Second year students of the bachelor in sport management program organized – in corporation with Molde voksenopplæringssenter – a project in order to help refugees integrate into Norwegian culture.
The project took place on Friday 17th November in Molde Idrettens hus. In the morning there were typical Norwegian 17th May activities like potato race, sack race or tail game. Before lunch, students and the refugees played football and volleyball. In the afternoon there was another typical Norwegian activity, quiz. As a reward (and surprise), all the participants received tickets for Molde FK football match next weekend.
Femke Luijten was leader of the organizational group:
“It was challenging to organize such a big event. We had to deal with everything by ourselves; from funding, promotion till organization of the event at the day, but it went all well and we enjoyed it.”
One of the participants was Feysal, who has lived in Norway for 6 years. He went through the program of Molde Voksenopplæringssenter and currently works as an assistant at a school for children. Friday, he was helping with interpretation to Somali language, as not all the refugees are fluent in Norwegian yet.
“Such project is very helpful to all of us. It teaches us how to live here, far away from our homes. Our culture is very different, and it is important to learn about Norwegian traditions,” said Feysal. “Some of us were already familiar with those games, but for many it was something new, and I think we all had a lot of fun.”
“It is the first time we are having this course, Managing Sports for Development, for 2nd year students at the bachelor in sport management program. The issue is very current and it is necessary that these future sports managers know how to deal with challenges of integration. For some of the refugees it was a first time they spoke to Norwegians, but also the other way round, it was a first time for many of the Norwegian students they came to contact with refugees living in Norway,” said coordinator of the program, Solveig Straume.
Even though the program took place for a first time, it was success.
“We will need more evaluation, but the day turned out well. We showed to the both groups, students and refugees, that it is possible, and that sport is a good way to help integrate refugees. If we want to have better impact on the integration, we would need long-term corporation with Molde voksenopplæringssenter,” said Solveig.