Passion for Difference (PFD), a non-for-profit organisation based in Bergen, Norway has held its maiden public seminar in Kristiansand, Agder, for immigrant parents, youth and children living in the southern part of the country.
This is to empower multicultural parents in Norway to better their lots to excel in effective parenting and childcare and also to help immigrant youth & children to integrate into the Norwegian society.
The seminar was attended by immigrants and international students who currently live in Norway but are coming from different cultural backgrounds namely, Armenia, Cameron, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal, Pakistan and Zambia.
Delegation from PFD Headquarters, Gifty Ohenewaa Nordbø (Founder) and Eric Amankwa (Board Vice Chairman) also attended the seminar to spice up the occasion.
The seminar was on the theme: “Impact of COVID-19 on parenting and childcare & reopening of society - with focus on immigrant parents, youth and children” as participants also enjoyed the pride of place to share their experiences on integration and diversity.
The PFD Project Leader for Kristiansand Office, Mr Kyei Boateng said the seminar was the first project of the organisation which also needed some collaborations from different organisations to succeed.
He said COVID-19 as global pandemic had been a closer enemy in recent years and that as a menace, it had impacted on parenting and child care and that PFD was concerned to get some information from immigrant parents, children and possibly use the information to help them in future after evaluation.
However, for collaboration purposes he mentioned Edru Livsstil DNT, and the Ghana Union of Norway, Agder as the major collaborators ably assisted by the Kristiansand Kommune and Batteriet Sør.
While Daniel Haraldsson Nilsen who represented Edru Livsstil entreated participants at the seminar to live a sober lifestyle, especially alcohol free life; Stephen Zamore (PhD) as the immediate-past President of the Ghana Union in Agder pledged support to PFD saying, the union had members as parents and will-be-parents who needed a lot of information to properly understand parenting and childcare in the Norwegian context.
Kim Henrik Gronert as the Advisor for Intercultural Dialogue at the Kristiansand Kommune entreated the participants to culturally prioritise the study of Norwegian language (Norsk) as they integrate into the Norwegian society, stressing that: “If you really want to live and remain in Norway for a long time, then learning Norsk is a MUST” and respect the rights of the minorities, especially the LGBTQ+ community.
He added that immigrants in Kristiansand represented about 160 countries with Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan leading the number of immigrants from Africa.
Experiences on Integration, COVID-19
Participants from Armenia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal shared their life experience on how they were able to integrate into the Norwegian Society comparing integration levels during COVID-19 restriction era and now that society reopens from corona restrictions as youth and as parents.
Founder of PFD, Mrs Ohenewaa Nordbø shared her personal experience recalling what stimulated the formation of the organisation and explained the three communication models of the PFD as relevant pillars to the PFD.
She noted that Norway as a multicultural society has a lot of good opportunities that immigrants could grasp to better their lives, advising the participants that as they come from diverse cultural backgrounds, they need to fully understand the Norwegian context to be able to fully enjoy their living.
By Joseph Kyei-Boateng, Kristiansand, Norway
Prabin Rai with cultural background from Nepal (left) receiving his certificate of merit from Mr Kyei Boateng
Kristiansand PFD Project Leader, Mr Kyei Boateng (right) presenting certificate of merit to one of the participants with cultural background from Cameron Nadine Yondo Nadine.