By Sarah Keane • 14 March 2021 • 11:37
WELCOME: Spain tops the list of nations willing to take in refugees.
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CATALAN towns to host dozens of refugee families by the end of the year
Municipalities in Catalonia will support newly-arrived refugees to integrate into their new communities by inviting them into their homes for a year. Each of the selected towns will receive one family and the local council will secure work for one or two members, which will be subsidised by the Servie d’Ocupacio de Catalunya (SOC).
The pilot programme has already selected twenty towns to begin recieiving their guests by the end of the year and the initiative aims not only to help those in need but also to stop rural depopulation and enrich the areas culturally.
“The challenge was to find out how these families could reach a micro-village and we give them housing and work for at least a year,” according to Xavier Camps, a member of the AMC (L’Associacio de Micropobles de Catalunya) board of directors.
They began by reaching out to 337 municipalities to see which were interested in being part of the initiative. After developing their short-list, two or three families will then cisit the villages to see where they “can best fit in”.
“If you put a family that lived at 4,000 metres in their country in a town by the sea, that probably won’t work,” Mr Camps said.
He added that a European programme will also be put in place to monitor the families once their one-year employment contract ends, with the hope being they will remain in their new communities and find other work or set up their own businesses.
“All city councils have suppliers and during the first year we will know if that person is good at doing the job. If the companies with which we have contacts need people, we can offer them workers.”
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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