For the third time, Finnish Refugee Council will award to an innovative and inclusive integration activity that promotes integration and society’s ability to receive and welcome newcomers. In the selection of the finalists for 2021, special emphasis was placed on promoting the interaction of different demographic groups, and the inclusion of migrants. Three finalists have now been selected from the candidates: Naapuruustalo Matinkylä, International Working Women of Finland and the Dörren project.
Through their activities, all the finalists promote equal interaction between population groups, encourage encounters in everyday life and strengthen the inclusion and involvement of different groups of people in society. These have all been criteria for the jury for the selection of the three finalists. In addition, the jury emphasized the effectiveness and of the activities. The selection jury includes Ahmed Mesaedy, the Refugee man of the Year, Head of Immigration of the Uusimaa ELY Center Jaana Suokonautio, Lidl Finland’s HR Director and broad member Päivi Ben Ammar, and Moniheli ry’s Association Manager Julie Breton.
– The candidates for the Integration Act recognition showed how excellent and diverse work is being done in Finland to promote integration. It’s important that this work is also made visible and recognized. Those who have reached the top three are convincing with their active agency, which demonstrate concrete effects both at the level of society and in the lives of individuals, says Päivi Ben Ammar, Human Resources Director at Lidl Finland.
Encountering cultures and providing support in the local neighborhood
Naapuruustalo Matinkylä is an activity space and meeting place open for everyone, where the residents of the area can interact with each other. The neighborhood house offers Arabic-language guidance and assistance activities, which helps thousands of foreign-speaking migrants find the right services every year. The neighborhood house also has several Finnish language students who, in addition to the language, learn Finnish culture, Finnish customs and can talk about their own culture. Naapuruustalo Matinkylä employs migrants who get to know Finnish working life. After a work trial, the goal is to find either a job or a place to study.
Community empowers and brings together the diverse skills of migrant women
For two years, the International Working Women of Finland (IWWOF) has been promoting the employment and integration of migrant women with the aim to improve the demand and supply of labor. Founded by migrant women themselves, the community offers peer activities, networking, training, and workshops to develop the important skills in working life. IWWOF has so far operated mostly on a voluntary basis and has already reached more than 6,000 people mainly by social media. At the heart of the activities by IWWOF is the communality shared by Finnish and foreign women and making a difference together.
Local professionals and employers’ network with international experts
Dörren is a networking concept uniting experts in the same field and helping migrants to become part of Finnish working life by expanding their contacts. At the same time, locals get to strengthen their own networks too. In addition, Dörren serves as an easy tool for organizations who want to promote diversity and find new employees. In practice, people register with a service that links them to a person in the same field of work. The pairs then network for an hour by a cup of coffee. Additionally, popular networking events are organized with different organizations. Dörren works in three languages – English, Swedish and Finnish.
– The competition for the Integration Act recognition is tight. It was gratifying to see the diversity of applicants and the range of new actors in both the municipal and organizational fields. Finalists promote integration in a way that understands integration as an interaction. Integration is only possible together. Whoever from the three candidates wins, the recognition goes to an activity that does influential work, says Julie Breton, the Association Manager of Moniheli ry.
The Integration Act of the Year recognition will be awarded in Helsinki on 27th of October at the virtual Kotogaala webinar from 2 to 4 p.m. The patron of the Integration Act 2021 recognition is Minister of Labor Tuula Haatainen. You can register for the event until October 24 through the registration form. The event is in Finnish.
Finnish Refugee Council
Head of Public Affairs, Katja Mannerström
044 761 5708, katja.mannerstrom(a)pakolaisapu.fi
International Working Women of Finland
In Finnish: Halla Hänninen
In English: Caroline Bondier
firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50427 6920