Although migrants have been awarded access to all the things Europeans would need to succeed, migrants are coming from completely different cultures with contrasting norms, values, systems, and ways of thinking.
In order to empower new citizens and allow them to take charge of their own integration, they need to be given cultural context. With knowledge of cultural expectations, values, and ways of navigating society, new citizens have the insight they need to thrive.
Culture can be explained to help minimize confusion, frustration, and misunderstandings, which can speed up the integration process, but cultural understanding needs to be practiced in society and ultimately takes time to achieve.
We bridge the gap between new citizens,employees and employers.
New citizens are empowered to take chargeof their own integration.
As the oldest son in his family, one young refugee assumed financial responsibility for his aging parents. With no income, he began skipping school and job training to make money any way he could. Through Bridging the Cultural Gap, he began to see the stark differences between Syrian and Danish culture. He learned how Danish culture is very independent; the opposite of his own culture, and how the Danes tend to be egalitarian; whereas he was raised not to question authority. He worked to develop the confidence to ask his parents to be relieved of his financial responsibility so he could make his education a top priority, setting him up to thrive in Denmark.
One refugee continually felt misunderstood in her interactions with Danes. However, through Bridging the Cultural Gap, she discovered her cultural profile was very different from the average Dane and she began to see how her behavior could be interpreted, which helped to explain why she was being misunderstood. At her job training, she observed the Danish working women as confident and independent. She began reflecting upon and adjusting her own behaviors, becoming a positive role model for her children.
One refugee had small children who would often mistakenly ring her edlery neighbor’s doorbell. The neighbor spoke to them very directly to stop, but she interpreted the neighbor’s response as unkind and intolerant. After learning about the Danes tendency to be direct, she began to see her neighbour’s behavior differently and the two neighbours developed a friendly relationship based on mutual curiosity.