Weekend of Action: Sunday 19th Library of Peace

The Weekend of Action continues on Sunday the 19th of October, when the Awakening Awareness- initiatitive hosts a Library of Peace at the Peacestation in Pasila. The event will take place between 12-16. The event is open for all and there will also be storytelling for children!


The aim of the event is to discuss human rights, in theory as well as in practice. What  are human rights, who has the right to have rights and how do they represent themselves in an everyday life. We will learn through the stories of our speakers what do human rights mean in practice and how they have affected their lives.

12.00 Introduction

12.15- 13.00

Hope Nwosu will discuss her adaptation into a Finnish culture from her Nigerian background and read short cuts from her new novel.


Angelina Arial will accommodate an exercise related to the independence of South Sudan and she will also discuss the current political situation and activities related to peace building in Southern Sudan.


Oksana Chelyseva is a Ukrainian journalist currently living in Finland. Oksana will be addressing the concept of human rights  in Russia as well as  Ukraine, paying special attention to the current conflict in Ukraine.

14.30 Break


Awakening Awareness-film from Lieksa (2013)

Share your  thoughts and books:

If some of your favourite books, or books that have affected your way of thinking are related to peace/human rights, please feel free to bring them along and share them with others.  You are also welcome to read extracts from them during the breaks.

Tea & coffee, snacks and Iranian vegetarian soup will also be on offer!


All Welcome!

Weekend of Action-October 18-19: Come and Join Us!

Next weekend will see a series of workshops and events hosted by the Awakening Awareness-iniative. During Saturday we will organise a trip to Nuuksio National Park together with Suomi- Venäjä- Seura.  The aim is to learn more about the versatility of a Finnish ecosystem and of different ways to sustain its uniqueness for future generations. You are also encouraged to bring your own basket/containers for the mushrooms we might find! We will take a bus from Espoon keskus (85A) at 11am and expected return time 5 pm.

Those who do no prefer the great outdoors, should come and join us for a screening of an film that relates to climate change, which hopefully will be followed by an inspirational group discussion. (Our panel of volunteers are currently debating on the film, which they wish to screen next Saturday! The evening will start at 7pm at Aurinkosali (Töölöntorinkatu 2, 00260 Helsinki).

If you are interested to join us, please confirm your attendace by email, latest by Thursday 16th of October (yhteista.ymmarrysta@kvtfinland.org).




Agendalla kulutuskriittisyys- työpaja Turussa 2.9




Oletko palannut kesälomalta miettien, että on aika tarttua tuumasta toimeen? Tule mukaan kulutuskriittisyyttä käsittelevään työpajaan, joka järjestetään Turun nuorten taide- ja toimintatalossa Vimmassa 2.9 klo 10-15. Kulutuskriittisistä yhteiskunnallisista liikkeistä keskustellaan kansainvälisen Degrowth-liikkeen ja Porkkanamafian kautta. Luvassa on myös tietoa Culture Jamming- liikkeestä sekä vastamainostyöpaja, jossa mietitään yhteiskunnallista vaikuttamista visuaalisin keinoin. Iltapäivä päätetään forumteatteri-työpajalla, jossa liike ja sen monet muodot ovat etualalla! Tarkempi ohjelma tulossa!

Tarjoilun takia pyydämme, että ilmoitat tulostasi Eevalle 30.8 mennessä: yhteista.ymmarrysta@kvtfinland.org


Ympäristönkasvatusta Rauhanasemalla -Workshop on Environmental Education

As a part of the initiative an evening workshop on environmental education was held in Rauhanasema.The aim of the workshop was to involve some of our camphosts and guestspeakers alike. The idea to involve our camphosts came about very naturally, because we were having two workcamps running simultaneously in  Helsinki area in early July. The activities of the evening were all related to food consumerism and food consumption.

The representative from the Herttoniemi food-cooperative, Galina Kallio, gave an insightful account into the Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) in Finland. We had an chance to learn how and when CSA came to Finland as well as to gain a better understanding of basic principles and ideals behind CSA. To realise how widespread the ideology of CSA has been, Yingly Guo gave an account on emerging forms of CSA in China.

