The fast increase in the number of immigrants throughout the world to European or Western countries due to war or other reasons is a phenomenon that requires us to work harder to ensure the fulfillment of their desired objectives. This can be achieved by changing their reality, by better guiding and orienting them in a way that so that their immigration will have positive results and a fruitful outcome in the society to which they belong.
Finland, like other countries in the world, and Europe in particular, has had its share, but it is said that it is the least country in the world to attract immigrants seeking asylum. There are many who deny this idea, but as someone who is familiar with this issue because of the nature of my work in the field of integration, I have some details about this topic and I think that Finland has adopted policies that seem at first sight to be slow in dealing with immigrants.
But there are other policies that depend on activating the stages of the non-native integration in an effective way that guarantees positive results after a period ranging from 3 to 5 years. This is done through language teaching and practical training methods, and then their integration into the labor market through some of the institutions that are affiliated in one way or another with the First Settlement Corporation, which is the Labor Office.
Finland’s policy depends on effective direct integration into the Finnish educational and labor system and does not rely solely on the concept of polarization of the largest number of immigrants in an unsystematic manner without reintegrating them or activating their role in a way that does not disrupt Finland’s general social and economic system…
At the personal and individual levels
As individuals, we should not focus only on the available settlement plans under the supervision of the Labor Office or similar institutions, but we must be aware that this is the minimum that these institutions can provide, which means that it should not exceed 35%. As for what remains, it is essentially related to one’s own potential for self-development and seeking to support what can enable their integration through their personal efforts that are related to their tools and abilities.
Some immigrants become more inactive and irresponsible due to their belief that the government settlement advice they receive provides them with some sort of comfort, psychological balance, and security because they believe that the state will almost entirely monitor their lives.
But they are shocked after a few years that they are still stuck at the same point in their lives and that their existence has acquired a monotonous nature that has no criteria for personal success or self-development. This is because they believed that the settlement in different societies is something that is granted by the concerned institutions by giving them a style and a way of life in which their settlement and integration in the community are at their best.
Therefore, we insist on raising the awareness of new immigrants, ensuring that they have wide horizons and that they possess their personal plans to support the methods of their settlement and their positive integration into society. This could be done in parallel with what the state offers in terms of settlement programs and so on. But these plans should not be the basis and the only tool to determine the whole shape and the way to make you a new active citizen in the new society to which you belong, because you will be a copy of thousands of people like you, sharing with you the same point to which you have been directed and participating in the same plans of resettlement and even determining the fate of your character and your role in society.
Tools and means to facilitate integration into Western society
- Breaking out of the social isolationism of the Western community, which means always surrounding yourself with people of your same cultural background.
- Staying away from the daily routine in which you feel safe, meaning that your life is restricted only to going to school and somehow to your family, sometimes getting the simplest jobs, doing sports or meeting stereotypical friends.
- Avoiding the random pattern of living, especially if you are leading a non-positive and unbalanced lifestyle.
- Being aware that you have concepts that need to be corrected or changed because your standard of living and your old concepts of life will not be on the same basis. The reason is that if you try not to adjust your concepts and your personal vision, you will think that you are excluded from society or that you are facing a kind of racism. However, the truth is that this is not racism, but it is your clash with new concepts and standards of living in the West for which you were not ready or you just accepted to be a static personality that does not develop. Therefore, the criticism of those around you has become in your self-image as a sort of rejection.
- Developing your sense of positive social interaction by communicating with the people around you in the same language used in that country, even if you are not very fluent in it. This will increase the effectiveness of your presence in the European community.
- Avoiding social embarrassment in learning-by-doing, especially in using and speaking a new language.
- Dedicating one to three days to work or practical training in one of the local institutions is also recommended, which will improve your language proficiency, develop your social and practical skills along with your communication capabilities.
- Possessing a special strategy that has a specific time for what you need to do as an action plan on all levels: the personal, the practical, the academic, and the cognitive aspects as well as public relations and health.
- Creating a roadmap that sets a vision and goals for your life that can be adjusted at least annually. Then you need to keep reviewing the effectiveness of what you have accomplished at the end of each year so that your desire to achieve your goals increases.
- Leading a balanced and healthy daily lifestyle, which means that entertainment should not dominate your whole day in a way that eliminates the health, social and educational aspects of your life. In other words, you should establish a balance between all those aspects.
- Joining institutions that offer a variety of activities for youth; cultural or related to self-development and business.
- Reading and researching continuously the biographies of successful individuals locally or internationally, and pondering their success stories in a way that strengthens your sense of change.
- Expanding your public relations sphere and making sure that it is diversified and rich with people who have a leading position in society or who are successful in various fields. In addition, ensure that they are close to your future interests as this is one of the motivating factors and an effective tool that supports the settlement.
How to become a full-fledged citizen and have full citizenhip
- You should know all your rights as a person with a Finnish identity or as a resident of Finland or any Western country other than your homeland. You also need to be aware of your duties and responsibilities to the host country.
- You must be willing to have a key role in the community based on the public interest and not just on the personal aspect, i.e. your goals should have mutual benefits and the public interest should be of great importance and priority in your life as a citizen. In addition, you must have enough confidence that you are entitled to the protection of the country to which you belong.
- You must have sufficient and complete knowledge of everything that happens in the society in which you live and try to take part in the decision-making process by fully interacting with the laws stipulated by it, as this contributes to the progress of the country.
- You must participate in community involvement at the municipal or national level, including exercising your right to vote, which will reflect your desire to develop the country, vote for the person best qualified to do so, and believe that your vote is capable of bringing change and progress.
- If you have the ability to be active in the community in terms of leadership and you see in yourself the potential to develop or change for the better in a specific area; social, political, economic, or others, then take the initiative and strive to help ensure the ownership of your country and your society.
- When you see yourself still an outsider in society for some reason or because of the slow process of your integration, for example, then you should realize that you need to further develop yourself and your tools… because flexibility, positive thinking, social intelligence, and a high sense of community make you more successful and influential.
- Be aware of all notions of equality and justice in both your social interactions and performance.
- To have the ability to distinguish between freedom and discipline and not to violate the freedom of others.
A sense of belonging does not require sharing the same race or blood, because multiculturalism in society does not eliminate a person's citizenship, but rather increases the importance of his or her sense of role in society and thus having a positive impact on it in a new way and with a different vision.
There is no doubt that negative social phenomena exist in all societies, and the flexibility to resist them and reject all forms of discrimination is a constant problem with its persistent forms, but this should not be an excuse to compromise your feelings, belonging, and patriotism, as it will be reflected in your formation and your ability to mark a milestone and make a difference wherever you are.