Kotio wishes young immigrants in Hämeenlinna and Forssa warmly welcome home. The youth participate in art workshops, where they deepen their knowledge about the Finnish society and culture, strengthen their language skills and enhance their work-related skills. In addition, they reflect on the meaning of their own roots and cultural identity in the workshops. The activities build bridges between immigrant youth and Finnish youth by organizing joint art escapades.

The immigrant youth encounter many challenges in finding their own place. Insufficient language skills, knowledge about educational opportunities or the rules of working life, lack of networks in new living environment and encountered prejudices complicate finding your own path and can even marginalize.

Kotio offers youth support in strengthening their life skills and self esteem, as well as possibilities to learn new things with participative, fun and memorable way. They also get possibilities to interact with their community and bring forth their own perspective.

250 youth participate in music, visual arts and theater workshops organized by Culture cooperative Uulu and Vaara-collective. In the workshops, the youth are encouraged to express themselves and reflect on their own goals. They also address perceptions, norms and stereotypes that prevail in different cultures. The youth plan and implement escapades in cooperation with local youth studying in visual arts schools, music institutes and art centers.

Cooperation partners 2019:

Faktia Oy
Hämeen Setlementti ry
Spring House Oy
SPR Lammin vastaanottokeskus
Vanajavesi Adult Education Centre

Earlier cooperation partners:

Tavastia Vocational College
Kiipula Vocational College

The project is financed by the European Social Fund, Children and Youth Foundation and City of Hämeenlinna, and it is implemented during 2017–2019.