Pelkkää Roskaa?-näyttely

An another interesting presentation was delivered by Juuso Vähä-Piikkiö, whose photoexhibition ”Just Rubbish? visualised very effectively the amount of food that supermarkets throw away on a daily basis. The photoexhibition consisted of pictures of meals, which Juuso has created for his friends and family out of ingredients, which he has collected by dumbster diving the bins of his local supermarkets. His presentation was made even more topical by some of our volunteers that were participating on the Food Not Bombs-camp (FNB).  As a part of FNB camp, the volunteers had been cooking meals out of donated food, which were then distributed in different locations around Helsinki, free of charge.


Overall it was an evening of grass-root level action, ”can do attitude” and positive thinking!

Awakening Awareness- Iniatitive in Mustarinda

As a part of the Mustarinda camp, KVT ran an  Awakening Awareness- workshop, which took place during the Helajuhla,  29th of May. You can follow the camp through a Mustarinda blog as well: http://mustarindagarden.wordpress.com/

As a part of the workshop the partcipants had a chance to think about the consumption of natural resources in their everyday life. The excercise was called the ”Ecological Rucksack”, which has been produced by Suomen Luonnosuojeluliitto and Kierrätyskeskus.

The second part of the workshop consisted of a excercise called the ”Water footprint”. So often people talk about the carbon footprint,where CO2 emissions and their impact on the environment can be mesured on individual basis, through online footprint calculators. The water footprint excercise, however, intends to make people more aware of the hidden water consumption in food production by showing how much water is needed to produce one kilogramme of carrots or an litre of orange juice etc.. Simple yet effective! Mustarinda. vesijalanjälki

Thanks for all those who participated!

Flashback from 1995

While browsing the book ”Maailmantalkoissa KVT 1947-1997 Kansainvälistä vapaaehtoistyötä ja työleirejä”, which is a collection of essays that detail the history of KVT in a chronologic order, I was happy to find the following picture  and a small explanation about the picture that dates back to 1995.

KVT on osallistunut vuodesta 1995 lähtien SCI:n kansainväliseen Crossing- Borders -pakolaiskampanjaan, jota on toteutettu mm. välittämällä KVT:n leireille Suomessa asuvia pakolaisia ja turvapaikanhakijoita sekä järjestämällä työleireillä pakolaisaiheisia teemailtoja. Kuvassa KVT:läisiä osallistumassa awareness raising -peliin, jossa tuolien avulla havainnolistettiin väestön ja resurssien jakautumista maailmassa.

Since 1995 KVT has participated in the SCI International Crossing Borders refugee campaign, The campaigning has included sending asylum seekers and refugees to Finnish work camps and organising refugee-related happenings at work camps. The picture shows KVT activists playing awareness raising – game, which by the use of chairs aims to illustrate the division of the population and resources in the world

I was rather pleased to notice that KVT has been actively working with refugees and asylum seekers in Finland already in the 1990’s. Through this, one can also see  the grass-root level approach and a forward-looking attitude of KVT activists, as well as  the social responsibility embodied by the volunteers and their desire to develop KVT’s activities further.


Meetings in our multicultural motherland

The Awakening Awareness project aims to gather people from different backgrounds together to work against prejudices and towards a better understanding. One of our central topics is migration and refugees, that we implement in co-operation with our partner organisations and immigrant volunteers. We intend to deal with these topics on the workshops, which will be organized along with our summer’s voluntary camps, taking place all around Finland, but also through the camp themes, visits, smaller projects and media.

Grassroot encounters, and acting together towards a common goal, are important principles that KVT and it’s head organisation SCI use as a method in order to increase global knowledge and understanding affecting prejudices and attitudes. Prejudices often come into being through mental images, lack of intercultural encounters, wrong information or lack of information. Awakening Awareness aims to promote these kinds of encounters and experiences among people of different ages and different backgrounds. By inviting immigrants and asylum seekers as equal partners to our projects and camps, we bring interculturality and the realities of the global south close to Finnish people in their familiar environment through concrete means. We also wish to offer immigrants living in Finland possibilities and channels to act and to be heard as active citizens in our internationalizing homeland.

