The Multicultural Council of Turku chose the recipients from a shortlist proposed by the residents of Turku. The New Citizen of Turku and Multicultural Act of the Year awards are awarded for the 15th time this year.
The annual acknowledgments are aimed at encouraging and rewarding actions that bring immigrants and native Finns closer together but often remain unnoticed.
- Both acknowledgements are tributes to important and humble work often performed in the background away from the public eye. This year’s award recipients have had an immense impact on the lives of girls and women and their work is significant for society at large, says Vice-Chairperson of the Multicultural Council of Turku Berhan Ahmadi.
The New Citizen of Turku 2020 stresses the importance of language skills
Aida Bacic, who moved to Finland from Bosnia with her family at the age of 14, is active in her home district of Varissuo. Bacic works as an activities’ counsellor at the Together Association. In addition to instructing action groups, her work includes individual counselling in various situations related to job-seeking and everyday problems. In addition to working, the mother of two school-aged children is studying for her bachelor’s degree in social science at Turku University of Applied Sciences while also being an active member of the Bosnian cultural association.
Aida Bacic, who has lived in Finland for 24 years now, is described as a heart-warmingly friendly, reliable and conscientious employee whose work for the development of the operation of the Together Association and the promotion of multicultural culture in Turku is significant. In addition to studying and self-development, she works for the improvement of the entire community.
She credits her work community for her award.
- I value this award immensely. I do not work alone, and I feel that this award acknowledges our entire group and the Together Association, she says.
According to Aida Bacic, the key to integration in a new country is learning the language. It is important to learn Finnish to be part of society and speak for oneself.
Bilingual Bacic feels at home in both cultures, which was also reflected in the proposals for the award:
”Bacic comes from a conflict area but has not brought any conflict with her. She respects everyone and speaks for peace. She is truly a combination of two cultures, she has the best of Bosnian and Finnish cultures.”
Watch a video interview with Aida Bacic:
Multicultural activities available throughout Turku
The recipient of the Multicultural Act of the Year award, Monikulttuurinen päivähoito, koulu ja koti ry (Mpkk), was founded in 1997 and it operates throughout Turku and in Raisio. The association strives to support children, young people and families with immigrant backgrounds in integrating into Finnish society by promoting cooperation between homes, early childhood education and school. Children are a gateway to the entire family.
- Our operations focus on children and young people in particular, but through them, we also reach entire families. Our goal is to achieve functional bilingualism and support balanced identities. We work towards strengthening the children’s own language and learning the Finnish language, says MPKK’s Chair of the Board Anneli Minks.
The association organises different clubs, which currently provide activities in Turkish, Somali, Arabic and Russian. In addition to clubs, the association organises Finnish language courses and mother and child group activities. Outings, camps and events are also organised for families. The association is active in numerous cooperation networks.
- Our operations are made possible by volunteers, and we are able to reach up to hundreds of people all over the Turku region. We welcome both immigrants and native Finns as well as professionals and students in the field of education, says Hatice Kütük, an active member of MPKK.
- We are very happy to have received this acknowledgement and we hope that more people will find out about our association thanks to this award, Anneli Minks adds.
Watch a video interview with Anneli Minks och Hatice Kütük: