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German friends, employment top list of what refugees want

Europe
23.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - The majority of refugees who have been in Germany since 2015 said they wanted to find work quickly and make new friends, according to a study published Thursday.

A strong desire to be financially independent was the one aspect that stood out from the interviews with refugees, in the study entitled "How does integration work?" published by the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR).

Many respondents said they found it unpleasant, and often shameful, to depend on social welfare. Others said they wanted to put their time and energy into employment rather than sitting around idle.

Work was seen as not just a form of achieving financial independence. Many of the refugees said they saw it as an opportunity to make social contacts, learn the German language and give something back to society.

Yet, some of the 62 respondents - who came from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia - did not say specifically where they would go for work.

Many of them spoke about social isolation. They said they typically only knew officials and volunteers, but had not managed to form private relationships with Germans.

Germany opened its doors to about a million refugees in 2015.

 

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