Today’s conversation is with Norwegian Ivorian Elisabeth Redse. She spent three months in London, England and nine months in France before the age of two, as her parents’ missionary training and French courses took us there.She then moved to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (RCI) at the age of 2 and then lived there for over 10 years between 1985 and 1998, divided in three terms with a couple of furloughs to Norway.
She has a bachelor’s degree in French and Social Anthropology and a masters degree in Anthropology of Development from the University of Bergen, Norway. Her thesis on French speaking West African immigrants in Norway, about identity and belonging can be found here.
Since October 2009 she has been working as a social worker for refugees in the municipality of Rælingen, outside of Oslo. The refugees that she works with have been granted asylum in Norway and come to start their lives there. She helps these refugees settle in regular housing among Norwegian neighbors as well as get them started in school in a two-year long Introduction Program of Norwegian classes and work training.
She loves her job, as it allows her to use her background from moving between cultures and knowing the adaptation processes to help people. She also likes that it allows her to be international, and use her African side more than she would have in a regular job where she might have been more of an invisible immigrant.
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