A toolkit for local authorities
Current Affairs Committee
Tel : +33 3 88 41 21 10
EMPO, abbreviation of empowerment, is a multicultural resource centre whose aim is to support immigrants and people from a minority background offering different services. The organisation started as a platform for women and children willing to improve and practice their Norwegian. At the beginning, it was dedicated to people with a Christian background but nowadays it is open to everybody. The centre has 10 year of experience in cross-cultural work with and for people of immigrant background. In fact, 10 out of the 14 employees have immigrant background.
The organisation also includes 16 volunteers, 550 participants, and 67 children representing all 52 nationalities. Empowerment is not only a goal, it is also a method. The target group is young adults of immigrant background and the offers depend on the needs expressed by participants. Young adults are always encouraged to engage themselves in activities in order to meet locals. EMPO provides participants with information, networks, and a chance of taking initiative and becoming active in the local communities.
The staff of EMPO helps migrants to understand the codes of the host society and explains the functioning of schools and other environments. For example, the hospital wanted to raise awareness on the issue of diabetes, since it was prevalent among migrants. Although the hospital tried to organise meetings, they did not attract anyone; whereas when the EMPO centre got involved and organized the event, more people showed up. EMPO offers other initiatives, such as women's groups, men's gatherings, courses, theme days and seminars, counselling, parental guidance, language and work practice, social networking across cultures - create space for dialogue, mutual understanding and change and much more.