27 Feb COA Shines at Oslo Migrant Training Experts Meeting
COA’s Refugee Youth Program Coordinator, Shaheera Rahin, recently attended a Migrant Training Conference for IOM Staff in Oslo. During her visit to the Norwegian capital, Ms. Rahin was able to share her expertise and COA’s innovative programming initiatives in the Refugee Youth Program. COA’s Refugee Youth Programming stood out as a strong example in the effective adoption and implementation of IOM’s best practices in Pre-Departure Orientation. Read on to explore Shaheera’s reflections and takeaways from this meeting of minds.
Shaheera RahinCOA Youth Programming Assistant
Oslo was a fantastic experience, albeit too short, as our time with colleagues from abroad always tends to be. It put a lot of things in perspective for me in terms of where Canada and COA stand when it comes to the training and integration of migrants.
A great showcase of these practices is COA’s provision of referrals and connections to participants, bridging the gap between COA’s pre-arrival services and post-arrival organizations in Canada. COA’s longstanding use of forms, written materials, in-person trainings and online resources in participants’ mother tongues also help meet diverse and varied global needs. The conference included focused discussion on how IOM can continue to leverage its capacity and worldwide presence to be a major actor in linking pre-arrival and post-arrival services, and COA stands as an effective example of these processes.
It was especially productive to finally meet Sarah McGregor, COA’s Intern Consultant from Geneva, who presented the COA refugee Youth Training Activities Toolbox prepared with Global Programme Manager Louise Belanger in Geneva. I’m pleased to report that both Sarah and my presentations were warmly received by our colleagues, who were impressed and eager to engage with our resources and program. COA’s Youth Handbook was passed around with great interest, and some participants suggested that it stood out among other pre-arrival orientation tools for youth used by other programs.
I am thankful to the organizers for facilitating the meeting and bringing the staff together. Since I work remotely outside of the IOM office, it was useful to connect with other IOM staff, feel part of the IOM team and to share best practices, approaches and methodology focused on building the capacity of IOM’s programs in order to better address the needs of our migrant beneficiaries.