The following projects were featured at third event on December 11, 2016 at Smelteverket at Mathallen.  Project #2, Made in Tøyen, took home the winning donations and all did a great job!

We were so happy to have Michael present his project titled, New to Norway, at our event on December 11th!  Read more about Michael’s project below:

Project Description

New to Norway will be a book. In essence it will be a book describing various immigrants experiences when moving to Norway. However, it will be a very special book, since it will enable a culturally diverse spectrum of immigrants to give voice to their experiences, both good and bad. This is, I believe, a unique undertaking.

As an experienced publisher (I am the founder of Nordland Publishing) I have the expertise and knowledge to create something of value and worth. I will give my time for free, because I believe that this project has value. In fact, it is my intention to create a ‘must read’ for anyone that is thinking of moving to Norway.’

By producing both a paperback and an e-book edition, we shall ensure that the biggest possible market is reached.

The book will describe, in their own words, immigrants’ personal experiences. We shall not whitewash, nor sugarcoat their stories. However, a balance will be maintained to ensure that the book provides not just a realistic portrait of life here, but also concrete tips and advice on how to succeed, regardless of the reader’s cultural, religious, or ethnic background.

While there are several books that are offered as helpful guides on moving to Norway, none are written from a multicultural perspective. New to Norway would therefore be a unique undertaking, since not only will it be authored by a variety of writers, it will offer multiple perspectives, ensuring that any reader, no matter where they are from, will find a tale or perspective that they can empathize with.

Why does this idea matter to you and to the city of Oslo?

I have been an active member of New to Oslo, a Facebook group dedicated to providing help and resources to those who have recently, or will soon, arrive in the city, for over 15 years. For most of that time, I have been an administrator and have actively sought to help many people transition to Norway.

I frequently see questions, coming up again and again, about various topics and issues. Often, these are triggered by misunderstandings that arise due to cultural differences. The project ‘New to Norway’ will shine a light on day-to-day life in Norway for men and women from many parts of the world. This will ensure that those who read the book will have a realistic expectation of what to expect when they come here. This will benefit not just them, but society as a whole, as removing the obstacles to understanding will help ensure a smoother integration of an immigrant into Norwegian society.

That this will benefit the immigrant, the people of Oslo, and Norway as a whole, cannot be stressed enough.

How will you use this microfunding?

New to Norway will be a book. At Nordland Publishing, we know how to make a book. We know how to typeset, and design the cover. We know how to edit, integrate disparate narratives, and produce fine works. However, we rarely have a budget for marketing, and it is in this area where will will seek external, professional help.

We will use the entirety of the micro-grant to help promote, advertise, and sell New to Norway. This will hopefully provide a much greater return on the investment of our time and expertise. Furthermore, it should enable the book to reach a great many more people and thus ensure that its impact is far greater.

We expect to use multiple promotion channels. For example, social media, including paid ads, could reach many. However, not all immigrants are as active in Online, so we will also provide copies of the book to libraries, cultural centers and other places that have the potential to reach immigrants.

Our intention is to use any grant we receive to help promote, sell and distribute New to Norway.

What elements of community or sustainability will be addressed with your idea?

New to Norway will draw on the experiences of immigrants from all over the country. However, we will focus on getting active participants from the Facebook group, New to Oslo. Those members that contribute will not only get a writing credit and see their name in print, but may also (should the book sell in sufficient quantities) receive royalties.

We hope that this will inspire some of them to continue writing and perhaps publish more in the future.

As the NtO admin, I am active in promoting community projects within the group and I see this as a potential project for the entire community. I would hope that many will volunteer to contribute content, or to editor. Also we shall need graphic artists and photographers to help work with the project. And finally, I would draw on the community to help proof and beta read the book as well.

All in all, New to Norway is a comprehensive community project, as it draws on a good many skill sets, which members of the NtO group possess in abundance.


