Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:02

Study Visit to Finland

The study visit was organized during 13th- 17th June, 2011 in Helsinky, Finland by International Academy for Diaconia and Social Actions, Central and Eastern Europe, o.p.s (www.interdiac.eu ) in partnership with Helsinki Diaconess Institute and Eurodiaconia. Two representatives of MCA, Oxana Banaruc and Veaceslav Luca participated at the study visit, where Oxana participated also at the organization, as a facilitator, having experience in work with marginalized people and community engagement issues.

The study visit was organized during 13th- 17th June, 2011 in Helsinky, Finland by International Academy for Diaconia and Social Actions, Central and Eastern Europe, o.p.s (www.interdiac.eu ) in partnership with Helsinki Diaconess Institute and Eurodiaconia. Two representatives of MCA, Oxana Banaruc and Veaceslav Luca participated at the study visit, where Oxana participated also at the organization, as a facilitator, having experience in work with marginalized people and community engagement issues.

The study visit was focused on work with marginalized people, community and citizen engagement, volunteer work. 20 participants, including the organizers from 13 countries from Western, Central and Eastern Europe were involved in study visit activities. The event was a good opportunity to understand different approaches of community based work and also the differences between western and eastern countries concerning the concept of poverty, marginalization, volunteer work and community engagement.

Because of very different levels of experience and developmental contexts it was hard to stress some common learning points. During the study visit program, there were recommended to participants a list of six social services/projects which enclose the issues approached during the study visit. Each participant had possibility to visit only two of them.

Thus, representatives of MCA could analyze the Finnish experience in social services through: Vamos, Vuosaari, Rottorri and Vantaan Valo projects. The projects are oriented to social inclusion of marginalized young people; work with immigrants; innovative community work and community learning process with long-term unemployed people; and the last one related with creation of employment opportunities through educational and social enterprise activities. All the projects are connected to Finnish reality and completely different from eastern countries social problems. During the study visit it had been observed the very specifically delimitated area of intervention, group of beneficiaries and a series of completely new for eastern countries type of social services.

MCA representatives collected many benefits as a result of the study visit, especially concerning community development process, methods and tools for social reintegration of marginalized, vulnerable people. The experience will be useful for further development of MCA intervention priorities.

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