• Fedza Lukovac | Media and Communications Officer

Resettling in a new country can bring a whirlwind of emotions, feelings of excitement and anticipation mixed with anxiety and uncertainty. Refugees leave their homeland due to conflict, persecution, or other life-threatening circumstances, to find safety and a chance for a better life. Once their resettlement from the first asylum country to the resettlement country is confirmed, refugees may wonder how they will adapt to a new culture, language and a new way of life. Thoughts about their children’s education, healthcare, and overall well-being become paramount.

To better understand the preparation process prior to the resettlement of refugees to a new country, here is an insight into the IOM Pre-departure Orientation (PDO) session that was conducted in Jordan by the IOM Norway team in collaboration with the PDO team in Jordan. This five-day session was attended by 64 Syrian refugees, who were equipped with vital information and insights into their new home, addressing various aspects of life in Norway.  

“When I heard that schools in Norway are free of charge and that the education is good, it made me happy. Finally, our children can have a brighter future,” said Firas Haji Mohammad, a 35-year-old Syrian refugee from Homs after completing the five-day session

Refugees attending IOM PDO session in Jordan

There were 34 children in the whole group, aged between 8-16 years old.  Children were given a unique opportunity to delve into Norway’s educational system and learn about the elements that provide safety and stability. The children were split into two groups: 8-12 years old and 13-16 years old. The older group participated in a three-day program, diving deep into Norway's renowned schooling system, emphasizing creativity and student-centered learning. The younger group enjoyed a two-day program introducing the basics of Norwegian education, focusing on play-based learning and social development.

Resettling to a new country is a life-altering experience that can be filled with uncertainty and anxiety. PDO sessions provide a safe space for refugees to voice their concerns and have their questions addressed. This open dialogue fosters a sense of support and reassurance. Refugees gain insights into the challenges they may face and learn about available resources and support systems. As a result, they are better equipped to navigate the initial stages of resettlement, reducing stress and anxiety.

Children attended a play-based learning programme

In 2023, IOM Jordan continues showing its dedication to PDO by providing pre-departure orientation sessions for refugees bound to diverse countries, including the USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Norway. These sessions are tailored to the specific cultural and societal nuances of each destination, ensuring that refugees acquire a comprehensive understanding of their new homes.

Refugees receive a certificate upon completing the PDO session

IOM Jordan's commitment to providing pre-departure orientation exemplifies the importance of equipping migrants with the tools they need to successfully integrate into their new communities. By investing in PDO, we empower migrants to thrive in their new homes, fostering early integration and a more inclusive world for all.

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