Ojuna Presová lives in Česká Lípa together with her Czech husband. Thanks to her fluent knowledge of both Czech and Mongolian, she helps newcomers from Mongolia with their integration. She works in the Centre for the Support of the Integration of Foreigners in the Liberec Region and she also interprets adaptation-integration courses Welcome to the Czech Republic for Mongolian newcomers in Adient in Česká Lípa. During the last two to three years, the company has employed four hundred Mongolians in Česká Lípa and another four hundred in Stráž pod Ralskem. Ojuna says that these are mostly young people who are unable to find a job in Mongolia after finishing their studies.
How do you see the adaptation-integration courses Welcome to the Czech Republic? Do you think they are helpful for the Mongolian newcomers?
These courses offer the absolutely basic and vital information. It would be the best if everyone was presented with it just after their arrival. The participants learn a lot of information during one day and sometimes it can be too much for them. Luckily, we can give them the Welcome to the Czech Republic brochure in a Mongolian translation and thanks to that we can be sure that they will manage.
It is essential that all foreigners know where to seek help and personal consultancy, should they need it. In our region there is a branch office of the Liberec integration centre in Česká Lípa. That is very important for the Mongolian newcomers employed here and I am very happy that the office is there for them. The Mongolians who live here know that they can trust the workers of the integration centre and turn to them whenever they need.
What information is the most important for the newcomers from abroad?
It certainly is all information relating to the residence legislation, that is long-term visas and long-term residence permits. At the same time, Mongolians are very interested in family reunification as they often leave Mongolia without their family members, including small children, and therefore they want to reunite with them as soon as legal conditions permit.
It is also essential for Mongolians to get information about education because children of Mongolian employees often go to Czech schools. The lecturers emphasise the fact that it is compulsory for children to go to school and that it is usual for parents to help their children with their preparation, homework, etc. Thanks to being a part of a Czech speaking group, Mongolian children are able to learn Czech quite fast. However, it is much more difficult for their parents who find it rather hard to communicate with the teachers.
How would you evaluate the course in terms of the employer’s needs?
We pay a lot of attention to the rights and obligations of the foreigners who participate in our courses, including their rights and obligations towards their employers. The position of the lecturers who are social workers or lawyers is neutral and they present a wide spectrum of possibilities that foreigners in the CR have. The lecturers also explain the system of employment relations here in the CR and the common practice which may differ from other cultures.