Newly arrived refugees and migrants don’t always know where to turn for housing, to learn the national language, or to find out how to enter the labour market. Yasin, a young Somali entrepreneur who arrived in France 2 years ago, was confronted with these very issues. Based on his experience and observations, he created REF - Réseau des Exilés de France - a network created for and by refugees.
100,000 people sought asylum in France in 2018. The majority arrived in big cities such as Paris without knowing anyone or speaking the national language. Yasin set up a project that provides assistance to newcomers and thus facilitate their inclusion in society: le Réseau des Exilés de France. His charitable network has 2 goals:
To provide information to newcomers about language courses, housing, administrative procedures, and to facilitate the translation of these documents.
To create activities and opportunities for refugees and allow them to integrate more easily into French society.
REF also provides human and material resources for refugees:
Assistance translating administrative documents,
A support network to help refugees develop new social and professional circles.
In parallel, the network also offers linguistic exchanges between locals and refugees to help break the ice between different nationalities. Sports tournaments are also organized to create links between refugees and Parisians. The ultimate goal is to promote harmony and understanding within the community.
As he looked to develop his entrepreneurial project, Yasin benefited from the MEnt Program, also supported by FAIRE. MEnt is an incubation program that offers migrants and refugees of all nationalities the opportunity to be accompanied during the early stages/steps of their project.
Check in next week to learn more about Yasin!