Friday, 30 October 2015

Hands on for refugees: situation today

Migrationsverket, the Swedish agency for migration, were standing at the central station in Stockholm today. There were folders to read. A Swedish man with a baby passed by and expresses his gratitude towards the staff doing this. A woman passed by and worried that the refugees around the place had no benches to sit on.

I asked: "Apparently, there is a refugee family in that corner behind you. So if I walk over and tell to talk to you, how can you pass on the information?"
Agency woman: "We have an Arabic interpreter. He is on a lunch break right now. "

Clearly, we are understaffed.

I also learned this:

When you get to Sweden: go to Migrationsverket. There, you will have to show a paper that proves your ID. Once registered, you will get a so-called LMA-card. That shows, among other things, that you are in this country legally. While here, you also have obligations such as following the Swedish law.

If you can not work, you will get aid to survive.
Some numbers:
24 sek/day if you have access to food at the residence provided by Migrationsverket.
61 sek/day if you do not have access to food.
12 sek/day per child, depending on how old and if they are up to three - or more.
A visit to the doctor costs 50 sek.
Paying for medication costs 50 sek. If you have been to the doctor and got medications for more than 400 sek/half a year, the remaining costs for that period are subsidised entirely.
All of this can be seen on the agency's website. As one of the staff members I spoke to put it: "I am retired and even I think it is easy to find." She also added that these numbers have not changed since 1994.  Prices have!

Jana for president: I have now made phone calls and e-mailed organisations and companies to introduce a refugee discount, just like students in Sweden have discounts.

Fingers crossed.

We should also organise and go to the refugee houses/camps and give them hope and integrate. Perform plays for children, offer bus rides for free, bring books. I have no idea what a refugee home looks like, I have never been to one, but I assume the stay can be made more joyful. A friend from Norrtälje told me about a camp that is about 30 kilometres away from the city - and to get to a bank and get the money aid, one has to take the bus. Which costs money. That they are getting from the bank. Vicious cycle. Also a bit hard to integrate with society if it is 30 kilometres away.

Good-will projects, anyone? If you have ideas or want to share experiences, please share below.

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