Provides essential assistance for the inclusion of refugees arriving in Belgium, accompanying them individually so that they can start afresh and live independently.
The project came into being spontaneously in the autumn of 2015, at the initiative of a group of European Parliament volunteers, appalled that hundreds of asylum-seeker families were forced to spend chilly nights outside. As new people have joined the project, RANA today brings together tens of motivated citizens from Belgium, Europe and beyond. RANA has been registered with the Belgian authorities as a non-profit organization (ASBL) since July 2016.
If the original approach of RANA was the search for emergency shelters in hotels and homestays, also collecting donations of clothes or food. But since then, the needs have evolved and RANA too! Today, our activities are part of the long term: helping refugees to integrate into this new society that will become theirs and that of their families. By understanding their needs, we accompany them individually in their administrative, medical, professional or linguistic procedures; from housing research to academic orientation. But RANA is above all a moral and psychological support so that these people do not feel alone.
The « Buddy » project is the central pillar of RANA. It is a sponsorship system that operates on the basis of the individual accompanying a refugee by a RANA volunteer. Refugees are thus accompanied in their search for housing or language courses, in their administrative procedures, in their enrollment in school for young children or at university for older children and in their efforts to find a job ... or just to have a coffee and chat a little! The goal is, as and when, they feel as independent as possible. Nevertheless, autonomy does not mean solitude: we conceive RANA as a big family, where everyone finds his place. That's why we encourage refugees who have been helped to become sponsors themselves as soon as they feel ready.
RANA is also designing a program of cultural outings, bringing together refugees, volunteers and people who want to join the adventure and meet people. These outings are unique moments of exchange and sharing, which help to make RANA the big family she has become. They are also an opportunity for these people, who have fled their countries and sometimes live for several months in need, out of this daily for a friendly moment in the cinema, at the museum or visiting the Belgian heritage.
RANA members are convinced of the richness of a plural society, marked by dialogue and exchange, where everyone finds a place where they can play a role. It is to this image that the RANA family has been created and it is this wealth which it wishes to promote. To this end, RANA periodically organizes cultural events, mixing music, dance and other artistic disciplines, often accompanied by the discovery of culinary riches from elsewhere. The refugees that RANA accompanies take an active part in the organization of these events.