The project partners got together in Hylte, Sweden in November to sign the project contract and get the project started – almost two months ahead of time. What enthusiasm! We got even more enthusiastic when we were introduced to some integration actions in Hylte.
First, the partners introduced the integration processes and practices of their areas, as well as the actors. In our meeting, we set the dates and venues of our transnational seminars and agreed how we will be working together between the seminars despite the distances.
The meeting took place in the beautiful Swedish countryside, in the municipality of Hylte. Although Hylte is very rural, it is also an industrial center and receives a great number of immigrants every year. Public organisations and actors take integration seriously and all levels of public sector are working for successful integration.
Also the voluntary sector is involved, as we also saw on our field trip. Hylte Sport & Event is a non-profit organisation to promote voluntary sector and local development and improve the locality of Hylte. The active members of Hylte Sport & Event got an idea of mixing integration and sports. As a result , they created ”teamWEdream” – a team of two Syrian men and two Swedish women taking part of ”Vasa Loppet”, a 90-kilometre-long cross-country skiing competition. Of course the Syrian men had not been skiing before they started training 3 months before the race…
This idea got further, and now Hylte Sport & Event has new teams training and new sports to train. They are also organising local competitions. Sports is a great way to integrate newcomers: not only does it offer social interaction and possibilities to learn Swedish but it also helps to take care of one’s physical and mental health. More info: www.hyltesportevent.se
Photo: Project partners and the contract