Side by Side-project (2018-2021) is for intercultural couples where one is waiting for a residence permit decision.
The project provides information, peer support and individual counseling to support you in a challenging life situation.
What is the Side by Side Project?
The activities of Side by Side are targeted to those intercultural families in which one partner is waiting for a residence permit decision.
In an intercultural family partners are born in different countries and there are special issues in these relationships, because at least one partner is living his or her life abroad. An intercultural family can also be a union between two immigrants born in two different countries or between partners born in same country but one of the them has recently migrated.
These families experience many overlapping challenges. Starting a family and integrating into a new society are major life changes. The ongoing residence permit process, possible traumatic experiences and insecurity over the future all affect the relationship. Insecurity burdens especially families with children or those expecting one.
Until now there has not been activities planned specifically for intercultural families expecting a residence permit decision. Side by side project maps out the needs of the target group and provides supporting activities accordingly.
Activities include peer support groups by trained group facilitators meeting both face-to-face and online platforms. Members of the target group can also book an appointment with the project staff to map out their individual situation. Side by side project also disseminates information, communicates and advocates for causes relevant to the intercultural family members waiting for a residence permit decision.
The project is in regular contact with the authorities and major agencies dealing with immigraton, as well as other professionals working for example in municipalities, reception centers of asylum seekers and NGOs as well as students and researches who need information.
LET´S DISCUSS EMPLOYMENT AND TE SERVICES 15.10 at 15
While waiting for a residence permit decision it is good to prepare oneself for positive decision and what to do after that.
Familia´s Side by side project organizes an Ask & discuss event in which an expert from TE services (public employment and business services in Finland) Kirsi Tolvanen gives a presentation and answers questions.
What to do when you are granted a residence permit in Finland and want to start working or studying? How does the TE services function? What options to get employed are available? Can you start studying? And what if you cannot find a job, is it possible to get the unemployment benefit?
You can send your own questions even beforehand when signing in for the event and we deliver them forward.
The event will be held remotely via Teams. You will receive Teams instructions and a link to your email 14.10. Both Finnish and English can be used in the event. You can sign up until 13th of October.
Sign up here: bit.ly/Kysy_keskustele151020
SIDE by SIde Peer Support Groups
Peer support groups are relatively small, with 6-8 participants. Some of the groups will meet face-to-face oron virtual platforms, which allows to participate anonymously. We also have a closed peer support group functioning under our facebook page.
Peer support activities are based on confidentiality. The project utilize both Familia's own and partner organizations' expertise (for example Veto-verkosto) when organizing and facilitating peer support activities.
The meeting schedule for the groups are planned in advance. The group facilitator ensures that the discussion remains constructive and everyone has an equal chance to participate. Sharing information in the group is always voluntary and no one is obliged to share personal matters. Peer support activity strengthens participant's abilities and gives tools to use in everyday life in an intercultural family. In addition, participants build new contacts and networks.
FACEBOOK PEER SUPPORT GROUP
If you are a member of an intercultural family and waiting for a residence permit decision, you can join our peer support group on our facebook page. You can send us join at facebook.com/groups/rinnallasi
Side by Side Lectures and Discussion Events
The project will arrange lectures and discussion events about issues relevant to the target group, for example Finnish legislation, residence permit procedure, intercultural relationships, sexuality, mental health, trauma and public services available.
17.9 ASK & DISCUSS -EVENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY WHEN WAITING FOR A RESIDENCE PERMIT DECISION IN FINLAND
What are the social and health rights of a foreign national waiting for a residence permit decision in Finland? What kind of social security and services are available in different situations; for example if income is not enough to cover life expenses, one becomes sick or is in otherwise in need of support?
Pinja Hyppönen and Emmi Karppinen, social workers for undocumented migrants at Helsinki City will deliver a lecture on the subject at the discussion event by Familia´s Side by Side (Rinnallasi) project.
After the introduction participants are free to ask questions and comment on the subject.
The event is open to all interested in the subject.
We will organize a small live event in our offices at Lintulahdenkatu 10. Remote participants can attend via Teams connection. The number of participants in our office premises is restricted so that we can follow the social distancing required by the COVID pandemia.
Familia ry, Lintulahdenkatu 10
Project manager Sanna Rummakko
(Finnish, English, Swedish)
044 726 8752
Project worker Anu Kytömäki
044 716 8752