We were so happy to have Tibeb Artisans Co and KULMIS present their project titled, Made in Tøyen at our event on December 11th!  Read more about their project below:

Project Description

Two social enterprises have come together at Tøyen Unlimited to use vocational training and product design to weave a community together. An ethical interiors brand – Tibeb Artisans Co – and a women’s social inclusion group KULMIS have joined forces to up-lift Tøyen. Together we plan to train local women in sewing, cut and finish and weaving. These skills will be used to make products to retail directly to customers or business to business. Bringing isolated women together to learn new skills, engage them in the local community and encourage them to be more active. Made in Tøyen is a women’s led project that will inspire others.

Why does this idea matter to you and to the city of Oslo?

As founders of two different social enterprises we have 3 things in common: we live in Tøyen, we are women working with other women and we come from East Africa. Together we want to leverage our knowledge, heritage and networks to up-lift Tøyen (our community).

This matters to KULMIS as it is a big part of our work to make the organisation self-sustainable and the members of KULMIS have the opportunity to apply and gain an income from their new skills.

This matters to Tøyen because it is experiencing rapid social change and local communities are missing out or being pushed out. Our goal is to offer the most disengaged the skills to work and define their own narrative.

This matters to Oslo as “Made in Tøyen” celebrates Oslo’s diversity and raises the profile of migrate communities in a positive way.

How will you use this microfunding?

We will use the micro-grant funding to develop the Made in Tøyen brand, to help package our products and to formalise our skills training programme.

We need print and digital packaging to develop our online identity and promote our brand outside Tøyen. If the micro-grant is sufficient we would also like to develop a printed and digital catalogue of Made in Tøyen products – to market our products to local businesses.

What elements of community or sustainability will be addressed with your idea?

We are addressing social isolation problems and women’s health issues by increasing activity and motivation for isolated migrant women. Increasing self-esteem and confidence for migrant women in Oslo.We are developing a businesses model to ensure our project grows and helps more and more people.


We were so happy to have Kristopher present his project titled, International Sandwich Brothers, at our event on December 11th!  Read more about the project below:

Project Description

Sandwich Brothers is an integration project which aims to improve integration by offering an innovative and fun job experience to newly arrived refugees. That’s why all our employees are young refugees who have recently received their work permits and are part of the state-run introduction program. We do this by producing a sustainable product: our delicious homemade sandwich ice-cream!

Why does this idea matter to you and to the city of Oslo?

We believe Oslo needs more innovation and now is the time. We’re facing an increase of negative attitudes and we want to change this discourse. By proving to society that our new brothers and sisters can be a huge resource for society and economy, we hope to inspire more people and employers to take action and be part of the solution.

How will you use this microfunding?

1. We want to keep expanding our business and in order to do this we need more equipment.
2. We need more uniforms for our future employees
3. We want to ensure that all our ingredients are organic and local.

What elements of community or sustainability will be addressed with your idea?

We address the issue of unemployment among young male refugees in Oslo. We attempt to give them a paid work experience and a community to be part of in order to ensure that less people fall outside the job market, which has proven to result in isolation from society.


We were so happy to have Annetta present her project titled, A Friend for Those Forgotten, at our event on December 11th!  Read more about the project below:

