Taking part is the best integration!

Hobbies are a great way to get to know new people. This is especially important when someone has moved to a new place. Tutuksi brings together asylum seekers and refugees with hobby groups. This way the newcomers can become a part of a community and get to know Finns. The hobby groups in turn get new participants.

The hobbies can include cooking, football, board games, zumba, volunteer work or art events – almost whatever goes. As we see it, who better to understand a geek than another geek – and there are never too many people in free-time activities.

Tutuksi will improve the participation, networking development, and integration of recent arrivals to Finland. It’s equally important to reduce prejudice among Finns and encourage them to meet people from different backgrounds. The hope is that the Tutuksi initiative will create a straightforward and agile model for civic engagement and a new channel for asylum seekers to become part of Finnish life.

Scores of volunteers from different localities across Finland are involved in Tutuksi. Currently these localities include Espoo, Forssa, Helsinki, Lieksa and Lahti. Volunteer teams arrange meetings for newcomers and maintain contacts with local players.

The Tutuksi project is being organised by Support for Asylum Seekers, an association established in 2015 that provides manifold and needs-based assistance for people coming to Finland as asylum seekers. The Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA) provides support for the initiative.