svenska-kyrkanDigniti Omnia – A worthier life for all

Project owner: Växjö parish (Church of Sweden)

Project partners: Umeå parish (Church of Sweden), Karlstad parish (Church of Sweden), Västerås diocese (Church of Sweden)

The project partners applied for a call published in May 2015 that left only little time to meet the deadline in June 2015. During the application process the partners stated that the most difficult part was the condition to have a municipality on board as a project partner. Eventually, the project “Digniti Omnia – A worthier life for all” was approved in September 2015 and started on October 1, 2015 with a budget of EUR 1,113,761 (10,808,000 SEK) running until 31 December 2018.

The target group were vulnerable EU-citizens. During the last three to four years civil society, churches, and other organizations in Sweden have increased their activities for vulnerable EU-citizens that temporarily are in Sweden in order to find work or other means of earning money for their families at home. Usually these EU-migrants come from Romania and Bulgaria. The Church of Sweden has conducted many activities for this target group in the past, like arranging shelters, provide food and clothing etc.

With the FEAD-project Dignti Omnia, the project partners tried to raise the bar for their work with the target group, focussing on social inclusion and self-empowerment. The project therefore consists of four key action areas within a secure environment in order to increase social inclusion and self-empowerment:

  1. Health:

Provision of information on reproductive health, various diseases, and first aid training but also information about personal health regarding work-outs (cardio-exercises, warm-ups etc.). Also common activities like walks and swimming (many of the target group do not know how to swim) were part of this block.

  1. Society information:

Provision of fundamental information about Swedish society like trafficking-regulations, insurance, law, women’s rights, EU-regulations, and also on how to camp in nature.

  1. E-inclusion:

Provision of information regarding media literacy e.g. how to work with computers, using skype and other communication applications, creating own digital content, using apps and digital legitimation programs.

  1. Language:

Provision of information on how to better learn Swedish, which included activities like language cafés and the improvement of communication skills.

The target group reached out to the project in two ways: (1) As the church enjoys a high level of trust, the project partners were approached by the persons concerned themselves. (2) The project partners also actively reached out the target group getting in touch with them as they often sit in front of shops, or where they temporarily camp. The challenge was to follow an inclusive approach in their efforts to reach the target group in order to get in touch both Romanians and Bulgarians (as it is often easier to reach out to those groups separately). Creating common fora to share information and to eat together – with translators who enjoy the trust of the target groups – the project partners could create a good base for reaching a large part of the target group.

Sweden is one of the countries that has adopted Operational Program II, which means that the program will not be used for food support, but only for social assistance. The applications in Sweden are therefore focusing on social inclusion programs to empower EU migrants in Sweden.

For further information, please visit the project’s website here (SE).