Drop-in Center for asylum seekers coming to Norway opens in Athens

Dråpen i havetPhoto: Dråpen i havet

Drop-In Center with pre-integration activities for asylum seekers

Since 2015, the arrival by sea of asylum seekers to Greece’s shores has been staggering, and the organisation, ‘Dråpen i Havet’ has driven humanitarian work among refugees there. Now the organization is setting up a Drop-In Center with pre-integration activities for asylum seekers who will be coming to Norway.

At the Drop-in Center, asylum seekers are given the opportunity to learn their first words in Norwegian, and get a prelude to Norwegian culture.

To help remedy the situation of massive numbers of refugees in Greece, Norway has undertaken to receive approximately 750 asylum seekers to come and live here. These people, primarily from Syria, will come to Norway to have their asylum applications processed here.

After the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has chosen who is to be relocated here, the asylum seekers have to wait approximately two months in Athens before they can travel on to Norway.

At the Drop-in Center, Norwegian volunteers will help asylum seekers learn their first Norwegian words and take their first small, tentative steps into the world of brunost, nisse, matpakke and skolekorpse.

Drop-in Center is organized as a language café, where asylum seekers are given the opportunity to discuss Norwegian traditions, ideals, and values ​​with volunteers from Dråpen i Havet.

The offer will be run from Myrtillo cafe, located in a small, peaceful park, right in the center of Athens.

‘It is extraordinary that we have created our Drop-in Center right here, since it has a Norwegian connection which dates back to 1957. The Norwegian authorities helped to build the park, and the premises. This was in order to help victims of war crimes after the Greek civil war,’ said Trude Jacobsen, initiative organiser, and secretary general of Dråpen i Havet.

Myrtillo cafe today provides Greek people with reduced working capacity an opportunity to integrate into working life. Dråpen i Havet was received with great enthusiasm and a positive attitude from the management at the cafe, and they are looking forward to further cooperation.

The Drop-in Center will be officially opened on Wednesday the 10th of May, serving Norwegian waffles with brunost.

‘Employees at the Norwegian Embassy in Greece, Norwegians who live in Athens, asylum seekers who will be going to Norway, and volunteers at Dråpen i Havet are all invited to the opening ceremony,’ said Trude Jacobsen.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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