An organization founded and run by former unaccompanied minors to provide a social space and services to newly arrived unaccompanied minors.
Ensamkommandes forbund is an organization created in Malmo, Sweden in 2013 by former unaccompanied minors to provide support and services to unaccompanied minors in the country. The organization started informally with a few former unaccompanied minors who wanted a space where they could make the decisions, represent themselves, and make their message heard. The organization continued to grow organically, attracting more members and volunteers to support it, and has currently developed into a formal setup with locations across Malmo and plans to establish a national organization by mid-2016. The aim of those who created the organization was to provide a space to help unaccompanied minors in Malmo to integrate and find support networks. Ensamkommandes forbund offers a variety of services to unaccompanied minors, such as homework support, language classes and some social activities including sports and cultural events. To support the creation of friendships, the organization has incorporated a friend-matching system, where any member can volunteer to be matched with others in the network. In addition, the organization provides support to unaccompanied minors to advocate for the rights of unaccompanied minors in the asylum process as well as in society in general.
Ensamkommandes forbund is governed by its members. It has a day-to-day administrator to oversee funding, partnerships and provide input on planning and implementing of activities. There are no formally codified house-rules; conduct is governed by the golden rule that everyone should be treated with respect.
Membership base of 1,000 and about 50 visitors daily.
Design. [P1] Focuses on the need of unaccompanied minors to find a social place for integration. [P3] Created and run by unaccompanied minors.
Implementation. [P5] Links assistance and protection activities. [P6] Builds partnerships for the benefit of unaccompanied minors.
Programme. [P9] Responds to displaced people
- Funding is a key challenge. Though donors are interested, the organization does not have a sufficient track record to mobilize large grants.
- The informal culture of the organization potentially affects decision-making and efficient programming.
- It is key to find cooperation, networks and partner organizations, particularly in the early stages of forming such an organization.
- The administrator should not try to make decisions for the group.
Smart practices report and database survey
About the report
People migrate in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. As described in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Policy on Migration, “migrants are persons who leave or flee their habitual residence to go to new places – usually abroad – to seek opportunities or safer and better prospects.