Project is finished 31.12.2008. For more information about results please contact Rovaniemi immigration Office staff.
Welcome to the website of Volunteers Hosting Refugees on the Integration Path (Kaveriksi kotopolulle -hanke)
Volunteers Hosting Refugees on the Integration Path is a project co-financed by the European Refugee Fund (ERF) and administrated by the city of Rovaniemi. The objective of the project is to create a new model for the first-phase integration of refugees and to increase the interaction between refugees and local population as well as participation and tolerance. A pilot group in the project is formed by the Karenni quota refugees who arrived in Rovaniemi in the spring of 2007 from Myanmar, ex-Burma. They came to Finland and to Rovaniemi from a refugee camp in Thailand.
The cornerstone of the project and its driving force are the volunteer integrators, The Volunteer Hosts. They help the quota refugees in practical ways to get to know the Finnish everyday life, living and the neigbourhood. The Volunteer Host will participate in the activities of a person or a family approximately once a week with active hosting. If such activities do not fit into the situation of the host, he or she can become an occasional host, who participates in organising various theme days, in supervising Finnish discussion groups or in other activities for larger groups.
Volunteers Hosting Refugees on the Integration Path
The project is implemented by the City of Rovaniemi. The content is provided by the Immigration Office of the Social Services centre. The project partners are Employment and Economic Development Centre for Lapland; Employment office of Rovaniemi; State Provincial Office of Lapland; the Finnish Red Cross, Lapland District office; Rovala Settlement Association; the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, Lapland District Office as well as Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences, School of Social Services.
The objective of the project
The objective of the project is to create a new operation model for the first-phase integration of immigrants. By increasing and developing the interaction between the refugees and the local population and their participation in shared activities we can produce tolerance. At the same time we prevent racism and discrimination. A central idea is to involve new players into the integration activities on a volunteer basis, i.e. to find Volunteer Hosts. We will also develop the existing integration measures and create new practices. The Volunteers Hosting Refugees on the Integration Path in Rovaniemi is a pilot project in volunteer hosting, and one of our central objectives is to disseminate the model to other municipalities receiving refugees. The refugee group participating in the pilot project consists of the Karenni (a minority in Myanmar, Ex-Burma) refugees chosen to settle in Rovaniemi from a refugee camp in Thailand, sixty-five persons in all.
The total budget of the project on the first funding period is 233 636 €. The project is financed by ERF – the European Refugee Fund, the City of Rovaniemi and the aforementioned partners. The proportion of ERF funding is 36,81 % and national funding 63,19 %. Some of the national financers participate by offering premises (MLL), by participating in the project training as trainers (SPR, MLL) or by engaging to work as Volunteer Hosts for a certain amount of hours (RAMK/students of the School of Social Services).
Recruitment, training and guidance of the Volunteer Hosts
Launching and maintaining the hosting activities
Activities for those integrating:
Teaching everyday Finnish to adults
Discussion groups for adults
Guidance and support activities for homemakers
Summer clubs for children
Group info meetings for adults
Know-how and resource reviews for adults
Training for Volunteer Hosts
•Basic information, total of 15 hours
•Training of Easy Finnish and Finnish instruction 8 hours (Rovala-Opisto)
•Theme evenings on current affairs
•Advanced support person training for those willing to participate as support persons in social services (autumn 2007)
•Separate counselling for the Volunteer Hosts