Since its creation in 2012, Singa has been changing the way in which refugees are welcomed. Its Comme à la Maison (CALM or feel at home in English) programme that started in 2015, illustrates this novel approach. This approach, supported by the Societe Generale Foundation since 2016, is a proven vector of socio-professional integration.

A roof over your head to concentrate on searching for a job 

The aim of CALM is to provide refugees with stable accommodation for a year, so they can focus on their professional project worry free. “We try, in one year, to help the people we host become as independent as possible,” explains Vincent Berne, coordinator of the CALM network. 

They benefit from Finkela, Singa’s employability and entrepreneurship support programme, learning how to write a CV and cover letter, preparing for interviews, and learning socio-cultural conventions. The association, in partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion, also mobilises social workers who are experts in providing social and professional support to help the refugees with the administrative aspects of their pathway, such as signing up to Pôle emploi, the French job centre.

CALM, A growing network

Today, over 530 refugees have been welcomed in over 800 centres in Paris, Montpellier, Lille and Lyon. On leaving the programme, 28% are employed (vs 6% at the beginning), 27% have started or resumed studies (vs 10% at the beginning) and 34% have taken French lessons (vs 9% at the beginning). This has saved the State €3.3 million since September 2015. The non-profit is therefore scaling up its operations. Support networks are being built in France (including in Toulouse, Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille, Strasbourg) and internationally in Barcelona, Brussels and Montreal.

 

To know more about this organization : SINGA France

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