Het sociaal netwerk van minderjarige vluchtelingen binnen een stedelijke context: hun huidige ervaringen en hun toekomstige noden

Ellen De Broyer
Dit kwalitatief onderzoek focust op het informeel sociaal netwerk van minderjarige vluchtelingen. Het onderzoek heeft als doel het huidig sociaal netwerk te beschrijven en het gewenst sociaal netwerk in kaart te brengen.

De sociale toekomst van jonge vluchtelingen in België: wat denken ze er zélf over?

 

Vluchtelingen zijn vandaag als het ware een ‘hot topic’ in de media. Woorden als ‘asielaanvragen’, ‘terugsturen’ verschijnen regelmatig in krantenkoppen. Het gaat hierbij meestal over aantallen en cijfers. De meesten zien dan een grote groep vluchtelingen voor zich waar ze zelf ver van af staan. In dit artikel wordt eens naar de binnenkant gekeken van deze groep. We geven de groep vluchtelingen een gezicht, het gezicht van jonge vluchtelingen. Want hoe zit het met jonge vluchtelingen die hier al drie jaar in België verblijven?

Voor dit onderzoek werden 36 minderjarige vluchtelingen bevraagd die gemiddeld drie jaar in Belgische steden wonen. Sommigen van deze jongeren hebben al een positief antwoord gekregen dat ze mogen blijven, anderen moeten nog afwachten. Via de jongeren zelf werd hun huidige en gewenste sociale situatie in kaart gebracht. Welke sociale relaties hebben ze en welke willen de jongeren eigenlijk? Jongeren die hoe dan ook, of mensen hier nu positief of negatief tegen aankijken, mee deel uitmaken van de jeugd die de Belgische toekomst vormt. Is het geen tijd om deze jongeren te leren kennen en hén eens te laten spreken over hun toekomst?

HUN HUIDIGE SOCIALE SITUATIE

Familie speelt een zeer belangrijke rol voor zowel de jongeren die hier met familie zijn, als de jongeren die hier alleen zijn. Daarnaast vormen vrienden, leerkrachten en klasgenoten, assistenten en begeleiders belangrijke sociale contacten. De jongeren vertellen dat ze vandaag met meer mensen een goed contact hebben en dat dit contact van een betere kwaliteit is, dan toen ze hier nog maar kort in België verbleven. Wel is hun huidige sociale situatie niet te vergelijken met die in hun herkomstland: daar zijn meer vrienden, meer kennissen en meer familie vertellen de jongeren. Over het algemeen verklaren de jongeren tevreden te zijn, al hebben ze ook een aantal dromen voor hun sociale toekomst.

BELGISCHE LEEFTIJDSGENOTEN

Wat opvalt is, dat de bevraagde jongeren vandaag de dag vooral contact hebben met mensen van niet-Belgische origine. Het meeste contact is met andere vluchtelingen en migranten. Beste vrienden zijn bijna altijd vluchtelingen die uit hetzelfde herkomstland komen en ook in België wonen. Mogen we nu besluiten dat ze geen contact willen met jongeren van Belgische origine? Verre van. De meeste jongeren geven aan dat ze in de toekomst graag meer contact willen met lokale Belgische jongeren. Sommigen leggen uit dat ze alleen niet weten hoe. In hun buurt, de school of in de voetbalploeg zijn er nl. weinig jongeren van Belgische origine…. Naar mijn mening is het dan ook belangrijk dat scholen en vrijetijdsorganisaties dit contact (blijven) stimuleren. Daarnaast mogen projecten, waar jonge vluchtelingen samenwonen met lokale leeftijdsgenoten, meer in de kijker worden gezet en belangrijker worden geacht.

“Ik wil Belgische mensen hebben, alé vrienden bedoel ik maar hoe kan ik contact maken? Als ik niemand ken ja…”

FAMILIEHERENIGING

Bij de bevraagde jongeren die hier zonder familie zijn, staat het samenwonen in België met dichte familie, zoals ouders, broer of zus bovenaan hun verlanglijst. Ze houden hun echter sterk en halen veel steun bij vrienden en begeleiders. Ze vertrouwen me echter toe dat zonder een broer, zus of ouders het leven niet hetzelfde is.

Als er gekeken wordt naar informatie over de invloed van hervestiging van vluchtelingenfamilies, is er maar weinig resultaat te vinden. Wanneer we dan kijken naar beleid rond hervestiging van vluchtelingen, gaat het vaak over succesvolle integratie met o.a. gaan werken en de taal spreken als afvinkbare ‘checks’ die overwegend individueel zijn.
Zou er niet de mogelijkheid moeten geboden worden om ook gezinsstabiliteit op te nemen als maatstaf bij ‘succesvolle integratie’? Een vraag die ik in het midden laat voor de lezers die wel wat politiekgezind zijn.

STABILITEIT

Graag willen de jongeren blijven wonen op éénzelfde plek en niet meer verhuizen. Dit hebben de meesten in het verleden meermaals moeten doen waardoor het moeilijk was om vrienden te maken, vertellen ze. Nu kennen ze hun omgeving, hebben er hun contacten en hun leven opgebouwd en dit willen ze graag behouden en verder uitbouwen. In het bijzonder hopen de jongeren met een tijdelijk statuut, diegenen die nog niet weten of ze hier voor altijd kunnen blijven of niet, dat ze hun leven niet weer ergens anders moeten opstarten vanaf nul.

TIENERS ZOALS IEDEREEN

“Ik probeer niet speciaal te zijn. Ik wil gewoon een random teenager zijn”

De jongeren willen, net zoals andere tieners, een normaal leven leiden, veel vrienden hebben en een succesvolle toekomst opbouwen. Zo komt school afronden en een diploma halen, werken en een eigen familie stichten voor in hun toekomstbeeld. Dit willen ze het liefst ook zelf verwezenlijken, met af en toe wat steun van vrienden, familie, school en begeleiders.

Het belangrijkste waarmee ik dit artikel afsluit: gewone jongeren, in eerste instantie en pas minderjarige vluchtelingen, in tweede instantie.

 

Ellen De Broyer

 

 

 

 

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Agogische Wetenschappen
Publicatiejaar
2018
Promotor(en)
Prof. Dr. Dominique Verté
Kernwoorden