We are always looking for volunteers to visit people in closed centres. We suggest two formulas: as a friendly visitor or to become part of our team of accredited visitors.
Becoming a friendly visitor to a closed centre
As such your main duties are the following:
- To pay friendly visits to asylum seekers and undocumented persons, who are detained in one of the closed centres the JRS-B has access to;
- To report regularly to the referent accredited visitor about the visits you have made; and
- To participate in the quarterly meetings of the JRS Belgium detention visitors (friendly and accredited).
The aim of the friendly visits is to provide companionship to those detained in closed centres. It is important to provide moral, sometimes even spiritual, support through dialogue, listening, and understanding. You are asked to visit the detained person once a week throughout his/her detention period. In most centres the visiting time is limited to one person and cannot exceed one hour.
JRS Belgium commits itself to offering constant supervision and training, as well as a regular evaluation. We ask you to engage yourself for a minimum period of one year. That can be extended.
For additional information, please contact us. You may send your application (C.V. and a brief motivation note) to Pawel Bondaruk, volunteer coordinator – E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become an accredited visitor to the closed centres
The volunteer needs to identify with the mission of the JRS to serve the refugees. He/she likes to take initiatives and work in a team. He/she is ready to follow trainings in active listening, immigration law, intercultural communication, and how to approach people suffering from psychological trauma.
- To visit asylum seekers or irregular immigrants in one of the detention centres once a week;
- To carry out the legal and social follow-up (drafting a visit report, making contacts with the lawyers, the detainee’s family, the administration, and so on) in close collaboration with partner organisations;
- To take part in the team meetings of JRS-B and in encounters with other visitors of detention centres.
- Fluency in either Dutch or French, and at least passive knowledge of the other language;
- Other languages, especially English, are an advantage;
- Training in social work, psychology or a law degree is an advantage;
- Knowledge of the Belgian immigration laws and/or experience working with refugees and migrants will be considered;
- Ability to write visits’ reports;
- Experience with computer programmes (Word) and using the Internet;
- Driving licence is an asset.
- at least 8 hours a week;
- can go regularly to a closed centre (Bruges, Merksplas, Steenokkerzeel);
- Home-based follow-up work with support from a professional;
- Availability to attend meetings in Brussels; and
- Transportation and telephone expenses are taken care of by JRS-b
For additional information, please contact the JRS-B. You may send your application (C.V. and cover letter) to Pawel Bondaruk, coordinator of volunteers – Mail : email@example.com.