Stories & Annual Report | Annual Report
2019 Annual Report
Discover the world of ORS
With the publication of our 2019 Annual Report, we are continuing our strategy of transparent information in the highly volatile asylum sector. We look back on a challenging financial year, marked by declining asylum numbers and the reallocation of important mandates in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Despite this, taking the time to reflect strengthens our resolve to face the challenges ahead.
We provide an insight into an exciting and diverse environment in which people are the focus – as centre residents and employees, and as clients, suppliers and interested parties.
Stories & Annual Report | Booklets
Reports from our centres
The experience of establishing a regional reception centre in Sigmaringen
At first, the process of establishing a hostel for asylum seekers may feel as though it’s an endless bureaucratic battle: service targets, processes, quality management. But the central issue is to provide the best possible care for refugees. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that this not only requires social responsibility and skills, but also efficiency and a lot of legwork, as the example of Sigmaringen shows.
Insights into the ORS work integration programme
More than 56,000 recognised refugees currently live in Switzerland, and most do not have a job. This costs the public purse a huge amount of money, deprives the economy of a potential workforce and affects the refugees’ self-esteem. Ultimately, everyone benefits from more of them having jobs.
What it means to manage a cantonal asylum centre
All those who enter Switzerland seeking asylum have had a long journey and usually have a troubled story behind them. Unfortunately, there’s no time to stop and rest because the next challenge awaits: integration. ORS shows how it accompanies arrivals in canton Fribourg as they enter the next stage of their journey.
Stories & Annual Report | #WeareORS
During his childhood in Sudan, Taha learned from his grandfather how to offer advice to those in need and act as an intermediary. He is married to a Swiss woman, and dreams of one day working with children living on the streets.
Taha has been looking after asylum seekers for almost 10 years. The 51-year-old sees himself as a bridge-builder between cultures among those he supports. At the repatriation centre in Rohr near Zurich airport, Taha works with people caught between hope, resignation and frustration. He strives to defuse conflicts and engage respectfully with everyone, regardless of their residence status.
Today, he is the deputy manager of the repatriation centre and takes care of the concerns of about 70 people. Finding the right balance between closeness and distance in his day-to-day care work is challenging. Although he is not responsible for the authorities’ decisions, he does his best to help people shape their daily lives as positively as possible in their particular circumstances.
Stories & Annual Report | #WeareORS
Simone Merk supports refugees at the federal asylum centre in Bern. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, she has been faced with the challenge of educating concerned residents in order to alleviate their fears of infection. Initially, the instructions to comply with hygiene regulations and maintain social distancing weren’t taken very seriously. In the meantime, however, the asylum seekers have become extremely careful and understanding of the situation. ‘We need to be there for our asylum seekers 24/7, and still do our jobs as responsibly and as conscientiously as we did before the pandemic,’ says Simone. ‘People are in desperate need of information. The more we are there for them, the more opportunity we have to provide that information and ease their worries.’ It’s important, she says, that she and her colleagues keep a cool head and support and encourage one another.
Stories & Annual Report | Health
Spotlight on health – why what we say isn’t always what we mean
The taboos surrounding specific health issues in certain cultures require a highly sensitive approach. Our information events are always held with the appropriate specialists and trusted individuals from the relevant culture. They are held in a confidential setting in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.
When it comes to female genital mutilation (FGM), for example, we never explicitly invite people to events on this topic. The subject is highly taboo and addressing it directly is a deterrent. Instead, we organise workshops on topics such as pregnancy and women’s health and incorporate the issue into these. The subject is addressed indirectly and in a situational context, with the aim of informing women about the treatment options available to them and offering them access to medical help.
Stories & Annual Report | Prevention
Conflict prevention and safety
The safety of all of those in our care, our teams and other parties involved in our services is one of our top priorities. Our support and safety concepts focus on the following aspects:
Prevention through information
With clear, transparent information, personal discussions on arrival and at follow-up events, and coordinated sign management, we ensure that people receive the right information at the right time, in the right place. Our aim is to avoid misunderstandings and the spread of inaccurate information within the centre.
Prevention through smart infrastructure
We establish mobility policies and organise routes, entrances and exits in order to maintain clear passages and avoid any potential conflicts caused by people gathering. Our interior design is clear, welcoming and functional, and is structured in such a way that it offers plenty of space, clear routes and signage, and rooms to retreat to.
Prevention through proactive support
We seek daily contact with the asylum seekers and refugees, and are present in the centres. This allows us to gauge any changes in mood or atmosphere and take the necessary measures.
We offer a wide range of occupational activities to give residents a solid structure and working routine. We also provide opportunities for them to get involved in sports and creative activities.
Prevention through skilled, well-trained teams
Our employees receive training and are prepared for their responsibilities from day one. In addition to mission statements, support guidelines, initiation courses and eLearning programmes, we place great emphasis on a professional approach to closeness and distance. Our managers have a close-knit, employee-focused leadership style; they maintain daily dialogue and hold regular team meetings in which minutes are taken. Responsibilities and skill sets are clearly defined, and job profiles are detailed and well established. Our staff and managers have the opportunity to undergo further training by taking part in our specialist and management courses.
Crisis intervention and safety concepts
In emergencies, we work with ABC plans and have a clear chain of responsibilities and communication. Our emergency procedures have been tried and tested, and they follow defined checklists and processes. In cases of crisis intervention, we call on psychologists and/or emergency pastoral care as required, and provide appropriate our residents with follow-up support through supervision or peer support.