Multilingual Finnish Youth
Project “Multilingual Finnish Youth” aims to enhance participation of second generation immigrants in the Finnish society by combining practice, research and communication. In this project the young people themselves are agents of change: they challenge decision-makers, search solutions and communicate with both society and their own communities about important themes in their lives.
In Finland there are almost 120 000 children and teenagers whose mother tongue is neither Finnish, Swedish or Sami. Those children and teenagers have very diverse backgrounds: while some of them were born in Finland, others have moved here with their families a few years ago. Russian speakers are the largest language minority among children and teenagers (almost 21 000) as well as among the general population.
Our society is still unexperienced to take into account our multilingual and multicultural youth. The challenges these young people face, often come from two directions: on the one hand their communities and families might pull them away from the Finnish society and on the other hand at the same time the Finnish society might push them away from itself. There is not enough discussion nor understanding of this problematic and consequently neither functioning actions to change this situation.
In the long run, we aim to make Finland a forerunner – a role model in integration.
In the groundbreaking project “Multilingual Finnish Youth”, together with multilingual young people, experts and partners, we search those paradigms and operational models which affect participation of these young people. We combine expertise, effectivity, visibility and courage in our process. Finland’s frontline researchers are involved, we use diverse influential channels, evoke public discussion and introduce new points of views. As an end product, we define recommendations for future actions to improve the participation of multilingual Finnish youth.
In 2019, implementation of the project includes three influential events: a dynamic parliamentary election battle created by our teenagers, their own multilingual pop up -newsroom in SuomiAreena and a conference for stakeholders and decision-makers. As a supporting element through the process, specific model of workshops is carried out with our group of multilingual Finnish teenagers: during the workshops, they learn to reflect, influence, produce media content and run their own multilingual newsroom. Through the media content teenagers create, we can also to reach different lingual and cultural communities and invite them to take part in the conversation.
Pop up -newsroom of multilingual Finnish teenagers was set up in SuomiAreena for the first time in summer 2018, and this project is continuation of those activities.
10/12/2018 / Pekko Kohonen
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