by Niurka Piñeiro, IOM Spokesperson
IOM has assisted a first group of 38 Sudanese refugees accepted for resettlement in Finland. The group boarded a KLM scheduled flight in Cairo on Sunday and was met on arrival in Helsinki by representatives of the Finnish Red Cross. Yesterday, IOM Helsinki organised their onward journey to Vaasa municipality, several hundred kilometres north of Helsinki.
In Vaasa they will receive further language training and cultural orientation classes provided by the local authorities and the Finnish Red Cross.
IOM plans to organise several others resettlement flights out of Cairo in the coming weeks. In total, 110 Sudanese refugees will be resettled before the end of the year in Finland
Prior to their departure, IOM Cairo provided the refugees with cultural orientation classes to prepare them for their new life in Finland and to facilitate their smooth integration into Finnish society. The cultural orientation classes were conducted in Arabic, Dinka and other tribal Sudanese languages. Participants received factual information regarding housing, employment, education, health care and other services available upon arrival. A cultural orientation handbook in Arabic was also distributed to the participants.
Since 1999, IOM Cairo has conducted cultural orientation for some 5,000 refugees bound for the United States and Canada.
As early as the mid-1950s, IOM had established language and vocational training programmes for migrants and refugees bound for resettlement abroad. To date, more than 500,000 persons have benefited from these programmes.
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