There is no ‘one size fits all’ integration solution, but Oslo tends towards ‘extra-large.’ ‘Everyone who lives in Oslo has equal access to municipal services. They will experience equal treatment every time they go to the municipal office, school, a youth club or a nursing home.’ This is the basis of the inclusion strategy ‘Oslo Extra Large (OXLO), a city for all.’
Our second VALUES #project visit in Oslo is just over and we were all so inspired by the great work of #neighbourhood groups and #migrant associations run by many #volunteers! #OXLo a city for all! pic.twitter.com/dogH1BXSX8
— Integrating Cities (@IntegratingCTs) June 14, 2019
OXLO also serves as a guide for businesses and organisations for integration and support to vulnerable groups, including migrants, and offers funding and support for voluntary organisations.
Cities know that given the right support, migrants can be a great asset. The incubator Toyen Unlimited realises this potential by helping young people, including migrants, space to develop their own entrepreneurial ideas for solving social challenges.
Some truly incredible initiatives have sprung up from Toyen Unlimited. Among these is CaféB04, where young people can enjoy social activities, job search counselling and homework help. Conceived by Shad Ibrahim Hussein, the café began as a volunteer run initiative, but has been so successful that it has upgraded its workers to paid employees. It is hard to estimate the impact that such migrant-run spaces can have; “Had it not been for this place, I’d have been on the street” commented one user of the service.
There are also T-Town Youth and Wide-Ink, both conceived by Wid Al-Saedy, a political refugee haling from Iraq. Herself a long-time volunteer, Al-Saedy thought of creating organisations that would use a mix of volunteers and employees, and would leverage volunteering as a way to gain work experience and integrate with the local community.
Unlimiter Wid Al-Saedy snakker om å gi unge muligheter for å tjene penger på ærlig arbeid, og styrke sin selvfølelse via sine bidrag til nabolaget og samfunnet, under åpningen av dagens frokostmøte om ungdomsarbeid på Tøyen. #jobbtilunge #wide-ink #tøyen #unlimiter