Meeting at the CPH of Decazeville

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the Territorial Directorate of OFII in Toulouse wished to highlight the original work carried out by the Temporary Accommodation Centre (CPH) of Decazeville in the Aveyron region.

This CPH carries out original work to build the integration pathway for refugees around employment. Mr Guillaume Raymond, sub-prefect of the Villefranche-de-Rouergue district, and Ms Sandrine Bosse of the Departmental Directorate of Employment, Labour, Solidarity and Protection of Populations (DDETSPP) were present for this visit of the centre and for the meeting with the workers and the residents. The delegation was welcomed by Mr Samuel GARRIC, Director of the CPH “Habitat et Humanisme”.

Decazeville is a small town in the Aveyron, a former mining town, a land of hospitality par excellence, but marked by a reputation for geographical isolation. As a result, the territory is not attractive, including for refugees referred to this region.

However, the work carried out by the CPH team in close collaboration with the Pôle Emploi, the network of companies in the valley and the municipality, allows for successful integration, with all the refugees finding employment and accommodation. Access to housing is facilitated by very low rental costs and an abundant supply in both the private and public sectors.

Two testimonies illustrated these remarkable actions. Firstly, Hussein, a young Afghan, who arrived in France in 2017, who is now fluent in French, and who, after several jobs was able to join the local hospital as a caregiver. He is pursuing his dream of soon becoming a nurse and has his own flat in Decazeville. Then there is Idriss, who has been at CPH for a few months, and already knows French. He has been recruited by an industrial cleaning company and plans to return to his profession as a dental technician as soon as possible.

Networking with local associations is also taken into account: refugees are integrated into the local football and rugby teams and a cricket team has also been created.
The former residents act as advisors for the people referred, to reassure them about the reception conditions and the prospects for integration.

Even if the refugees do not necessarily plan to settle permanently in Decazeville, they understand that getting a job and accommodation very quickly allows them to improve their French, save money and complete their professional experience. All of these advantages will enable them to consider moving to another city at a later date.