With already a long and difficult migratory journey behind them, it is in this Caritas residential service for UAM that young people who arrived alone in Belgium can count on tailored support. They are oriented to this facility, rather than to larger reception centers, due to the fact that their profile is particularly vulnerable. The objective is to allow them to settle down in a caring home with a secure environment, where they can build an independent life.
“It is a large house, that can accommodate up to 18 young people between the ages of 12 and 18,” explains Marjolaine Herbeto, manager of the structure located in Liège. “It’s more than just housing, we want everyone to be able to put down their suitcases both literally and figuratively. To achieve this, young people can count on round-the-clock support that is as close as possible to their individual reality.”
SUPPORT AT EACH STAGE OF THE YOUNG UAM WELCOMING PROCESS
With this new structure, subsidized by Youth Aid, Caritas will now be at the side of young UAM from their arrival in Belgium until they come of age.
“It is therefore a real home that we want to offer to these young people of different nationalities. A home is essential for building and rebuilding. And they will be able to count on the Caritas team for continuity during this time,” says Marjolaine Herbeto.
Indeed, the local Caritas branch in Liège does not limit itself to this reception structure and already offers support with the transition to autonomy for young people who have obtained legal status and are not yet able to thrive alone within our society. Far from stopping there, the team also organizes social and legal services, support in finding housing, and intercultural projects. All this support will be available to the young people of the Liège structure, giving them the security, they need to build their future.
ACCOMPANIMENT ADAPTED TO EACH YOUNG PERSON
In this house, young people learn very concrete aspects of independent living: making their bed, cleaning, being on time, learning to cook, managing a budget… which are just a few examples. They also benefit from support in school and in the construction of a life project.
All work related to trauma of exile will also be prioritized. “So, we have 18 young people who are not at the same stages of acceptance of their situation or at the same stages of reconstruction,” explains Marjolaine Herbeto on the difficulties encountered. “Hence the importance of creating links between young people, for mutual support.” These bonding activities can take many forms such as a a gardening workshop, a barbecue or an evening of TV together.
“In fact, we seek to create a safe and stable environment that every teenager needs to become an adult. Here, it’s kind of like a family, expect there are 25 of us,” concludes Marjolaine Herbeto.