I have always engaged myself when it comes to matters involving social isolation, mental health issues, child care and welfare. I became a foster mum when I was 28 years old. That was an important experience for me and gave me courage to see people’s pain without being afraid of it. When I was able to do so, I saw that we lack different types of tools to help people here in Norway and the consequences can be catastrophic. For me, that was one of the reasons to become a social entrepreneur.
I am one of the founders of Kompass & Co. My dream is to create job opportunities for youths who feels that they are outside of society. After almost nine years of piloting, testing, creating, discarding, and testing again we have created a youth program. Our program gives youths an opportunity to work in innovative and cool places which focuses on green and sustainable innovation, earn money, and at the same time work with their social issues.
It is difficult to choose one story to answer this question since we have been blessed with so many. We had one youth that was in our program for 3 years. When he first came to us, he was very thin, insecure and often showed up late to jobs. Then, when he finally did show up he had no idea of what to do. By having an open-door policy and not giving up on the youth – especially when they experience crucial life changing moments – we have been able to work with this individual over a long period of time. I 2018, he got his first permanent job. Today, he still has that job and we have a close relationship with him.