Back in 2016, a group of local citizens in Brussels realised how difficult it was for newcomers in the city (inc. asylum seekers, refugees, illegal immigrants…) to meet and connect with locals.
This lack of contact with locals prevents newcomers from feeling fully integrated in Brussels. It affects multiple aspects of their life, from learning languages and discovering the city and its culture, to job opportunities, housing, personal development. But it also has an impact on the ‘bruxellois’, restricting their social circles, creating prejudice and fear of immigrants.
SINGA creates spaces for connections to be made between newcomers and local people already settled in Brussels. These interactions can take the shape of group meetups, one-on-one pairings, or even hosting. We foster opportunities for newcomers and promote an enriched, diverse society where everyone has a place to live to their full potential.
It’s through these meetings that the magic really happens: friendships are born, adventures are planned, support is provided for job and house hunting, and languages, cultures and recipes are exchanged. Connections are made as the prejudices fall away!
In the collective imagination of host countries, the word “migrant” often conjures images of a uniform, dehumanised, powerless but dangerous mass of people. This lowly impression creates an insensitive view of migration, polarises society and reinforces the “us” vs “them” narrative.
SINGA recognises that the world is in movement. Movement to find new ideas, opinions and people. Movement in perceptions. Movement in stereotypes and preconceived ideas. We recognise that social values cannot move forward without this dynamism.
At SINGA, we refuse to see migration as a humanitarian or security issue. Migration gives us a vital opportunity to meet new people and bring new meaning to our lives as citizens. Migration is an economic opportunity and fertile ground for connections without limits and cultural enrichment.
SINGA shines a light on the many talents that new arrivals bring with them, to promote co-living, co-creation and cultural enrichment.
(vs "migrant" or "refugee)"
MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY
A person who has newly arrived in the territory and is searching to contribute to the host society and develop their network (professional or social).
Someone who has been living somewhere for some time (with nationality or otherwise). At SINGA, newcomers and locals meet each other on a daily basis.
We think that being in the mindset of "helping" newcomers prevents a real consideration of what they want and what they can bring. Therefore, we create spaces that are balanced, where everyone is equal as a member of SINGA.
The concept of "integration" refers to individual actions that allow someone to be included in a social system that already exists. SINGA strives to promote active inclusion, where each person (irrespective of their administrative status or other characteristics) takes part in the construction and the development of a constantly evolving system.