A refugee’s journey usually begins in the country from which they flee to refugee camps in a neighboring country. In refugee camps, many of them apply for quota refugees. Families who eventually get to Finland through the process are at the end of their journey. But in a new country, a new beginning awaits them.
The starting situation for quota refugees is quite different compared to the other refugees or immigrants who just moved to Finland. The apartment will be ready for the family, daycare, and the schools ready for the children. There will be a professional who will introduce the services in their neighborhood like shop, library, maternity clinic, etc.
In the first three days, there are lots of information. Municipalities offer ten-hour society orientation “yhteiskunta orientaatio” which will be done by cultural interpretation. It is very important to provide information in their mother tongue by a person with the same cultural background so that they can fully understand everything. In these orientations, the topics are the finish history, culture, values, educational system, health, how to dress in different weather, equality, rights, social security in Finland, etc.
The integration program is in states and municipalities responsibilities, Pakolaisapu ry, Red cross, and other NGO,s work together with municipalities. The municipalities have many trained professionals for multicultural work to guide the family in this new phase of their life. The integration program lasts usually 1-4 years.
In the link, you can see the whole process from the first month:
Suomen Pakolaisapu ry has many different projects and tools to support the whole integration process from the beginning. In 2015-2018, more than 30,000 integration plans were made in Finland. The increase in immigration has led to a wider range of actors doing work in support of integration. “Ben Malinen, the national program director for refugee aid, considers the development to be positive and recalls that integration requires not only the activity of the immigrant but also the adaptation of the host society to the new situation.”
Suomen pakolaisapu offers many services:
House cleaning, housing benefits, tenant agreements videos etc.
materials in different languages professional use
The Law on the Promotion of Integration (1386/2010; Integration Act) provides for the promotion of integration, the obligations and rights of immigrants, and the obligations of the authorities and the coordination of measures. The scope of the Act includes all emigrants to Finland who have a valid residence permit in Finland referred to in the Aliens Act (301/2004) or whose right of residence has been registered or who have been issued a residence card following the Aliens Act.
The Integration Act defines integration as the interactive development of an immigrant and society, the aim of which is to provide the immigrant with the knowledge and skills needed in society and working life, while supporting his or her ability to maintain his or her language and culture. Also, the law aims to promote equality and equality between women and men. Integration is thus a two-way dialogue and cooperation between people and groups in everyday life.