The “Centre de premier acceuil” (Welcoming Center) accommodates the migrants during their first few weeks in Luxembourg. The staff offer the necessary information and facilitate the access to the administrative procedure.
This Welcoming Centre also offers accommodation to migrants who arrive in Luxembourg after the offices of the Foreign Ministry in charge of applications for international protection have closed.In this case, people will not be able to submit their application and thus do not have access to accommodation straight away. Through this Welcoming Centre, the Red Cross offers them a provisional accommodation immediately.
On average, the new arrivals remain in the centre for 4 to 6 weeks (depending on the number of available places in other accommodation/houses)
After this, they are rehoused by the “Office Luxembourgeois de l’Accueil et de l’Intégration” (OLAI – Luxembourgish Office for Welcoming and Integration) in collaboration with the Migrants and Refugees Service.
A social permanency is organised every morning (working days) from 9am to 12.30pm. It was created to be able to answer all the questions of the residents as well as of other applicants for international protection. Often, people who have already been rehoused to a different centre/house come back for this service and are able to share their questions and needs:
- explanation and translation of post, explanation of administrative procedures;
- practical information (for example addresses and way descriptions, which bus to take, …);
- logistics: questions related to accommodation, clothing needs, …;
- information on the education system and training opportunities for adults;
- addresses of NGOs and other suggested services (for example for legal help);
- the medical system in Luxembourg, health questions (addresses of doctors and hospitals, cover and reimbursement of costs, …).
The socio-educational activities are very varied and have different goals:
- keeping the residents busy because they do not have the right to work in the beginning of their residence;
- thinking about different things (temporarily forgetting about problems);
- acquiring new skills (for example learning a new language).
- Vestiboutique – Distribution of Second Hand Clothing:
Since December 2004, the team of the Migrants and Refugees Service offers a “Vestiboutique” within the Welcoming Centre Don Bosco. Many applicants for international protection come to Luxembourg with only the clothes they are wearing at that time, and this service was created in order to react in case of an emergency and to help the new arrivals.
The Vestiboutique is open to all applicants for international protection, every Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm.
The residents have the opportunity to read various international magazines and books in many languages.
- renting a bicycle;
- games room (with a pool table, table football, and a ping-pong table);
- information sessions:
Information sessions on various topics, in collaboration with other associations or services, such as, for example, the prevention of AIDS (by the Aidsberodung of the Red Cross).
- sports (ice skating, miniature golf, badminton, football, hiking, …);
- excursions/trips (hiking in the woods, “Wenzeltour”, visiting different regions of the country, …);
- recreational and cultural activities (cinema, theater, museum, …);
- artistic activities (painting frescoes, doing handicrafts, graffiti artworks, …);
- introductory language courses (individual or in a group).