 We asked the following questions from our participants:

1. Why did you decide to participate on a KVT project and what did you achieve from it?

2. In Awakening Awareness project our aim is to spread the knowledge of global responsibility, human rights and equality through the theme of migration and with the help of immigrant participants.

a) How do you think the immigrant participants can contribute to this global education theme and why is it important that they participate?

b) How can it be useful for them to be active in this, or in any other similar field?

3. Would you encourage other people to volunteer in these kinds of projects and why?

IMG_1760 – KopioHope Nwosu – Nigeria

1. I decided to participate on a KVT project in order to learn about how to foster peace among people from different cultures and backgrounds, meet new people and learn more about their cultures and way of life. Through the project I became more aware of human rights and overcame some prejudices and stereotypes about people and I also made new friends.

2 a) I think Immigrants can contribute to the global education theme by sharing first-hand information regarding their experience as immigrants and how it feels to be away from the comfort of their home countries. It is important for us to participate so that one could learn about their rights, especially the fundamental human rights.

b) It is useful for them so that they could be enlightened on the current trends in the society. It could also be an opportunity for their voices to be heard and meet new people, both other immigrants and the natives, thereby integrating into the society.

3. I would encourage other people to volunteer in these kinds of projects because it educates them of their rights, helps them deal with some prejudices associated with particular groups of people, gives them the opportunity to meet other people and make friends. It ultimately makes them happier and more at ease with people.


Nawid Safar – Afghanistan 


1.I decided to participate on kvt project because I like to be an active person. KVT’s projects are also a good opportunity to do something different, to meet new people, make new friends and to be happy during the camp with different people from around the world. I have learned from the projects  a lot of new and good things and made many new friends around the world and I met many different people with different backgrounds. I think that without KVT, it is not possible for asylum seekers to do all these things.

2. a) I think the immigrant participants help a lot in this global education theme. They can spread understanding, share their own experience with others,  and so defend human rights together.

b) It is very important that we participate to these projects, because we can get recommendations, find better ways of communication and most importantly it is useful for ourselves to be active and to have connections with people. It is important to me to be an active person in the community and to have connections with organizations that work for peace for example KVT and SCI.

3. Of course I encourage other people to volunteer in these kinds of projects, because it is a good project that works for peace and understanding and spreads knowledge about global things.

Nana Yaw Boachie – Ghana


IMG_1374 – Kopio

1. Interestingly I had the opportunity of knowing about KVT in two different occasions; the first was from a colleague who is an immigrant and had previously participated on these camps and the second was an official encounter with the coordinator Emmi, who visited Kemi’s reception center for the purpose of introducing the programs of KVT and Awakening Awareness. I opted to participate in order to make new friends, which includes getting knowledge and understanding about new cultures and also getting along with different people in order to be active and responsible. With a specific reference to the program that I participated, I was taught into knowing more about human rights and global responsible issues. Moreover I had the best time getting to understand people from other side of the world.

2. a) Since the issue of immigrants was core to the global responsibility as a topic, immigration was the focal point. Then it was important to involve us to also contribute to the theme and to talk more of how we each go through to our destinations and the purposes of doing so in order to condemn the stereotypes.

b) The usefulness in partaking in such events varies from understanding people from other side of the world to encouraging us to be active in the society. It brings us closer to the society and helps getting along with it. It gives the opportunity to exhibit the talents we have to support and psychologically stabilize conditions.

3. Counting on the reasons stated above and my personal experience as a volunteer, I will say it was a healthy experience of being adaptable to other cultures. Being responsible to the society and more especially adding to the society the skills that you possess is important.

A turning point: Global Education Project in Hong Kong

This is the fifth year KVT will have an Global Education Initiative, of which we are of course very proud of here at KVT! However, as well as educating global citizen’s in Finland, our international volunteers have taken the skills and methods they have learned back home with them, and on occasion they have developed the ideas further in their own countries.We have been pleased to see how the work and ideas of Global Education have become truly global! Below is an inspiring story from SCI Hong Kong.

