Winner of competition organised by the Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity, Region South

Pernille Baardsen from IMDi gives a prize to Birkenes municipality, here represented by May Olaug Horverak, principal at Birkenes Adult Learning Centre.

We sent an idea to this year’s competition at IMDi’s regional conference about how to improve the quality of the qualification work the municipalities offer refugees. The idea was called “The participant at the centre – increased user participation in work with individual plan”, and was sent in by Birkenes municipality represented by May Olaug Horverak, principal at the adult learning centre, Maria Bjerke Dalene from the refugee services and Inger Mosgren from NAV, in cooperation with Kedir Diary, social worker at Lillesand adult learning centre.

The idea is that the participants in the introduction programme for refugees bring the reflections they do at school when working with the motivation method, to their meetings with the refugee services and NAV, and that these reflections are used actively when developing and adjusting individual plans. This way, the participants are more at the centre of planning their own lives, and at the same time, it can contribute to a common understanding of the participants. In the evaluation from the jury, it was emphasised that we worked thoroughly and systematically in our project, and that we build on theory from several disciplines to find a solution to something that has been a challenge for a long time in work with qualification of refugees, i.e. the work with individual plans. We really appreciate this recognition we have received from IMDi, and hope that we will succeed with realising our idea in real life.