Values Trainers from the Austrian Integration Fund attend workshop at the Integration Ministry

Across Austria, some 40 trainers and interpreters are currently actively involved in providing Values and Orientation Courses organised by the Austrian Integration Fund and aimed at recognised refugees. On 3 May, these trainers and interpreters participat

Member of the Expert Council Professor Christian Stadler and representatives from the Ministry’s Integration department presented the Austrian integration strategy and provided participants with an overview of key measures aimed at the integration of refugees. One of these central activities is the provision of Values and Orientation Courses during which the fundamental values governing coexistence in Austria as well as important information about everyday life are shared with refugees and immigrants. Susanne Knasmüller, Head of the Integration Coordination Department at the FMEIA stressed: “Together with the Expert Council for Integration we worked on the development of the concept for the Values and Orientation Courses. It is great to see that these key measures are now being put into practice and implemented at operational level by the Austrian Integration Fund. I thank you for your efforts in this area. The knowledge you all share with refugees form the groundwork for rapid integration.”

Values Courses – sharing fundamental values and rules governing co-existence in Austria Coexistence in Austria is governed by fundamental principles that must be observed by everybody. These principles are shared with persons entitled to asylum or subsidiary protection in Values and Orientation Courses. The topics dealt with during these eight-hour courses are democracy, equality of men and women, freedom of opinion, parents’ cooperation at school and practical information applicable to everyday life. Participants are, for instance, informed that in order not to disturb neighbours and residents, night-time rest hours should be observed from ten p.m.

The Ministry for Integration does not leave the integration of people who are allowed to stay in Austria to chance. During these Values and Orientation Courses refugees and immigrants are thus provided with an overview of life in Austria and informed about the things one needs to be aware of and pay attention to when living in Austria. The courses are organised in small mixed groups attended by women and men. In order to enable participants to fully understand the content shared during courses, they are assisted by interpreters for Arab and Farsi/Darsi. The content is also explained in easily understandable language in the training document prepared specifically for the target group and published in the languages most frequently spoken by refugees in Austria, i.e. Arabic, Farsi/Darsi and English. Further information on Values and Orientation Courses The Values and Orientation Courses are implemented by the Austrian Integration Fund (Österreichischer Integrationsfonds, ÖIF) at all its locations. The range of courses offered is evaluated and expanded on an ongoing basis. Representatives of municipalities, communities and organisations who are interested in the provision of a Values and Orientation Course are requested to contact the Austrian Integration Fund. Staff will be pleased to provide information. Further information is also available at: http://www.integrationsfonds.at/themen/kurse/mein-leben-in-oesterreich/

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