By: V4 Agency
A departement would solve the problem of overcrowded reception centres by placing unaccompanied minor migrants at volunteering host families, in exchange for a daily allowance to cover their expenses.
Migrants were a growing problem in France in the past few years. Unaccompanied minor immigrants reaching the country where a major source of contention, as many can easily mingle with the wrong crowd and drift towards a life of crime.
As the country’s reception centers are overcrowded, Puy-de-Dome departement has come up with the idea of encouraging residents to take in an unaccompanied minor migrant. The host families would receive a daily allowance and the minor’s meal and leisure expenses would also be covered, Actu.fr reports.
The initiative is be implemented as part of the Sesame project, which aims to assist the disadvantaged youth in acquiring a trade or some qualification. The idea is to give the departement’s residents opportunity to receive foreign unaccompanied minors; typically teenagers who left their homeland to escape poverty, war or persecution to find a new home in France. The process would begin by their recognition as minors by a French court or local authorities. They would then be placed under the supervision of local authorities, and then united with their host families, provided the family meets the necessary conditions.
Every host family must provide one separate room for its young guest and, as part of the criteria, the family’s home must be near an education institution, which is easily accessible by public transport.
Hosts can be single persons or couples, with or without children, and even retired people can sign up for the programme. The duration of the programme varies from 6 to 12 months and minors can decide to stay with host families permanently, or to pay them occasional visits during the weekends or the holidays. Upn expiry, the contract can be renewed until the young person comes of age.
Agencies in the departement remain in charge of overseeing minors and they pay a daily allowance to hosts in addition to covering the costs of meals and leisure time activities for the hosted teenager. The proponents of the initiative argue that these young people should be given a chance and mustn’t be left out on the streets, just because they are foreign nationals.
However, the process is far from simple. Volunteers need to go through a set of procedures. Prospective host families first need to attend an information meeting, then submit an application and finally take part in an interview where their eligibility is checked. They must also attend a training course before signing the contract.