Improving participation of immigrants: The Ethno Power Project
The objective of the Ethno Power project is to recognize the vulnerability of families who have immigrated to Finland from third world countries, and recognize and strengthen their social wellbeing and life management skills. In particular, the project supports the integration of immigrants who are not registered as refugees but remain outside the labor market. The aim is to strengthen their participation in community activities. Comprehensive support requires cooperation between the separate sectors (a family, relatives, school, social services and the ethnic associations and other organizations).
Power from networking and collaboration
Social network is the structure of the ties or connections between persons or organizations. Network meetings were organized for key Ethno Power project participants, forming a focus group of people who were active in the network and thus important for problem solving. In the network meetings, participants engage in co-operative learning, meaning that they determine the challenges confronting the target groups and propose solutions. Beginning with authentic problems, the group jointly builds a new understanding, as formulated from tacit knowledge, practices, concepts and interaction. They consider those groups who are still marginalized and inactive, discussing the reasons for this and how to reach them. Expertise is shared among participants representing subjective, institutional and communal levels. Every participant in the network meetings is motivated by a common target: to seek solutions to issue confronting immigrants in Finland.