STUDY TOUR | OSLO, JANUARY 2018
Between 14th and 17th of January 2018 three colleagues of the Single Parent Families’ Foundation went on a study tour to Norway where they visited several civil organisations. You can read about their experiences here:
>> Oslo Kollega | Organisation finding jobs for those who had been harmed either physically or mentally
>> AFFO | Organisation helping single parents
>> es kontakten | Organisation helping drug addicts
>> Dissimilis Competence Center | Art school for disabled adults and children
Organisation finding jobs for those who had been harmed either physically or mentally
The main aim of the organisation is to help traumatised people in finding a job which is best for their abilities – either at the organisation or at other firms or institutes. They are helping 70 such employees at this moment, 40% of them is working outside the organisation. They get their payment from the Norwegian state, expanded by a smaller amount of money from their employer.
They handle each and every employee separately, according to their personal needs. Part of this process is identifying their abilities and constant training, which will enable the employee to chose a job that is best for him or her, and also help them with fitting in to a new community at the workplace.
There are 27 people currently working at the organisation, all of who are mentors as well.
The organisation’s financial support comes from the state, but also from selling their own products and services. They operate one internal and three external canteens, they repair bikes, and have a shop where they sell those repaired bikes. They also repair old computers and occasionally they take on catering services e.g. in old people’s homes.
The organisation is constantly looking for opportunities to give work to the people they help. Their other important aim is to ensure as many jobs outside the organisation as they can. In these cases, it is important to recommend people who are standing out in a special field. They mentioned as an example that autistic people are especially good in data-processing or computer sciences. Every employee is helped by a mentor who visits the employer if there is any problem with collaboration. The leaders of the organisation talked about their positive experiences and told us that they think their work very effective because those who got jobs out of the organisation, became more independent in other fields of life as well.
AFFO (Alone Parent Association)
Organisation helping single parents
During our study tour we visited an establishment for weekend child care operated by the organisation. Here, one of the employees talked about the system which draws in the parents as well. In Oslo, on the fifth floor of a house there is a place where during every weekend 8-10 children can spend 24 hours for free. Parents can leave their children at the apartment if they already took care of the children there. In the current system, after 12 hours of caretaking, parents can leave their child there for 24 hours. One of the reason of this system is that it is easier for children to spend time there with their parents before they are left under the care of someone else. At this moment the establishment helps 35-40 families. There is one other similar place in Oslo with similar capacity.
On a casual weekend, one employee of the single parent association and one or two parents are taking care of the children, depending on the number of the children. As a general rule they call in a parent after every three children. Places should be reserved 4 weeks before the decided date but at least 10 days before the weekend. The children who spend time there must be over one and should not be older than 12-13 years old.
During our visit we also learnt that in Norway 17% of the children are living in single parent families and that single parents get twice as many family allowances after their children. The state also supports the higher education of single parents.
Organisation helping drug addicts
Es kontakten is a café established by a married couple who, as formal drug addicts, know about the tragedy of this lifestyle. When they “got off” they decided to devote their lives to helping others. This is how the idea of es kontakten was born, and today 800-1000 drug addicts, mostly homeless, visit the café every day.
Packages of food arrive to the café every morning, and they are different every day. No one knows what the menu will be, until the food arrives, they decide what to make after looking at the packages. These donations come from food marts and restaurants, who send the leftovers to the café. Hundreds of portions are cooked by one chef, the founder of the café. It does not matter how many people come, no one will be hungry when they leave. Portions are quite big, and it is no problem if someone asks for a second helping. There are two parts of the café, the one in the front I open for anyone, the one at the back is for those seriously addicted, who need special help. It helps a lot that people who come here can see the good example of those who got over their addiction.
At the back of the café, hundreds of packs of food are made ever day, to be taken home for dinner. On the upper floors they have rooms for those who do not have a place to stay in.
Dissimiles Competence Center
Art school for disabled adults and children
Dissimilis is an organisation for disabled children and adults in the outskirts of Oslo. The institution was founded by two musicians 30 years ago, one of whom we met during out study tour, on the picture he is the one wearing a hat.
The institute is supported privately, but aside from the payment of the parents, they get money from the state as well. At this moment they are working with 140 adolescents, this is their maximal capacity. However, we learnt that there are many more who want to get in, and that there is a very long waiting list.
And for good reasons. Dissimilis enchants the visitor with its modest and clear interiors and warm, smiling atmosphere. You can feel music and love everywhere, it is a real community. Those who study here, learn to play an instrument well enough to play in their own band (there are 13 bands playing and a 14th is forming). Although music plays the greatest role in Dissimilis, there are 3 dance groups to improve controlled movement.
On weekdays, they practice from the afternoon till the evening, and a band can give a concert at any time, we also found ourselves in the middle of a party whilst visiting. These concerts are regular at Dissimilis, but their greatest two-day event is held in Oslo, and performers come from every part of Norway.
The teaching methods of Dissimilis Art School are used all through Europe. They do not have a partner institute in Hungary yet.
Projekt száma: HU01-0006- COOPER-B1-2017
Projektgazda: Egyedülálló Szülők Klubja Alapítvány
Projekt címe: Egyedülálló vagy különleges? Egyszülős családok Magyarországon
Támogatás mértéke: 30.000 EURO