Project Description

A few moments after exiting the train in Oslo, it began;
“Lady, please give me something, PLEASE, TAKE THIS!” The gypsy girl forced a small magazine into my chest. Six others had done the same within minutes. “No thank you”, I politely replied. I took a deep breath and remembered, “I am neither beneath nor superior to anyone.” After repeating this in my mind the irritation evaporated and I continued, through the crowd. The experience caused me to seek eye contact with those who were available. As I met the eyes of others I honored their worth. This simple exercise was powerful and connection took place instantly, many people nodded and smiled as they passed. I was enjoying this game when one man caught my attention, causing me to pause. His weathered face captured me and he did not release his gaze. He was a beggar, but in that moment he was not asking me for anything. I stood there looking at him, he looking back at me; seeing him, and being seen by him. After a bit, I sat down next to him. I said, “if you don’t mind I’ll just sit here with you for a while”. I didn’t know what language he spoke, but he grinned and scooted a little closer to me. As we sat I told him I was from Hawaii and I had just completed my immigration appointment. I said it was funny that people were wearing shorts and t-shirts yet, in my jacket, pants and cap I still felt chilled. He chuckled yet said nothing. Soon somebody dropped coins in his tattered cup. He looked at me with surprise, a moment later some more coins appeared and he made a “Whoop” noise, shaking his boney finger at me and grinning. We were laughing as his next customer made a deposit, and he slapped my back like an old chum. Time passed. I gave him a hug, said goodbye and stood to walk away. I felt a tug on my ankle. My companion stood to his feet, and in English said, “that was more kindness than I have received in years. Will you do something for me?”
Touched, I asked, “what do you wish?” He said, “Get yourself a big ice cream as a gift from me. You’ve healed my loneliness”
Tears flowed as I walked back toward Central Station and I was no longer irritated by the gypsy girls and their work.
As I ordered the ice cream my heart was exploding with gratitude.

“A Friend For Those Forgotten” is a humanitarian project for alleviating the suffering caused by human loneliness, and to promote compassion, kindness and respect for every human being.

Through the belief that compassion turned in to action can positively impact the world of every individual, I conduct heartfelt visits of friendship for human beings who feel lonely and forgotten.

Why does this idea matter to you and to the city of Oslo?

I was initially inspired by an elderly man who wandered alone in the street near my home. After forming a friendship through mutual respect and simple conversation, I noticed a transformation in his demeanor, alertness and level of joy. My belief that every individual should feel valued and cared for prompted me to take action. That action has led to hundreds of visits with the elderly, disabled, incarcerated, homeless and has prompted the development of “A Friend For Those Forgotten”. This idea matters to me because compassion, kindness and time is a gift that can be offered by anyone to anyone and I am willing to be a person who offers these things and who leads the way for others to do the same.
The city of Oslo benefits by the empowerment of human beings offering themselves to those who need to be seen and loved. The ideology of kindness spreads and increases the quality of life and general positivity within a city. In addition there are health benefits to addressing the epidemic of loneliness.
According to a new study revealed in Perspectives on Psychological Science: “Social isolation — or lacking social connection — and living alone, respectively increase mortality risk by 29% and 32%.”

Some of these potential health consequences include heart disease and stroke, increased stress levels, decreased memory and learning, alcoholism, and altered brain function. Because loneliness disrupts the regulation of cellular processes in the body, it also predisposes those suffering from it to premature aging.

How will you use this microfunding?

The micro-grant funding will be used to further develop my personal mission and services into a legitimate “start-up” foundation. This will enable the creation of needed aspects such as website development, consultations, event planning for awareness, outreach programs and education for those interested in participating. In addition funding would greatly increase the possibilities in making an impact during individual friendship visits. My goal is teach others how to affectively participate in visiting the lonely.
I often take supplies to those I meet and I have a vision of not only sitting and talking with those in need but doing activities with them that help them to feel more integrated within their world.
Taking a lonely elderly person or homeless person to lunch at a restaurant instantly changes their self-perception and can lead to increased feelings of acceptance… which leads to ever more feelings of belonging, the possibility for life changes, better societal involvement, improved health and ultimately participation as a visitor for someone else.

What elements of community or sustainability will be addressed with your idea?

Many elements of community are addressed by this concept.
The participation of those willing to offer compassion to the lonely and forgotten members of our society will be bonded by a strong sense of community consciousness.
Unity and solidarity are derived from living in a definite locality, such as Oslo. By understanding some of the complexities, complications, and confusions within the life of just one member of a community, insights are brought into the collective emotional identification of it’s members.

This project includes all aspects of social life. Participation welcomes everybody regardless of color, age, race, prior community involvement, level of education, occupation, personal relation,
handicap, religion or any other factor. “A Friend for Those Forgotten” actively reaches out to all citizens, encouraging their participation.

In addition this project promotes community health. Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system and create more opportunities for positive social interaction.