It is in the heart of the Ouche fountain district in Dijon that settled at the beginning of the year, the educational apartment “APPED 21”.
An apartment that allows refugees who have obtained their residence permit but also French residents in great precariousness to discover the right actions to adopt on a daily basis in their place of life.
Going from community life to individual accommodation
Najid Ghorzi is a school director within ACODEGE, the association in charge of managing this educational apartment with Habitat et Humanisme: “Often these refugees have gone through difficult things in their country of origin, they come to us a little lost. Initially, they live in collective housing, in hostels, so they do not necessarily have the notion of what the payment of a water or electricity bill can represent. when they finally get individual accommodation. And this is our whole mission alongside them “.
And that’s all but practical workshops that are regularly organized in this apartment. The goal is to teach these refugees to live in their accommodation both practically and economically.. Emma Aubert, who coordinates the project, explains: “Here, in the kitchen, we teach them, for example, to make a washing machine but not to stuff it with laundry, we also explain to them that they boil water in a casserole dish, putting a lid on heat up faster and therefore save electricity or gas “.
A shower: 60 liters of water, 5 minutes, no more
It is perhaps in the bathroom of the apartment that the advice given is most visible. In the shower and the tub, bags full of empty plastic bottles. “All this represents the amount of water for an ideal shower, ie 60 liters. And on the wall, you have an hourglass that counts down 5 minutes and after that you are supposed to have finished soaping and rinsing yourself! “ continues Emma Aubert.
Ali is 33 years old. He arrived from Sudan 10 years ago. Today, he lives in an individual apartment in Dijon. Before, he did not have the notion of what the bills for an individual accommodation could cost because he lived in a hostel, so the workshops organized in the educational apartment helped him a lot: “ You have to be careful of everything because it is expensive. You have to save on gas, electricity and when you take a shower, you’re not having fun, five minutes and it’s over. _Today I am responsible for myself, for my accommodation_“.
“Integration comes first and foremost through housing”
Each year, in Côte d’Or, nearly 300 refugees are helped by the various social actors of the department in their integration through housing.. Nicolas Nibourel, the departmental director of employment, work and solidarity (DDETS) says that for all these newcomers, it is essential to set up educational support on housing because they are concerned about integrating into the better in our society – which is far from that of their country of origin – and that once they are reassured about their ability to manage their housing, they can calmly devote themselves to their jobs and to learning French .
Since the end of the summer, 141 housing units have been allocated to 197 people who have obtained the right of asylum in Côte d’Or.
For 2021, the state is co-financing these various social integration measures up to 600,000 euros.