Navigator Project

Navigator 2.0 is a project that aims to support two-way integration by providing training for both the professionals working in basic and public services and the quota refugees in the municipalities. The project will continue until June 2022 and is led by the Finnish Refugee Council and implemented jointly with IOM Finland.

Navigator 2.0 is continuation to the previous Navigator – Towards Diversity in Municipalities project, which ran for three years (1.4.2018–31.3.2021) and in which IOM Finland, the Finnish Refugee Council and Diaconia University of Applied Sciences supported municipalities in their integration efforts. The project was implemented in ten municipalities around Keski-Uusimaa region.

During the previous project cycle, the capacity of municipal employees was strengthened through developing a training model to support comprehensive integration. The Refugee’s Journey to Municipality Training was implemented in four municipalities. The infographic about the quota refugee's journey to Finland and to the home municipality was developed and published as training material. The infographic can also be utilized in other contexts, such as in planning and developing client work in municipalities, and for training in various service sectors.

During the project, Civic Orientation courses were provided for people who had arrived as quota refugees to Finland and for persons in equivalent situations. Civic Orientation provides necessary basic information about Finland in the participants’ own language. Civic Orientation courses started in the autumn of 2019.

The Finnish Refugee Council has trained 27 Civic Orientation trainers, who are able to provide training in 15 languages: in Amharic, Arabic, Dari, English, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish, Nuba, Persian/Farsi, French, Somali, Swahili, Tigrinya and Russian. These certified Civic Orientation trainers can be hired by municipalities and educational institutions to give the training.

In addition, the Finland – Civic Orientation Textbook has been translated into Arabic, Dari, English, French, Somali and Swedish

Successful integration requires support for all parties

Successful integration is actualized in interaction between the refugees and the receiving communities and therefore requires support for all parties.
The training aimed at municipal employees was developed by listening to municipal specialists, assessing local needs and in cooperation with an expert by experience on integration. Quota refugees and integration coordinators from the targeted region were interviewed for the purposes of designing the training model. In addition, decision makers’ views were consulted on via an electronic survey.

The Refugee’s Journey to Municipality Training received good feedback from the participants. The evaluation report (in Finnish) can be accessed here.

A handbook for municipal professionals, Supporting Integration with One's Own Language, has also been published as part of the Navigator project. The handbook is available in English, Finnish and Swedish and can be freely downloaded from our Publications page.

Civic orientation in one's own language promotes integration in the new home municipality

The Finnish Refugee Council has developed a civic orientation concept which consists of a comprehensive course organized in the participants' own language and the Finland - Civic Orientation Textbook. The 70-hour Civic Orientation course familiarizes participants with the Finnish history and institutions, values and cultures. It offers newcomers necessary civic skills which prepare them for successful integration into their new home municipality and for learning a new language.

To ensure a high and uniform quality of the course, the Finnish Refugee Council has also developed a training course for the Civic Orientation trainers. The certified trainers can be employed now by municipalities and colleges. The Civic Orientation course is continuously developed in cooperation with municipalities.

An evaluation report has been published about the Civic Orientation courses and is available (in Finnish) on the Civic Orientation website.

The Navigator project will continue until June 2022

The Refugee’s Journey to Municipality training sessions for municipalities and officials have been already attended by more than 500 officials and other interested participants coming from 43 different municipalities. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, training has been organized remotely. The sessions are basic-level training and aimed multi-professionally at people working in different sectors throughout municipalities, in associations and as volunteers. The training is implemented in cooperation with the local integration specialists. The training aims to increase understanding of the importance and significance that public service professionals have in the integration process. The training also gives an overview of the resettlement of quota refugees and the beginning of the integration process.

The training sessions are also offered to government officials. Anyone interested is welcome to contact Project specialist Minna Savolainen (msavolainen [at] iom.int).
The Finnish Refugee Council will continue training more Civic Orientation trainers and the courses will be implemented with partnering municipalities. Katja Korhonen (katja.korhonen [at] pakolaisapu.fi) will answer questions concerning Civic Orientation.

You can stay informed about all the activities, news and materials of Navigator 2.0 through the project's newsletter (in English, Swedish and Finnish). Subscribe to the newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/hGMcvL.

Funding

The project is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (AMIF).

Further information