Navigator - Towards Diversity in Municipalities is a three-year project (2018-2021) in which IOM Finland together with the Finnish Refugee Council and Diaconia University of Applied Sciences support municipalities in their integration efforts. The project is implemented in ten municipalities around the capital area.
Firstly, the project aims at strengthening the professionality of municipal decisionmakers and workers. A training model is being developed through a needs-based approach. In addition, the aim is to cultivate dialogue and cooperation across service sectors and municipal borders.
Secondly, the project provides Civic Orientation courses, basic information about and living in Finland, for quota refugees, and other people who have a residence permit on the basis of international protection, in native languages. The Civic Orientation courses started in the Fall 2019 in the target municipalities. The trainers for the Civic Orientations are being trained within the project. After completing their training, the trainers are be able to teach refugees for example In Dari, Arabic or Persian. The trainers’ Finnish Civic Orientation Textbook has been translated into Somali, Arabic, English and Swedish. The next translation will be in Dari.
Successful integration requires support for both parties
Successful integration actualizes in interaction between the refugees and the receiving communities, and therefore requires support for both parties.
The project is being implemented in a participatory way. The training model for the municipal workers has been planned considering their needs and in cooperation with the target groups. For example, quota refugees and integration coordinators from the region have been interviewed, and decisionmakers’ views have been consulted with an electronic survey.
The materials and the training model will be published later to be utilized nationally as well.
Civic orientation in native language improves integration
The Finnish Refugee Council has developed a broad Civic Orientation course to be implemented in native languages as well as the trainers’ textbook. The 70-hour course familiarizes participants with the Finnish society and offers newcomers necessary civic skills which will improve integrating to new home municipality.
The native language trainers who have been and will be trained by the Finnish Refugee Council within the project can be employed by municipalities or colleges in the future. The Civic Orientation is being developed throughout the project in cooperation with the municipalities.
The project is funded by the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).
Civic orientation: Yhteiskuntaorientaatio.fi
Finnish Refugee Council: Pakolaisapu.fi