Changemaker started “Does Finland Care?” -campaign at World Village Festival

Välittääkö Suomi?

Changemaker’s “Välittääkö Suomi?” (in English: “Does Finland Care?”) campaign saw the light of day at the World Village Festival in Helsinki at the end of May. The campaign’s volunteers collected postcards at the festival, which Changemaker will send to Prime Minister Petteri Orpo at the end of the summer.

The “Does Finland Care?” campaign was born as a reaction to the ongoing inward turn: just when global and complex crises are shaking the world and the international community, Finland is turning inward, closing its borders, and cutting development cooperation and climate funding.

The postcard campaign was initiated by Changemaker’s advocacy group. The postcards read “Does Finland care about ______?”, where visitors could write their own question, such as “Does Finland care about human rights?”. Additionally, longer messages to the decision-makers could be written on the back of the cards.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Changemaker youth network highlights old campaign themes that are still relevant today in its anniversary campaign. However, the campaign does not only look back but also forward, posing an important question: what kind of country does Finland want to be? Changemaker wants to oppose the current inward turning direction that Finland is taking. The network’s youth believe that this time requires bold actions, openness, and international cooperation to solve global problems.

“International crises affect Finland, whether we like it or not. Therefore, it is important to actively cooperate to solve them, rather than burying our heads in the sand pretending there are no problems at all. With a brisk approach, effects can also be managed,” says Changemaker’s chairperson Lauri Heikkinen.

Changemakerin piste Maailma kylässä -festivaaleilla. Vapaaehtoinen hymyilee kuvassa ja taustalla näkyy Välittääkö Suomi? -kampanjan logo.

Changemaker-volunteers collected postcards for decisionmakers on World Village Festival.

The campaign highlights three themes from Changemaker’s old campaigns that are still relevant: climate, development cooperation funding, and refugees. The Finnish government is planning to cut both climate and development cooperation funding and is planning actions that are in stark contradiction with international refugee rights to keep asylum seekers outside Finland’s borders. Such avoidance of responsibility will not solve the great challenges that lie behind these issues.

The campaign includes a postcard campaign to be carried out during the summer, social media campaigning, and direct influence on decision-makers. If you want to join the campaign, you can join the advocacy group that meets approximately once per month.