This autumn, amid the ups and downs of the Corona situation, there was a real feeling of hope during the preparatory work for our second conference of the Come In 2 – Born to be included project. Hope, that finally, the many problems and difficulties that children and young people of immigrant background face in Finland are taken seriously. The conference: Alone we can do so little – Together we can do so much, held on the 12th of November 2021, delivered in both highlighting some of the problems, and in showcasing the good work of many actors trying to find solutions, or affect systemic change that would mitigate or eliminate these problems.
The three speakers during the first part of the conference were engaging and thought provoking. Raghad Mshaweh made a heartfelt plea of more encouragement instead of hindrances and doubt for young immigrants in their pursuit of dreams of higher education. Sonja Sahla called attention to the many problems mental health workers face in meeting and working with traumatized immigrant families, and how the help tools created by the Paloma project could be used to alleviate them. Magnus Dahlstedt pointed out the failure of Sweden in engaging parents of immigrant background in the cooperation between home and school unless they fit some preordained Swedish models. He also indicated the shift of laying the blame on the individual (especially in the case of children or young people of immigrant background) instead of how it used to be perceived, that the system has failed the individual.
The virtual conference made good use of Thinglink and the showcases during the second part of the conference could be chosen freely, according to the participants interests and timetables, making the experience interactive. Swedish, Finnish and sometimes English were used interchangeably, and the hard work of us organizers to insure a smooth technical flow really paid off. The focus of the showcases was on problem solving and real-life experiences. Presentations from the key-speakers and the showcases can be found in the conference library. If you are interested in our work and want to participate or get informed about our future activities, please contact us.