Immigrants and Norwegians climb Norway’s highest mountain in integration project
More than 6,000 people from different nations have completed the hike up to Norway’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen in the integration project Til Topps (“To the top”) over the past several years.
“We did it,” cheered both immigrants and Norwegians when they managed to reach the top of Galdhøpiggen (2469m) on Saturday.
The hike was arranged both Friday and Saturday, and is a cooperation between the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), The Norwegian Tourist Association, and the Red Cross. The goal of the event, called Til topps (“To the top”), is to help promote integration work among asylum seekers, settled refugees and other immigrants living in Norway.
The Crown Prince family has also previously participated in the event, as well as Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
“Those who participate for the first time experience a tremendous sense of achievement. To stand on Norway’s rooftop for those who are not used to being in the mountains is a big deal,” says Åse Havnelid, Secretary General of the Red Cross.
Havnelid explains that the purpose of the hike is to get to know Norwegian nature, as well as make new friends. Even though the hike from Juvasshytta to Galdhøpiggen is difficult and demanding, she thinks that the wildness and beauty of it makes it worth it.
“They might have many eventless days. Then it is good to have certain goals to go after and experiences like this. Today they have done something that not many Norwegians have done, they have climbed to the top of Gadlhøpiggen,” the Prime Minister said when she participated in the event in 2012.