The Migration Commission
The purpose of the Migration Commission is to exchange ideas on how LIONS can support the social integration of migrants and to coordinate our actions.
Several dozen students with refugee status are currently enrolled at the University of Luxembourg at Bachelor and Master level. They study a wide variety of subjects, from biomedical research to computer science, from economics to finance. Although refugee students can benefit from CEDIES scholarships, these are often not sufficient to cover the basic needs of these students, who have little else to fall back on other than the modest income from their student jobs (which disappeared completely during the pandemic). Those most affected are young women with children who cannot stay in student accommodation, cannot easily work on the side, and are confronted with high rent prices in this country. As international students have to live in Luxembourg in order to study at the University of Luxembourg, many of them need urgent financial support to continue their studies.
The Lions Club of Luxembourg has identified this problem.
Alex Bernard, a member of the Lions Club Glasburen, was one of the first members to raise awareness of the plight of student refugees:
"It was purely by coincidence that I personally met a young woman with refugee status who is studying at university. When I realised how much she was struggling with trying really hard to complete her studies and integrate successfully into the Luxembourg labour market, I knew I had to do something. "
The Widow Emile Metz-Tesch Foundation
And so Alex did. A few months later, Mr Bernard had informed all the Lions Clubs in Luxembourg and most of them were interested in helping. He also worked with the university's fundraising team to identify other donors. One foundation that showed great interest in the project was the Veuve Emile Metz-Tesch Foundation, one of the oldest foundations in the Grand Duchy, which mainly supports educational and social causes.
"The Luxembourg steel industry, whose contribution to the country's development is well known, was built in part thanks to workers from the four corners of Europe, and even today, a large number of nationalities rub shoulders every day in the factories and related services. It is therefore only logical that the Foundation should support such an initiative which promotes inclusion and multiculturalism in the Grand Duchy. We really think that it is important to help people in Luxembourg who have been less fortunate than us. These young people have an incredible will to succeed here in Luxembourg and we have to support them in this process", explains Pascal Moisy, project manager of the FVEMT.
"You can't get very far in life if you don't start by doing something for someone else."
Since the beginning of this initiative, the Lions Clubs of Luxembourg, in collaboration with the FVEMT, have donated more than 150,000 euros to support deserving refugee students in need. Almost all of these students have achieved very good results and in the meantime the first students supported by this partnership have graduated and entered working life in Luxembourg.
Le Recteur Stéphane Pallage, Mme Joanna West, responsable des étudiants défavorisés, Mme Lamia Alaubaidi, boursière, avec les membres Lions lors de la présentation du projet
A little word of thank you
In my name and the name of my friend Yordanos and Yonas, I extend my deepest thanks, appreciation and respect to you (LIONS Club) for the financial support you have given us, especially me and Yordanos, where we have daughters, and without your support, we would not have been able to complete our academic career, so you were the right people at the right time, really, The tongue is unable to express how to thank you, for you have imprinted an imprint in our hearts in your love and support for us, and in conclusion, we assure that this beautiful of yours will remain in our minds and hearts for life, all thanks, appreciation and respect to you.
Supplementary university scholarship for recognised refugees
According to the University of Luxembourg, about 7 refugees succeed in being admitted to the University of Luxembourg each year. Of course, these are only refugees who are beneficiaries of international protection, i.e. who have been recognised and granted refugee status.
Most of them are refugees who have started university studies in their country of origin, but there are also refugees who have to do one or two years of additional studies to have their university diplomas recognised and finally those who simply want to start such studies. To be admitted to the University of Luxembourg, however, all of them must have their diplomas recognised, be admitted to the preparatory year and pass it.
According to the laws in force, refugees who enrol at the University lose their right to the "social inclusion income" (ex RMG) of 1,466 €/month and the benefits that go with it: housing aid, cost-of-living allowance and health insurance. As students, they only receive the CEDIES government grant of €600/month, which is obviously far too little to pay rent and cover living expenses.
The University estimates that a single person needs about €1,200/month to attend university. For a person with a child the financial needs are much higher, especially because the University only has accommodation for singles.
Therefore, additional financial support is needed to prevent these refugees from giving up their studies.
Hence the initiative of the LIONS Club Glasburen at the University of Luxembourg to create a "complementary university scholarship for recognised refugees". The text elaborated in consultation provides for the current academic year a grant of 350 €/month to a single student and 3 grants of 650 €/month to 3 female students, each with one or two dependent children, which in total corresponds to 27,600 €/year. This budget exceeds the financial possibilities of the LIONS Club Glasburen alone, hence the need to find other sponsors and donors.
The whole project is managed in close cooperation with the University. The LIONS Club takes care of the collection of the funds, which are paid into a university account. The scholarship recipients are selected in consultation with the University. The scholarships are paid to the scholarship holders by the University, which also ensures that the scholarship holders follow the courses and achieve the expected results during the academic year.
This is a pilot phase. In order to perpetuate this scholarship, it is planned to sign an agreement with the University of Luxembourg within 6 months.
LIONS Club Glasburen
Refugees gain access to employment through job coaching
Recently, volunteers from the Lions Club have been helping refugees from Caritas Luxembourg to find a job. Interview with Alex Bernard and Haabsan Ibrahim. Alex Bernard accompanies some refugees, including Haabsan Ibraahim, who has found a job thanks to this coaching.
MAKE A DONATION
You can support with your donation the Migration Commission's action to provide an annual Refugee University Scholarship