Country Specific Approaches to Reintegration Assistance, Counselling and Visibility in Belgium (AMIF)

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:

  1. Technical and Vocational Education and Trainings (TVET) and job orientation to increase the employability of returnees by ensuring returnees skills enhancement;
  2. Entrepreneurship and ‘run your own’ business group trainings, and options to become mentors for next returnees;
  3. 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.

Current status

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 ( tel: +32 (0) 2 287 74 13.