Refugee Youth Support Association is a nationwide social organisation. Its mission is to build a Finland where young people from refugee backgrounds can find a meaningful role as part of Finnish society. Development always starts with the young people themselves and their needs. The association believes in young people’s own ability to help themselves and their communities. Its headquarters and two current offices are located in Tampere. The association has been pioneering and innovating activities to support boys and young men from refugee backgrounds since 2002. The so-called “Youth in Action” programme has been an innovative way of promoting and supporting young men and boys in Europe since 2002. Kölvi (“kölvi” is a dialect word for “boy’s club”) is still the only form of work in Finland that focuses specifically on boys and young men with an immigrant background. Alongside Kölvi activities, the association also carries out and develops activities to support girls and young parents from refugee backgrounds. The association aims to work in such a way that the practices and expertise it creates benefit society at large. Refugee Youth Support Association is:
We strongly believe in youth empowerment. We walk alongside young people and meet their families.
We develop ways of working based on young people’s dreams, needs and cries for help. We work with public authorities, researchers, educational institutions and the third sector.
We advocate issues that matter to young people. We produce and share our expertise with professional groups and decision-makers.