Circle of Integration, an enrichment of our society

"A Circle of Integration offers refugees who have been waiting for a residence permit in the Netherlands for years, a possibility to build their lives here quickly, safely and properly. The introduction of the Circle of Integration also leads to better integration and to substantial savings on the costs of the government. "

These statements are based on the success of the Canadian concept 'Group of Five' and on the personal experience with the support of refugees without status of Marian Stoppelenburg and Jan van Bon from Roden, members of ConnectingFriends. They therefore propose starting a pilot with a Circle of Integration in various municipalities.

Why a "Circle of Integration"?

  • a solution for endless and hopeless procedures
  • improvement of integration
  • less financial dependenct
  • fulfillment of the desirte to help refugees

A legal way for individuals to offer help

National introduction of the Circle of Integration in the Netherlands creates a legal way for private individuals to help refugees, in addition to government-based procedures. That this need fully exists is illustrated by the many reactions to the publications about the young Afghan refugee who lived with Marian and Jan from September 2017, when he was threatened to be evicted. Everywhere in the country concerned citizens seem to take care of refugees who fall between two stools, due to long-running asylum procedures.

How does this work -  a Circle of Integration?

Based on the Canadian 'Group of Five' system for the support of refugees by private individuals, the plan for a Circle of Integration in the Netherlands looks like this:

  • a refugee without status and a Dutch citizen meet each other
  • personal involvement between the two, there is a 'click'
  • group settlement by 5 people or families
  • assessment of the refugee's motivation by the group
  • the Circle makes a plan for:
    • housing, care, transport, clothing, food
    • language acquisition and social integration
    • financial and administrative support
    • guidance in training, work and job applications
  • IND checks for safety risks
  • IND issues a residence permit
  • Circle starts two-year integration process

Valuable for our society

The Circle of Integration addresses the invisible problem of the illegal refugees in the Netherlands. Moreover, the targeted care provided by private individuals leads to savings on the costs of lawyers, judges, doctors, psychologists, employees of Immigration Services and the police. The main benefits of this approach, however, is the bilateral, geographically dispersed integration. The geographic dispersion prevents getto formation and supports better use of territory outside of the big cities.

State Secretary Mark Harbers (VVD) describes - in his letter to the House of Representatives of 30 March 2018, 'Integral migration agenda' (page 9) - the nuisance in municipalities by illegal immigrants. He also mentions the need to stimulate integration and participation (page 12). The Circle of Integration provides a structural solution on that point.

Benefits of the 'Circle of Integration'

  • an opportunity for refugees without status
  • improvement of participation and social integration (two-way)
  • saving costs for the government
  • enriching the lives of all those involved and their networks
  • legalization of existing and desired private assistance
  • increasing the supply on the labor market
  • better use of space in the Netherlands

Do you support this project?

Do you support this plan, do you want to get involved and stay involved, then sign up as a member of ConnectingFriends. In this way you support the plan with your quarterly contribution of € 15 and you can easily get in touch with other stakeholders.
Do you want to register now as a member? Use the green-blue SUBSCRIBE button on the top of this page or check which steps follow when you press that button.

More information can be requested via the contact form. You can also call Marian Stoppelenburg at +31 6 53521623


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