Hakunila International Organization
The Hakunila International Organization (Hakunilan kansainvälinen yhdistys in Finnish) was established in 1998. Our objective is to promote the awareness and knowledge of the different cultures and advance multicultural activities in the Finland. We aim for overall tolerance in Finland by applying preventive and antiracist policies. Gradually the organisation has expanded its operations and has become the supportive organisation for immigrants. Hence, we opened an immigrant advice centre in Hakunila 2001. Burhan Hamdon a sociologist is the executive manger of Hakunilan kansainv?linen yhdistys runs the main office in which he provides all possible assistance to our clients. Hamdon also participates in collaboration with other public and private sectors to manage immigrant issues especially in the area of Integration, Youth affairs, anti-racism and multicultural works.
We organise multicultural activities, such as; panel discussions, lectures, courses, and clubs for children, excursion trips and exhibitions.
In 2006, we have opened a new centre for elderly immigrants in L?nsim?ki area. The office is run by Larisa de Roberti, Aurora Hamadon and Mona Abdelgadir. The centre provides services and organizes different activities for elderly immigrant and helps them to cope with their daily life needs and support them to organize social and cultural activities. The International centre of L?nsim?ki is also used during evenings and weekends for different activities such as children art courses, cultural evenings for women, discussion evenings for youth, art exhibitions. The centre receives volunteers and trainees from different institution.
In 2007 we have opened a Youth Café in Tikkurila area/the centre of Vantaa city. The centre provides meeting ground for both immigrant and Finnish youth who independently plan their activities such as sports, arts, music, dance..etc. Youth leaders are also participate to organize discussion evenings for issues such as racism, human rights, anti-drugs, and violence. It is also possible to organize and participate in the youth programs organized by Council of Europe and other EU youth programs.
Hakunila International Organization is considered as the support centre for immigrants in Vantaa city. In addition to our 3 centres, Hakunila International Organization is involved in the following projects and programs:
- Intercultural and interreligious dialogues. Hakunila organizes yearly a Jewish-Islam Forum as a part of our Peace project. Various Internationally well-known scholars and experts have participated in our Forums such as Prof. Heikki Palva, Prof. Paul Fenton, Dr. Daoud Abdullah, writer Sami Mikhael, psychiatrist Ben Furman, Dr. Hanan Awad, Prof. Heikki Räisänen..and many others.
- Anti-drug campaign
- Production of national and international multicultural events and festivals.
- Golden Ring project, a cultural exchange project between Finnish and immigrant artists and artists from the Golden Ring area in Russia.
- Member of ERAD, the European Refugee advocacy organisation that is supported by ECRE.
- Member of Anti-racism networks such as UNITED and RASMUS.
- Member of FIMU, Finnish Multicultural Sport Association.
- Member of the supervising group of " Youth In Action" European youth program.
The society is led by an elected board for one year period and. The members of the board are the chairman and eight to ten actual members and eight to ten substitutes. The substitutes have always right to participate into the board's meetings. Most of the board members come from different ethnic backgrounds. The chairman for of the association at the moment is Mr. Harun Osmani, an Albanian immigrant. In addition to the formal board function, each member is in charge for his or her own ethnic group activities. The intention is to help all to function according to their own cultural way, however, in collaboration with other cultural groups.
The main support of Hakunial International Organization comes from RAY (Finland's Slot Machine Association). Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vantaa City and other Cultural Foundations also fund some of our projects.