A turning point:Global Education Project in Hong Kong

By Sudam Jayasinghe – Coordinator, SCI Hong Kong

In the year 2012, Hunag Pik Lam (Pat), a founder member of SCI Hong Kong traveled to Finland to join a workcamp. Being a teacher in Hong Kong is a respectable profession with a very good pay. Education system in Hong Kong ranks high in the world. However, there is a downside. The current education system in Hong Kong is regarded as highly competitive and stressful not only for the students but also for the teachers.

Pat had worked for five years in the mainstream secondary schools as an English teacher. Whilst she was studying for her Master degree in Education she learnt that Finland offers a very different approach to education. Ironically, Finnish students spend half of the time what Hong Kong students spend in their classrooms, yet Finland score just above Hong Kong on the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scale which measures quality of education across countries. Furthermore, Hong Kong students face tests after tests every term in order to improve performance and Finnish students only face exams at the end of their school life.

Hong Kong education system is driven by competition between students, teachers and schools. Students are divided into classes according to their abilities. Schools are ranked according to their performance and teachers are constantly monitored making the whole system competitive and stressful. However, Hong Kong ranks one of the top performers on the PISA scale. The Irony is that Finland that follows a very different model based on cooperation and relaxed learning environment yet, achieve as just as or even better.

The workcamp offered by KVT Finland (SCI Finland) fascinated her. It was an ideal opportunity for her to see what is going on in Finnish schools. Pat badly wanted to join this project. There were ten volunteers from different parts of the world joining the workcamp along with Pat. They visited schools, talked to students about their cultures, countries and customs. The volunteers organized a “Human Library” to tell their story to the students.The motivation and the enthusiasm of students and the satisfaction of teachers were very visible.

Pat returned to Hong Kong inspired and wanting to contribute something from her experience to the current Hong Kong education system. It is true that Hong Kong and Finland have very different governance systems backed by different ways of thinking. What is practiced in Finland cannot be just brought to Hong Kong overnight.

But the idea of Global Education is universal. We need to educate our young generation about the world, different cultures and different ways of living in other parts of the world. We need to educate our young generation by cooperating we can achieve as much or even more. We need to educate our young generation that it is possible to achieve more by doing less if we think differently and creatively.

Pat wanted to design a project to bring some of the things she learnt from Finland. As always, it was not easy. There were two obstacles, first financing the project and second finding schools to join this project. A small group of SCI activists started working on this adventure. A remarkable funding opportunity came when the government’s youth program (Commission on Youth) announced a pilot-funding scheme for innovative projects. The criteria fitted very well with our idea but the scheme offered only 50% of the total expenditure. We took the challenge and turned to our SCI branches for help. We were greeted with very positive response. As an example Matteo Testino from Italy (current visa-president of SCI) agreed to come to Hong Kong to do a training spending his own money. Local members agreed to support the project by volunteering to carry out activities. Different branches offered training opportunities for project participants.

Next challenge was to convince schools to join the project. We wanted ten schools to join this wonderful project. We called it “Myself Our World: Global Education Initiative” This included five activities, A leadership training, capacity building training, international workcamp with Human Library and an Exhibition. We wanted to conduct all the activities in English and include international participants in the activities allowing students to get engaged in a true global education project. We wanted students to work on a global problem of their choice, find solution and design an activity. We wanted to include schools across different ranking in Hong Kong, in other words bottom-ranking and top-ranking schools to join this project and work together. In our project description we wrote that this project would allow students to make mistakes. It turned out to be a big mistake.

Not many schools liked our ideas. Pat turned to her previous supervisors, colleagues and friends for help. She managed to convince five schools to join. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. Doing something, which has never been done before in Hong Kong. Over 1000 secondary school students and 36 International participants from 20 counties joined the project. The Hong Kong government gave 20,000 Euro and 3,600 Euro paid by the schools.

More importantly, this year we designed the second stage of the project, which was approved, for funding by the same COY scheme and eight schools joined the “Mapping Our World: Global Education Project”, which is currently underway.

Since her return, Pat was invited several times to talk at the University of Hong Kong to teachers and students about her experience in Finland and catering for Learner Diversity. Pat decided to leave the mainstream teaching and now teaches students with special needs. Pat is the head of the Global Education unit of SCI Hong Kong and the coordinator of Mapping Our Word Global Education Project.

