RandS addresses different types of integration including newcomers to a country, former child soldiers, and women.
RandS and the Grace Project Stockholm (GPS) are jointly running an innovative human empowerment program addressing integration in Stockholm (Öman and Robert, 2015). The justification for this program is that the integrating into the Swedish society for a newcomer is not always easy. The program is named the Embassy. The Embassy founders have, from fifteen years of informal integration activities, developed a deep understanding about how and why newcomers may find it difficult to understand the Swedish system. Some of the newcomers end up doing unqualified work that does not appreciate or pay them according to their standards, and they will then feel disappointed, frustrated, depressed and isolated from the society. Sometimes we notice that some newcomers do not really take into consideration that they are now living in a new country, with a different culture and different societal system and that it is necessary for them to recognize how it works.
When RandS and GPS have met such persons, some of them tell us that they need our help. We try to do our best to explain what they need to do if they are planning to stay in Sweden. Our support and help is through motivation, encouragement, consolation, strengthening the newcomers’ self-confidence and self-esteem and by sharing about the positive side of living in Sweden. We connect the newcomers with the right people; for example potential employers, we give advice and provide information about schools, jobs, how to start businesses, and where to find accommodation; we support with the communication with the authorities; we share knowledge about how the system in Sweden works and we connect newcomers with their fellow country people. We listen carefully, we build productive relations and we try to become role models and counsellors.
The Target partners are well received at the Embassy venues or met with in the field.
- The Target partners are invited to open sessions where the Embassy model is presented. The Support staffs are present and early relations can be developed.
- The next step is a one hour individual session according to the GPS model. After the session an assessment is made on the seriousness of the potential Target partner and GPS may or may not accept the person for the third step.
- The third step is a one hour meeting with RandS according to the Ten Action Strategy (Tact) (Öman, 2009 a). During the meeting the outcome challenges and progress markers are identified and an activity plan is drafted (Öman, 2009 b).
- It is now time to meet with GPS again to analyse if the Target partner is actually willing to contribute with the effort required.
- In case the target partner is accepted then she is asked to fill in the Tact Program journal template on a computer (Öman, 2009 b).
- Each Target partner will be allocated an individual support staff. The Target partner will be responsible for implementing the activity plan and the support staff will back up.
- The Embassy will measure the progress by performing real-time evaluation planning according to ROPE. The Target partner remains within the program until the previously identified progress markers have been achieved.