new solidarity

singa.io: A new social network is born!

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The social integration of refugees is a major issue: learning French, vocational training, community life... According to the latest figures from INSEE, among the foreigners who immigrated to France in 2017, the most numerous are Africans (36 %), almost on a par with the citizens of other European Union countries (35 %). For those who have been granted refugee status, how should we think about their integration? Starting from this question, a French association has chosen to work with digital tools to create links between French citizens and refugees, through its platform singa.fr and the creation of a new solidarity initiative, singa.io.
 
Ehe immigrant is one who is "born abroad and resides in France", according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). 262,000 foreigners were received in France in 2017. In France, since 2012, an average of 76,457 applications have been submitted each year, and around 1/3 accepted. Between 10,000 and 32,000 people are therefore protected each year by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA9 ). The number of applications has increased slightly each year for the past five years.
 
Refugees face many obstacles that can be addressed through innovative tools and meeting spaces. Will socio-economic inclusion be achieved through the use of digital technology, entrepreneurship and the incredible diversity of initiatives that are springing up across Europe? Because, whether you've always been a French citizen or are a newcomer, you have a smartphone, you get information via digital (social networks, apps, etc.) in order to dialogue, find your way around or understand the things around you.
This is the wager of the Singa association: to work with digital tools in order to create links between French citizens and refugees. Thanks to its new platform, singa.ioThe association, which opened on 28 May 2019, allows everyone, newcomers and locals alike, to be brought together to share leisure activities: an exhibition, a football tournament, a cooking workshop... These encounters allow people to live an enriching experience, to learn from each other, to laugh together, to blossom.
 
Founded in 2012 in Paris, Singa is a global movement that aims to create a link between refugees and their host society. It is a citizen's movement, made up of you, us, students, artists, families, experts, enthusiasts. Newcomer and local citizens. It is above all a community of people who meet, create together and set up projects.
The objective is simple: to share common interests, to participate in entrepreneurial or associative projects, to live together or to access the job market. The best ways to create an inclusive society enriched by its diversities.
Singa brings together a community of 25,000 people in 20 cities in eight European countries and welcomes a wide variety of people: French citizens and newcomers of all ages, backgrounds and origins. All able to share their passions, desires and plans for the future.
 

In concrete terms, how does the social network work?

Just create a free profile on singa.io. You like running, doing capoeira, learning a language or you have an idea for a startup? Once your profile is created, Singa will first offer you to meet in real life before connecting you with someone near you who shares your passions.
 
Over the past six months, this platform has enabled more than 1,000 people to meet in the Paris region. This summer, it is arriving in many other cities in France and around the world (Brussels, London, Montreal, Zurich...).
I consider it much easier to create apps that respond to our baser instincts: laziness, selfishness, narcissism... than to create technology that makes us proud, that makes us altruistic, technology that allows us to connect. Yet it's a much more interesting challenge and more in tune with the reality of today's world. That's what we're building with Singa.io. »  explains Guillaume Capelle, co-founder of Singa.
 

In the beginning, a solid foundation

The association was founded by three young graduates in their thirties, Alice Barbe, Guillaume Capelle and Nathanaël Molle.
In 2012, Guillaume Capelle co-founded Singa to forge a new paradigm around asylum and migration issues. In particular, he designs a lab within the organization to facilitate its passage to the international level, by leveraging technology, and to develop a viable and inclusive economic model. This commitment has earned him several international recognitions, including Forbes 30under30 and UNAOC's Innovation Interculturelle.
 
Guillaume Capelle
 
For Guillaume, " We started from the premise that refugees only meet people who are paid to accompany them. In order to decompartmentalize, unlock the network, we set up projects FOR society, WITH the refugees.. »
 
After studying political science, Alice Barbe worked in international organizations. Tired of working "to get a line into an international convention that nobody will read", she contributes to Singa's development by focusing on community building. Today, General Director of the movement, she becomes in June 2018 the only French woman in the first class of the Obama School foundation for the year 2018-2019.
 
Alice Barbe
 
She explains that " The idea is to move away from the logic of integration to that of inclusion: valuing what everyone is and what everyone has to contribute. The key to inclusion is getting to know people, learning to trust each other, and being enriched by our differences.. »
 
After studies at ILERI, various experiences including one in Morocco with UNHCR, Nathanaël Molle returned to France to found Singa. First Ashoka Fellow of the Singa adventure, tireless defender of the horizontal approach which is the DNA of this movement, he founded WAYA four years later. In June 2018, he chose to set off on new entrepreneurial adventures.
 
Nathanaël Molle
 

For Nathaniel, " We wanted to move away from endless debates to focus on what really mattered to both newcomers and longer-term residents: joint action to strengthen our society.. »
 
A national launch and events are planned to introduce this new social network: in Paris (21 June) at the Refugee Week from 17 to 23 June, but also in Lille (23 June) and Lyon (21 June) for giant meetings open to everyone. There will be sports, food sharing, culinary discoveries and music.
Coming soon, the program and all the info online on Singa.io.
On this occasion, the association is also partnering with the Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand to reach new audiences through a variety of communication channels.
 
To know more about it : https://singa.io/fr
 
 
Header photo : @Ilan Deutsch Levitan

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