Määränpäänä Lieksa!


Lieksa on kaupunki Pielisen rannalla Itä-Suomessa, Pohjois-Karjalan alueella, jota asuttaa 12 568 asukkaan joukko. KVT:n Yhteistä Ymmärrystä -hanke järjesti kansainvälisen ihmisoikeusteemaleirin 4-18.8.2013, minne saapui vapaaehtoisia ympäri maailman.


joukkomme vieraineen

joukkomme vieraineen

Lieksan katukuva on muuttunut moninaisemmaksi parin viime vuoden aikana. Suurimmat Lieksaan muuttaneet joukot ovat saapuneet Suomeen Somaliasta ja Irakin Kurdistanista. Ennen vuotta 2010, Lieksan alueen ulkomaalaisista reippaasti suurin osa oli venäläisiä. Vaikeimmat ajat ovat takana päin, eikä kantaväestön ja ”uuslieksalaisten”  välillä tapahdu enää niin paljon konflikteja ja erimielisyyksiä. Kuitenkin kantaväestö ja uuslieksalaiset näyttävän jokapäiväisessä elämässään pysyttelevän paljolti erillään ja omiensa parissa.


Mekkoja joka kolkasta!

Mekkoja joka kolkasta!

Kaiken maailman naisia

Vapaaehtoiset järjestivät aktiviteetteja, työpajoja ja tapahtumia paikallisille, ja heidän kanssaan. Järjestimme esimerkiksi monikulttuurisen naisten juhlan ”Kaiken maailman naisia” Lieksan makasiineilla, missä vapaaehtoiset esittelivät eri maailman kolkkien naisten vaatetusta, bangladeshilaisen ihmisoikeusaktivistilaulajan Nilufar Banu Lilyn tahdittamana.



Reilua peliä

Järjestimme seuraavana päivänä YHTEISTÄ YMMÄRRYSTÄ & REILUA PELIÄ -jalkapallo-ottelun, jonne kutsuimme jalkapallokonkari Atik Ismailin valmentamaan ja tuomaroimaan ottelua. Tarjoilimme reilun kaupan herkkuja, näytimme valokuvanäyttelyä, pelasimme reilun kaupan jalkapallolla, ja ottelua kannusti reilun kaupan banaanipukuiset cheerleaderit.



Harmiksemme, säät eivät suosineet meitä tuona päivänä lainkaan, mutta meitä ei oltu kyllä sokerista tehty! Päätimme hyödyntää hyvän tunnelman pyörähtämällä myös meitä sponsoroineen Lieksan City-marketissa levittämässä sanomaa.



Ei ole kirjaa kansiin katsominen!

Ei ole kirjaa kansiin katsominen!

Eläviä tarinoita

Järjestimme Elävä kirjasto tapahtuman Lieksan kaupungin kirjastossa, missä esiinnyimme eri teeman omaavina kirjoina. Lukijat saivat lainata meitä, keskustella ja kysyä kysymyksiä elämästämme. Olimme onnekkaita saadessamme joukkoomme vahvistusta Joensuusta, ja toivotimme Sini-Marian, Ainon ja Tiitun tervetulleiksi iloiseen joukkoomme.

koordinaattoreilta kysellään!

koordinaattoreilta kysellään!


Koska lukuvuosi oli jo alkanut, pääsimme myös vierailemaan Lieksan lukioon ja ylä-asteelle oppitunneille. Näytimme auditoriossa dokumenttia ”Yksin maailmassa”, joka kertoo alaikäisten turvapaikanhakijoiden tarinaa. Kävimme keskustelemassa oppilaiden kanssa eri oppitunneilla käsitellen teeman mukaisia aihepiiriä. Tällöin saivat oppilaat myös hyödyllistä englannin kielitaidon kartuttamista 😉

pienoinen poikamme ja isompi tyttöisemme.

pienoinen poikamme ja isompi tyttöisemme.

Mummot ja ukit laulamaan!
Halusimme vierailla myös vanhainkodeissa ja piristää Helmikodin ja Karpalon vanhuksia. Lauloimme tuttuja sävelmiä eri kielisillä sanoilla, kitaran, djembe rummun ja muiden rytmisoitinten tahdittamana.






