Community events to promote good relations
The Good Relations project aims at testing various tools and methods to promote good relations and to combat xenophobia and other forms of intolerance. These activities are carried out in Finland and Sweden during the autumn and winter 2013-2014, and they include awareness-raising sessions, community events, a diversity training programme and an anti-racism material.
Commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, three civil society organisations arranged events for local communities in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. All events were planned and arranged by a diverse range of people - both native Finns and people with migrant backgrounds. The events in Helsinki and Tampere were open to the public, whereas the events in Turku were targeted especially at local actors that carry out multicultural activities.
Music, dancing and discussions
Faces of Tampere event on 20th November 2013 was organised by an antiracism association from the Pirkanmaa region (Pirkanmaan rasisminvastaisen työn tuki ry) and an anti-racism network called RASMUS, together with several other partners. The main event took place in a shopping center. Performances included Finnish-Senegalese music for children, traditional Finnish dance songs, Latino dance show, as well as West African drumming, dancing and singing. The public was invited to take part in dancing and other activities. There were also several side-events, such as a film and a music club, both related to the theme.
Weekend of Cultures was a three-day event organised in the suburb of Kontula in Helsinki on 28-30 November 2013. It was planned and arranged by an association for local communities called KontuKeskus, in cooperation with a wide range of local associations. The programme included activities such as a puppet show and cooking courses, an oriental dance class and a regional discussion forum on multicultural Finland. The forum included a panel discussion with representatives of civil society organisations, researchers and councillors, who agreed that integration and equality of vulnerable groups, such as immigrant women, is vital for the success of immigrant communities. Two music club events were also organised, one of them targeted especially at young people.
Networking and Independence Day celebration
In Turku, a group of associations (Together, Sondip, Finnish Refugee Council, and Ashti) arranged two events for immigrant organisations and associations working with immigrants in the Turku area.
The networking event, NGOs’ date, was held on 9 October 2013 with the main goal of helping the local civil society organisations to get to know each other and to cooperate. Ideas about the local integration work were collected as well.
The second event was a multicultural Independence Day celebration held on the 4th of December 2013, with dinner, speeches and music performances. Similar celebrations are already a tradition in some other cities in Finland, but it was the first such event ever organised in Turku.
Results to be discussed transnationally
The planning and implementation of these events was supported by Cooperative Innomo, which offered their expertise on event management to the involved local actors. Innomo was also in charge of reporting and analysing the final results.
The results and outcomes of all these events, together with other tools and methods tested within the project, will be discussed in a transnational workshop in Stockholm on 4th of February 2014.
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