Norwegian best practices in housing and social inclusion shared in Cluj

A team of housing and social inclusion specialists from Bergen, Norway, held a training session with the Pata 2.0 project team in Cluj-Napoca. The Norwegian partners’ visit took place in the last week of September. The training took place in a special ambience, at the Centre for Biodiversity Research of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.

The topic discussed for three days (28-30 September) was specific to the field of social assistance, namely crisis intervention. The sessions were attended by more than 20 people, members of the CMA and DSMA teams from the project.

Sequence during the training session / Photo: George Maier

The discussions focused on methods, practices and techniques for building trust with project beneficiaries, but also on how to assess the risk situations of vulnerable people and the impact these risk situations have on families.

“In short, they told us how they do, in Norway, we told them how we do it in Romania. It was thus an extremely useful exchange of experience for all participants,” says Vlad Badiu, social worker within the ZMC team in the project.

The Norwegian team consisted of Trond Stigen, Housing and Investment Coordinator at Bergen City Hall, and Ingerd Lene Nyheim, Elisabeth Franzen and Mona Khateeb, councillors at Bergen City Hall and trainers in the project. They were impressed by the work and the training of the professionals they met in Cluj and their commitment to supporting marginalised groups. “Advising colleagues from Cluj and sharing knowledge with them is an important step. With the help of our team, we can all do our job a little better. We hope that by us sharing our experiences and work methods we could help them see that they are making a difference and that they will find the motivation to go on with their work", said at the end of the visit Trond Stigen.

“My conclusion is that we have a common goal of reducing poverty and marginalisation, even though the methods are sometimes similar, sometimes different. Another conclusion is that, by the power of example, we can teach the project beneficiaries how to become autonomous. An important goal that was emphasised was the development of parental skills, in order to provide family education for the new generations", said social worker Vlad Badiu.

Visit to Pata-Rât

Information visit to Pata-Rât / Photo: George Maier

The Norwegian team also visited the four communities in Pata-Rât to which the project is addressed, in order to know directly the realities they face. “The visit to the communities gave us insight in the everyday struggles. Although living in poor conditions it was nice to see that the children were warm in welcoming strangers and they had the similar hopes and dreams for their futures as every other kid”, concluded Trond Stiegen.

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, after Oslo. Bergen Municipality is a partner in the Pata 2.0 project, whose main mission is to provide good practices and know-how in the field of housing and social inclusion. (Text: Bogdan Stanciu)