Flanders is looking for 10,000 buddies for integrators | Inland

Flanders is looking for 10,000 buddies for integrators | Inland
Flanders is looking for 10,000 buddies for integrators | Inland

As part of the Flemish civic integration programme, the Flemish government wants to make use of buddies from January to help integrators to find their way around Flanders. This is reported by Flemish Minister of Society Bart Somers (Open Vld) on Thursday.

The Flemish civic integration program is mandatory for all non-European newcomers of age. Integrators must pass a Dutch test and a Social Orientation test, and must register with the VDAB within two months.

From January 2023, a fourth pillar will be added: the buddy operation. Integrators will spend 40 hours with a Flemish buddy to, among other things, practice their Dutch and familiarize themselves with Flanders.

Several pilot projects yielded positive results, as a result of which the program is now being rolled out throughout Flanders.

“We estimate that 8,000 buddies will be needed in the first instance, but we are aiming for 10,000 buddies, because voluntary integrators also want to strengthen their social network,” said Minister Somers on Thursday evening during his passage in the talk show ‘De Tafel van Vier’.

Time to fill in yourself

Interested parties can register at www.mijnbuddy.be. and are then linked to an integrator. It is up to the buddies to decide for themselves how they spend their time with the integrators. “Maybe you’ll work out together, plan a trip or meet up for a weekly chat over coffee. Most importantly, you see each other regularly and your buddy partner gets the chance to ask questions, learn the language, and get to know life in the area,” says Somers.

The pilot projects have already attracted a very broad spectrum of people who applied to become buddy. Compensation for the buddies is not provided, it remains voluntary work. So why become a buddy? “You get to know someone you might never have come into contact with otherwise. Who knows, you might end up with a friend for life,” said the minister.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Flanders buddies integrators Inland

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