It won't be easy, but we are tenacious!

Monday 7 June 2021

Since May, Caritas Luxembourg offers a streetwork service in Differdange. Objective: to create links. Interview with David Mallinger and Saverio Rella who decided to take up the challenge.

Why offer this streetwork service in Differdange?

We were contacted through a call for projects by the City of Differdange, which wishes to strengthen the link between the inhabitants of its city centre, all generations and origins combined. Our pilot project was selected. To define it, we discussed with many people in the city centre. There are many fears, but most of them can be explained by the fact that people do not know each other. It will be our challenge to bring them together!

How will you do it?

The streetwork we will do in Differdange is different from the one Caritas Luxembourg does in Luxembourg City. In Luxembourg-City, the streetwork targets homeless people and the objective is to direct them to the help structures. Here in Differdange, the target and the objective are different. It's all about community work to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants. We will work with young people, whose behaviour is often perceived as disruptive, but not only. All generations will be included, including the elderly who feel increasingly isolated in the city centre. It will be about reaching out to all residents, listening to them and offering activities so that they can get to know each other better, show what they can do, understand and appreciate each other. We hope to create many positive synergies.

Of course, special attention will be paid to those who have difficulties in making ends meet. Most of them do not dare to walk through the door of a social office to ask for help, or even know that they are entitled to get help.  We are both firmly convinced that for a person to want to participate in the community, he or she must have a minimum of social and financial security, etc.

Why streetwork?

It's easier for people to accept help than to ask for it. Here, we are the ones who take the first step, who go to meet the people, who start talking to them, who listen to them, who accompany them if they wish, who propose activities, who make the link. Of course, it is not easy to gain people's trust and get them to get help, participate in activities and open up to others. But we are tenacious!

Streetwork is also about networking with the city's services, associations and clubs. In recent weeks, we have been able to meet with them to see how we can work together. There are many possibilities for collaboration and we are already looking forward to working with them.

Contact :

David Mallinger, coordinator, david.mallinger@caritas.lu

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