lauantai 22. joulukuuta 2012

Youthworker's highlights in 2012: part II

Alta... A nice municipality in Norway, actually not so far away from Ivalo Big City. Never before been there, don´t know why. But I know for sure why it happened in August. Inari is a partner in an Enpi Kolararctic supported project called Connecting Young Barents. CYB was a big part of my autumn period... CYB ment also that surprisingly Tornio Miku was in 2012 my main collegue in Finland out of Inari with whom I had to work. Not bad, not at all, cool actually...

All with CYB started in Alta Aronnesrocken. We had a possibility to visit Alta Ungdomshuset called simply Huset. Really nice place with an excellent atmosphere and fine Norwegian collegues. Intresting.

As usual I made the one and only event that I can for our sports offíce: municipal orientation championship on demanding and beautiful Sovintovaara area, nice. In the beginning of September we all witnessed a real miracle: opening ceremonies of new and real good sport & track field in Ivalo. I already thought that I will never see the day. But we saw it and in the opening day our youth office had open doors in Stönö nearby. The area with all possibilities is now really good for sport and youthwork. One of the best in whole Lapland I think.

The beginning of autumn is always the same: hurrying up like a hell, all starts again after summer holidays. In priciple the same rutins and activities but You never know what happens and what's the start like in practice. One of the first together with sports office is weekly timetables for youngsters: activities powered by municipal offices, church, sportsorganizations etc. Everybody has the possibility to notice: timetable was published in local magazine Inarilainen.

Just an ordinary school, situated in Helsinki, Jakomäki suburb. It has no connections to me but I visited it in September. In Finland there has been a lot of concern discussion about youngsters, especially those who have for a reason or another all kind of problems. Those who are out of schools, out of work, out of everything. And there are a lot of them, estimated 15.000 - 30.000

Our honourable President of Republic Sauli Niinistö promised in spring during the presidentional elections to establish a group to find out solutions to these problems. That group published part of it's work in Jakomäki. Only heaven knows why I was invited to that event. First I thought that e-mail I got was a joke but it wasn't. So I flew to Helsinki because of 1.5 hours Just ordinary things -report.

After event with our President + 100 other persons I was wondering. When all taxes had gone, I walked to bus number 77 and had a strange feeling. The event was maybe one of the most curious I ever visited at work. At once I had the feeling that there might be persons who don't like the results powered by Presidential group. It is not so simple that you can just emphasize the response of indivuals or small communities like families. Structures and political desicionmaking have their responsibility too and my opinion is that when discussing we should discuss about both these two dimensions.  We all know what happened: big shout at once.... Still going on.

One big national effort coming soon is the Youth Guarantee. It means that every youngster 17 - 29 year old who is out of work or place to study should get work, practice or place to study in three months when unemployment starts.  There has been a lot of political speaking about this. In Rovaniemi was hold a ceminar, so called Youth Guarantee Road Show, one of many similiar all over the country. We had expectations but why I'm so so suspicous. Problem is so big that solving it needs a lot of money, much more than it seems to be found for doing. When society plays zerosum game there's finally not so much to expect. I hope that I'm totally wrong. We'll see in in 2013.

Lead partner of CYB, Socium+ works in marvellous city of Murmansk. Tornio Miku + me travelled there in September to take part at Kick off -event of project. It's always so nice to visit Murmansk and meet old friends like Ira, the project manager who got the first view to CYB. During 25 years in which I've visited this city maybe 30 times there has been a lot of changes.  And it's not only what you can see in traffic, shopping centres etc. Younger generation is now implementing their dreams for youngsters in a way that you couldn´t imagine some years ago. Those younger ones have lost their belief in structures, they don't just wait or listen official talking any more, they act no matter what...

It was really intresting to meet our projectpartner Mr. Pink, Murmansk Youth House runned by youngsters and their projects themselves. That's really something. I visited the place for the fist time in July 2011 and it was under repair then. I could never imagine that it starts to work some months later. But it happened. Incredible great job by Zhenja the president and Natasha the vicepresident and other youngsters. When visiting Murmansk, visit Mr. Pink. To be recommended. I was so inspired that I had to write a report to Nuorisotyö magazine.

I love Murmansk...

CYB came to Inari  in October. The 17th RajaRock stayed in Youth Centre Vasatokka and the Concert was at Ivalo Youth and Sport House. Great event, musically maybe the best RajaRock ever said the musicleaders. Hey, Gagarin! from Murmansk, one of the coolest, maybe the best group ever seen on stage at this event. Good groups, great atmosphere, marvellous. After a couple of years break I had forgotten how much there has to be done but it was great experience again...

In November the 3rd Inari Youth Parliament visit to Finnish Parliament together with Tornio Youth Council. All went out of Mr. Miku's and my hands. All the Gods of co-incedences lift their thumbs up with this. It was finally one of the best trips with youngsters ever in my  career.

Originally the idea was to find Paavo (Arhinmäki, minister for Culture and Sport affairs) and meet one parliament member. There's a plan to reduce places at professional schools. Week before the trip Ministry of Education and Culture published the figures: 1.700 places, 26 % of all, away from Lapland.  That was a shock. Our youngsters made an adres, collected in a few days in Tornio and Inari totally 1.800 names, visited Municipal Council in Inari and Parliament in Tornio, went to shopping centres, big workplaces etc.
It was really cool to follow the whole process. Youngsters met not only Youthminister Arhinmäki but Minister for Education Mr. Jukka Gustafsson and all seven parliament members from Lapland. I don't belive that they liked the answer given by Minister of Education. But respect for him that he came, we knew it just before arriving the parliament.
Our delegation was the first one in parliament with this issue. We realized just a day before visit this. I think that it was the reason for all Lapland parliament members to meet delegation. And it was important for youngsters that all them gave their support for delegation: "You are moving with a real imoprtant issue and just in correct time".  Later we have seen Lapland parliament members struggling together for professional schools in Lapland area.
And Paavo was cool. Finally Miku and I found the peace and could stop trying to find him.
Our Youth Parliament did a splended job with fighting for making one youthleader  job to be a permanent system. They gathered 250 names on an adres in a couple of days and brought it to our municipal council for education and culture. There the adults swept the table with the adres and the process wasn't succesful. Our office has done a lot of work for that arrangement and the failure with this was the biggest disappointment for me this year. Real big step backwards. We'll see what's going to happen... But the support by youngsters was great and cool. We adults should listen to them more than we do.... Because of futute, if we want to have one.
In the beginning of December Inari hosted Flow4YU - youthcamp. Flow is a project which aim is to improve the communication between local youngsters and politicians. Project municipalities come from Italy, Croatia, Sweden and Finland. To be honest: after visiting project meetings in Mjölby Southern Sweden and Rovaniemi I had some doubts. Finally we had a real nice real youthmeeting. It was easy to see the cultural differences: at the same time when our youngters meet ministers Italian youngsters try to get a contact to municipal leaders and leading politicians. Finnish partners did a  lot, maybe that helps other project participants to improve their situation.
*  *  *  *  *
This was the summary of my year 2012 with youth work. These and a lot of other things happened.
Now waiting for coming 2013. Lot of challenges, lot of possibilities and always some hope too... It's to be needed because the horizon of economic seems to have more and more dark clouds... My hope is that Finland won't do the same mistakes, whicht it did when saving money from different kind of youth services in the beginníng of 1990'ies. We face the results now and we ask how many youngsters we have lost.
But let's not give up. Keep on rocking still...

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