Active Refugees in the Community project creates new practical activating methods for immigrants
Central Baltic Interreg programme is funding Active Refugees in the Community project (ARC), which aims at preventing social problems and isolation of immigrants with refugee background in Finland and Sweden through engaging them in motivating meaningful activities and interaction with the local society and thus enhance their job creation skills, integration to the society, language skills and wellbeing.
The project works in a cross-border co-operation between Finland and Sweden. Finnish and Swedish immigrants participating in the project will share their personal challenges and success stories via regular video blog and thus enable also the local community to better understand the immigrants and their individual journeys.
During the first implementation period, in Tampere, Finland, the ARC project has recruited 8 families with refugees background to get involved in the project activities. Weekly gardening and household guidance events have been organized as well as the video tutorials for immigrants to learn gardening in Finnish climate. So far, in the events there have been 133 participants of which 92 immigrants with refugee background.
For immigrants the ARC project has offered plenty of possibilities to learn new skills and meet new people. ”ARC has been really interesting and useful. Thanks to project I have found out where to rent land for cultivation purposes and what vegetables to grow in Finland. I really want to learn how to cultivate in Finland and what plants are suitable for Finnish climate” told one of the immigrants called Ayman. In Sweden one of the key lessons learnt, from both the RIM Program and ARC Project, has been the absolute need for ‘Respect. Acceptance. Inclusion. Dignity’ ly. (R.A.I.D). If any of the key elements are excluded or removed, the chance for successful integration decreases significantly.
ARC project will continue until 30th of November 2019.
Text by Heidi Ovaska, project manager