The last network meeting of the coordination period took place in November. The event was held online via Zoom. The program included dialogue session led by Timeout Foundation (Erätauko-säätiö) and discussions on the network-related topics.
The Gender Sensitivity training provided by Nicehearts was aimed at the network members who need gender sensitivity skills and tools at their work or in other NGO activities. Nicehearts is an association which offers empowering community-based activities for girls and women and promotes gender equality in the society.
During the training Nicehearts introduced basics of gender-sensitivity and how to apply it in practice. The participants deepened their understanding and awareness of how and why gender affects everyone of us.
In the podcast training, led by podcast experts from Jaksomedia, participants learned the basics of producing, designing and marketing a podcast. The training was aimed especially at those who want to use podcasts in their organizational communication.
Although good work is done in Finland, there is a lot to learn from the work done abroad: ideas, operating models, funding and diverse opportunities for cooperation. How can a Finnish organization find and use these opportunities to improve its own operations in Finland? Read more in English.
June’s Associations’ Club by Moniheli ry discussed the opportunities for international cooperation. Participants from various multicultural associations shared their own experiences around the topic. An expert speech was given by the Anna Lindh Foundation’s Finnish network. During the event the participants discussed the forms of international cooperation that multicultural associations already carry out in Finland (through the ALF network, the European Union or in other ways), and what has been learned from them.
The spring webinars of the ALF Finnish Network were held on Wednesday afternoons during April and May 2020. The webinars addressed various topics important to the network members, such as democracy, gender equality, interfaith dialogue and immigration. Expert contributions in the webinars were recorded and are still available for the network members (mostly in Finnish). You can ask the recordings from the network coordinators or read the summaries of the sessions on the webinar page (in Finnish).
The webinar was organised to assist the network members in application process for the ALF Intercultural Dialogue Initiative grants 2020. In the webinar the guidelines and structures of the application process were reviewed, and participants were encouraged to share their plans and ideas regarding the grants. Deadline for the grant submissions was on 28th of April.
On February the Anna Lindh Finnish National Network members were invited by the Finnish National Agency of Education (EDUFI) to discuss the intersections of Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and education over a cup of coffee.
At the low-threshold event the network members heard of the support and international opportunities provided by EDUFI including the state grant programs for the internationalization of education, grants for international cooperation projects as well as international networks and events. Moreover, EDUFI is also responsible for the coordination of education-related EU programs such as Erasmus and the European Solidarity Corps in Finland. During the meeting the ALF members shared their ideas regarding the cooperation opportunities and partnerships.
The Finnish network was happy to welcome 20 young participants from Mediterranean and Baltic sea regions to Finland to develop their communication strategies in a Young Mediterranean Voices communications lab. This was the second Young Mediterranean Voices event in Finland, after a successful YMV debate in Rovaniemi, Lapland earlier in the fall of 2019.
After the theoretical introduction, the group had an activation exercise with personal experiences and then a full day of group work with projects. Every group planned a campaign that could counter a specific type of hate speech. An important question was how to create counter narratives without antagonising and creating polarisation. One of the suggested solutions was a “Love Speech Movement”, where positive messages were communicated instead of negative ones. Other topics addressed by the groups were gender-based violence, alt-right politics and fake news.
The Young Mediterranean Voices programme is coordinated by the Anna Lindh Foundation, co-founded by the British Council, and developed in partnership with the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Friends of Europe, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, MEDAC and Soliya. The programme is funded by the European Commission (DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations) and co-funded by the Government of Finland, World Bank Group and the British Council.
Already now, and even more so in the future, the climate change is forcing millions of people to flee their homes. What is the responsibility of EU and Finland in the crisis? What are the global and local solutions we can develop together?
The Finnish ALF network in collaboration with the University of Lapland organised a public debate over refugee issues and the climate change. The participants were students from the University of Lapland and young adults from the southern Mediterranean area. Expert speeches on the topic were given by Saara Koikkalainen, a migration researcher at the University of Helsinki and Nafisa Yeasmin, an expert at the Arctic Immigrants ry.
In her lyrics Kristina draws on Syrian history and the civil war as well as exclusion, longing, hope and justice. Before Kristina’s performance Steven Cihalem and Kristi Ockba performed poems. Vogue artist Alyssa Chloe also took over the stage. She specializes in 2 art forms that originate from NYC and LA’s Underground Gay scene.
The event was organised in the framework of Celebrating Our Diversity Forum, an initiative of the National Museums of World Culture (Sweden) in collaboration with the Finnish Institute of the Middle East (FIME) with the support of the Anna Lindh Foundation, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Celebrating Our Diversity Forum in Helsinki – Building Inclusive, Sustainable and Intercultural Cities 9.-11.10.2019
The second edition of Celebrating Our Diversity Forum convened in Helsinki on 9 -11 October 2019 during the Finnish Presidency of the European Council. Organised by the National Museums of World Culture (Sweden) and the Finnish Institute in the Middle East with the support of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Anna Lindh Foundation.
A total of fifty participant from Finland, Sweden and from countries in the Baltic Sea and southern Mediterranean regions took part in the forum. The objective / purpose of the forum was to bring together architects(?) of sustainable, multicultural and inclusive cities and to support the development of stable and inclusive Euro-Mediterranean region. How can we build more diversity-friendly cities? How can we create more sustainable future for all of us?
At the autumn meeting of the Finnish network, we had presentations by our young network members who work with empowering the youth to express themselves and to be active members of the society. The two topics were: debating as a way to develop one’s skills of argumentation and film-making which forms a demanding but effective medium of influence.
Meera Band is an international band based in Helsinki, Finland. Meera plays modern and traditional music from Middle East, Iran, Kurdish areas and North Africa. Muhaned Durubi is an artist and poet residing in Helsinki. His first collection, Rusty Sketches combines poems and art about horrors of war and being a refugee. Poems have been translated from Arabic to both Finnish and English.
The event was part of the eleventh Nordic conference on Middle Eastern studies “Breaking and Creating Boundaries in the Middle East” that was held at the University of Helsinki.
The annual network meeting was held 3 June 2019 in Hanasaari. Read the summary of the program in English here.