Vietimme aikaa paikallisissa ryhmäkodeissa, missä asui alaikäisiä maahanmuuttajia. He tekivät meihin vaikutuksen järjestämällä ID-juhlan, minne pääsimme ilolla osallistumaan. Vierailimme myös paikallisjärjestöissä ja Lieksan Kristillisessä opistossa, missä monet maahanmuuttajat opiskelevat.


Veimme hankkeen näyttelyn mukanamme Joensuuhun, missä piristimme sen ja asujemme avulla katukuvaa. Pääsimme vierailemaan myös kouluissa ja Silta Maahanmuuttotyönkeskuksen tiloissa.



Hope kertoo tarinaa Nigeriasta

Hope kertoo tarinaa Nigeriasta

Kaiken tämän mahdollistamiseksi ja hyödyntämiseksi, vapaaehtoiset valmentautuivat koitokseen kaksiviikkoisen leirimme yhteydessä järjestetyissä työpajoissa. Näissä työpajoissa käsittelimme ihmisoikeuksia, ennakkoluuloja, stereotyyppejä, asenteita, vähemmistöjä, muuttoliikettä, turvapaikanhakijoiden oikeuksia ja niin edespäin.

Siljan savityöpaja

Siljan savityöpaja


Tähän saimme hurmaavaa ja hyödyllistä apua meidän vierailijoiltamme, jotka osallistuivat työpajojen toteuttamiseen; Kiitos Ville, Venla, Mimosa, Silja, Maria, Nilufar ja Azizeh joukkoineen!


Tottakai kaikki tapahtumat tarvitsivat myös suunnittelua ja valmistelua. Tästä voit katsoa aikataulutuksemme, jonka totesin varsin kunnianhimoiseksi. Luulen, että osallistujamme ovat samaa mieltä, jos sanon että paljon kompromisseja oli tehtävä tässä iloisessa kaaoksessamme! 😉

Anitta ja Leena Joyn kanssa

Anitta ja Leena Joyn kanssa

Erityiskiitos kuuluu myös satunnaisille ja yllättäen rekrytoiduille lasten vahdeillemme, jotka pitivät ajoittain huolta vilkkaista pikku vintiöistämme ja mahdollistavat mammojenkin osallistumisen paremmin keskusteluihin. Apunne oli pelastus ja teitä olisi tarvittu vieläkin lisää!(;

Johanna ja Neriah

Johanna ja Neriah

Joy ja Elsa

Joy ja Elsa



Rooney ja Simo

Rooney ja Simo


Tässä projektissa mukana oli aikamoinen joukko mahtavia osallistujia 13 eri maasta. He työskentelivät leirillä yhdessä Yhteistä Ymmärrystä hankkeen koordinaattorin kanssa. Leirin koordinaattoreina toimivat Angelina (Etelä-Sudan) ja Katri (Suomi) ja osallistujina Sunghee (Etelä-Korea), Mami (Japani), Fede (Italia), Alfredo (Espanja), Mojca (Slovenia), Polina (Ukraina), Magda (Puola), Hope (Nigeria), Kate (Kamerun), Nana (Ghana) ja Nawid (Afghanistan). Hope ja Kate toivat joukkoomme lisäenergiaa tuomalla pienet päivänpaisteensa Joyn (2), Neriahn (4 kk), Llyodin (4) ja Rooneyn (2) mukanaan.

Local ethnic shop

Lieksan etninen kauppa

Emme millään olisi selvinneet ilman paikallista apua, jota saimme Lieksan tukipisteeltä, Lieksan kristilliseltä opistolta, ryhmäkoti Tuikulta, Lieksan lukiolta, vanhainkoti Helmikodilta, vanhusten vapaa-ajan keskukselta Karpalolta, Joensuun monikulttuurisuushanke Jomonin väeltä, ja Päivi Putkoselta ja monelta muulta. KIITOS! 

Tästä voi katsoa dokumentin Lieksan Awakening Awareness leiriltä, jonka on tenyt Sunghee Kim

Voit myös katsoa enemmän kuvia Lieksan leiriltä täältä