City: Göteborg, Sweden
"Youth for the Future" is a project aimed at increasing the participation in decision-making, concepts of democracy and active citizenship of youth refugees arriving in Sweden with their families.
Magan Welfare Organisation
The starting point
Magan Welfare Organisation has noticed a lack of activities for children and youth who arrive in Sweden with their families or who are themselves placed in families. Therefore, the “Youth for the Future” Project aims to develop activities with youth between 15 to 22 years old. The overall goal of the Project is to help asylum seeking and refugee youth to succeed in their new community, by addressing questions such as participation in decision-making, democracy and empowerment. The target of this project is thus, newly arrived youth, either the ones who arrive in Sweden with their families or who are placed in families. This Project addresses refugee youth’ needs for extra-curricular and holidays activities and orientation towards a better inclusion in a new community and in a new society with different cultures, religions and values. Furthermore, this Project aims, as well, to provide these youth the opportunity to work towards an active citizenship, mutual understanding and cooperation with other youth. The Project “Youth for the Future” will consist in three main phases: 1. Youth Inclusion, through extra-curricular activities; 2. Youth Democracy, through participation, empowerment and active citizenship; 3. Youth Exchanges, within other partner NGO’s. ''
How does it work today?
We are currently in the process of receiving the first funding to start implementing the project.
Participation and Governance
Our partners are other local NGO's working in Göteborg, such as Caritas, Göteborg Rättighetscenter, among others
Added value of the project and making resources available
There are increasing the number of families arriving in Sweden through humanitarian settlement schemes. Many of these families arrive in Sweden from Middle-East and African countries and have, commonly, experiences of trauma, dislocation and loss; As well, many have been victims of torture, genocide and war. Experiences from the country of origin or from the journey until the country of settlement are, usually traumatic and when combined with challenges of settling or resettling may affect the family well-being and parenting practices. Migration movements into this Sweden have been registered since early 16th and 17th centuries. Until early 80’s the number of refugees and asylum seekers migrating to Sweden was small, representing a total of 5.000 applicants per year. However, the migration phenomenon is highly affected by wars and other traumatic circumstances that force people to migrate. The number of asylum seekers/refugees applicants reached, in 1992, a peak of about 84.000 people, coming from the former Yugoslavia. According to the records of the Swedish Migration Board, the number of asylum seekers and refugees in Sweden has considerably increased; from 8859 applications in 2005, to 17405 in 2012. At the same time, the number of Family Reunifications increased as well from 22713 in 2005 to 41156 in 2012 (Migrationsverket, 2012). The nationalities of asylum seekers and refugees differ among the years as it is much related to life security. As in 2008 the highest amounts of applications were from Iraq nationals, in 2012 it were mostly from Afghanistan and Somali nationals. In 2012, around 17.400 people got resident permit in Sweden, due to security reasons. However, the current situation in Syria and in other Countries, allows the Migration Board to estimated more than 54.000 applications during the current year (Migrationsverket, 2012). Thus, with an increasing number of families and youth arriving in Sweden, it becomes fundamental to work with these youth towards their inclusion in a new community and society.
Magan Welfare Organization research on activities promoted by the existing network showed that few activities are concerned to those children and youth who are newly-arrived in Sweden as asylum seekers or refugees and who came with their families or have been placed in families. However, according to the Swedish Migration Board, Sweden is estimated to receive in 2013 an increasing of 40% of the applications, comparing with 2012, which means that among all these people many will be families and children and youth (Migrationsverket, 2013). Therefore, it is necessary to have a program aimed to intervene with the asylum seekers and refugee youth who are living with their families or who have been placed into foster families, as these youth are in disadvantage considering their background circumstances and social and cultural obstacles that might be faced once in the settled in Sweden.
This project has not been implemented yet.
An increased number of refugee youth participating in decision-making, having discourses of democracy and being active citizens; By addressing questions such as: culture, human-rights and democracy, we intend to promote the inclusion of youth refugees into the Swedish society.
Proposals for change
Governments need to invest more in their youth, particularly in the ones which are newly arrived in their Countries.