One million people fled to Europe last year to find shelter from the whirlpool of war and violence. The migration continues and new asylum seekers gravitate also to Turku. Would you like to participate in supporting those who arrive?

Finns have gotten used to living in a safe country where people are being looked after. Since we have grown in such safe conditions, should not helping others be self-evident to us?

Of course, even in Finland there are problems that need solving. Domestic problems must be taken seriously, but domestic distress and international distress must not be opposites. They do not rule out each other.

There is no easy answer for this constantly changing situation. For example, not all asylum seekers are interested in Finnish values, freedom and community, and not everyone adapts to life in Finland. It is not fair, however, to hold this against entire cultures, religions, or groups of people.

A volunteer can be a fried

Prejudices will fall away as you take heart to volunteer. The Finnish Red Cross organizes friend visitor activity, which gives you a chance to get to know people from other countries. The time and companionship you offer can be invaluable to someone who has just moved to Finland.

Multicultural volunteer activities of the Finnish Red Cross are organized in many localities around Finland. Also, many other organizations and countless volunteers keep on working. Volunteers can be friends with reception centre residents and organize homework clubs, language clubs, and leisure activities.

Everyday things, such as going for a cup of coffee, a trip, or playing some football, can be done with asylum seekers and refugees. For someone who has just moved to Finland, the time and companionship you offer as a volunteer can be a priceless form of support.

Source: Finnish Red Cross

Photo: Stefan Bremer