Fellowship in Finland
7 fellows - youth workers and municipality representatives from the country of Georgia, Armenia and Moldova were recruited for the fellowship in the city of Turku. The aim of this action was to become familiar with youth work and youth policy in Finland, to learn about the Finnish non-governmental and youth organisations and to get to know how youth workers are trained in Finland. Participants had a perfect chance to see how youth policy works in action - in the youth centers. All of the study visits were accompanied by Mr Hasan HABIB from Turku Youth Services. Each of 15 youth centers on the territory of Turku are under his disposal.
After getting to know with the surroundings, fellows from 3 Eastern Partnership Countries visited Vimma. It is a house of art and activities for the youth, where they can go and do crafts, music and media, participate in events, or just visit to feel the vibes. Vimma can be found on Aurakatu in the Turku city centre. The building was designed in 1906 as a school for girls, and during 2004–2006 it was repaired for the use of the youth. Participants of the project #Triangle4youth met the staff of Vimma, which consists of professionals of different fields, altogether around 35 people. Vimma is part of the Turku City Recreation Division Youth Services.
Most exciting part of the study visit was a meeting with an outreach youth worker, who retold his story and described the specifics of outreach youth work in Finland.
Combining youth work and entrepreneurship was something new and innovative for the fellows. Their next stop in the city of Turku was at Fendari - place, where young people up to the age of of 29 can attend the workshops and gain experience in traditional works of furniture, painting, knitting or metalwork. During several months young people who lack higher education can become professionals in the mentioned fields. Later on, the youth centers take care of their employment. The center cares for the income of the youngsters as well. After the workshops, handmade crafts are often sold out. Studying in Fendari is free of charge.
Another highlight of the day was a study visit to Varissuon nuorisotalo, a place with concrete examples of children's participation in 'governance' through participatory budgeting. This youth center is located in the school building and youngsters visit it regularly after their school lessons. Youth workers involved the children in the process of budgeting and participants of #Triangle4youth had an opportunity to watch the video presentation about this case. They organized children's elections on a certain topic - kids could choose how to spend the extra money that youth center had. Municipality representatives, which participated in the job shadowing stated that they would like to try this method back in their countries.
Turku Rock Academy is a municipal program, supported by the City of Turku. Study visit in one of the branches was the most exciting part of the week for some of the fellows. Participants from EaP countries had a chance to have Q & A session with Mark Bértenyi, a musician and sound engineer who runs Rock Academy - a municipal program which supports band music in Finland and the main branch of it was founded in Turku. Academy has a significant role in social work and often uses street music as a common language to communicate with youngsters.
On the next day, public authority representatives and youth workers went to ABC-nuorisotoiminta. The purpose of the association is to maintain the culture of Russian youth and children living in Finland, preserve their cultural traditions and promote cultural exchange. Fellows learnt, that the association serves educational purposes, provides high quality services and is not free of charge.
The last stop was at Sondip - umbrella organisation, Founded in 2006, The Union of Multicultural Associations in South-West Finland is a union promoting multiculturalism in Finnish society.The union aims to promote the visibility of multicultural associations and to increase cooperation and interaction between different actors. During the study visit at Sondip, fellows presented their municipalities and talked about possible future cooperation.