protected] ) tel: +32 (0) 2 287 74 13.
The Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Belgium Advanced Project was funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund – Internal Security Fund (AMIF_ISF) Belgium National Actions and Fedasil. The project was implemented by IOM from 01st July 2015 to 30th June 2016 in Belgium and in 58 countries of origin.
Provisions of AVRR assistance to project beneficiaries:
a) reintegration counselling with specialized IOM Brussels reintegration counselors,
b) voluntary return movement support to migrants wishing to return to their countries of origin on voluntary basis,
c) 374 migrants assisted in their country of origin with 251 enhanced reintegration assistance packages
The project facilitated migrant income generation from both:
- micro-business activities with a total of 207 micro-business plans implemented to allow returnees to setup, restart or partner in a local micro-business or agricultural activity.
- employment and skills development with 14 migrants supported with Technical and Vocational Education and Training or wage subsidy during on the job placements in 10 countries of return (Albania, Belarus, Cuba, Morocco, Mongolia, Niger, the Russian Federation, Sudan, Turkey, and Ukraine).
Furthermore, IOM was able to deliver post-return emergency top-up grants to 19 AVRR beneficiaries identified as vulnerable in 12 countries of origin (Albania, Armenia, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Congo DRC, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kosovo, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, and the Russian Federation).
Through the project, 30 returnees benefited from specialized medical support with financing of prescribed medication, treatment for Hepatitis, for cancer, for HIV, dialysis for kidney issues, paralysis, leg prosthesis after amputation, hearing disorder, child cerebral palsy, diabetes, maternal health care, psychological assistance, and physiotherapy.
In order to link pre-departure and post-return counselling for complex and vulnerable cases, and to provide platforms for exchange with stakeholders in Belgium and Countries of Origin, IOM organized skype conference calls in Antwerp and Brussels with project beneficiaries, potential applicants, Diaspora representatives, IOM reintegration assistants from Ghana, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Somalia, and Belgium councilors (from both IOM and Fedasil).
You will find examples of reintegration assistance in the section on stories of return and reintegration.
For more information, contact Ms. Jacqueline Hall ([email protected], tel: +32 (0) 2 287 74 13).