The basis for settlement work is the belief in the empowering effect of communality. In the settlement work, which covers the entire spectrum of life, we realise the ideals of equality and communality in practice. We create opportunities for survival, becoming whole and refreshment for all from the youngest to the oldest. We develop community centre activity, supported housing and communal forms of housing. We increase the richness of life and chances of making it through colleges, study groups and special education schools. We support new Finns in their integration, and native Finns to life in a multicultural Finland. In difficult life situations we offer crisis support, substance abuse rehabilitation, debt counselling, mediation and the services of Victim Support. We operate jointly with volunteer workers and professionals, from local needs, with and among people, in Finland and around the world.
“When someone cares, something new begins to sprout in people.” – Pentti Lemmetyinen, General Secretary
The Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses, founded in 1918, is a life course organisation that consists of 34 local Settlements and 7 regional organisations of Settlement Youth across Finland. The settlement movement employs more than 4 000 professionals, and with them a large group of volunteers is involved in the settlement work.
The forms of activity include work with seniors and the elderly, child and youth work, multicultural work, the development and production of communal forms of housing, various forms of supported housing, community centre activity, services for mentally handicapped people, the education supply of 18 community colleges, two folk high schools and two special education schools, various forms of trauma and crisis work, substance abuse rehabilitation services, debt counselling, mediating and Victim Support.
At the basis for the operation are community centres founded in the poorest quarters of East London at the end of the 19th century. Their task was to maintain interactional social and educational work to develop the surrounding community. The community centres offered both training and support for those struggling with social problems.
The settlement movement bases its ideology on the empowering effect of communality and valuing individuality and diversity in all of its activities.
The work of the Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses and its member organisations is made possible by service charges from the produced wellbeing services, support from Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY), earmarked subsidies from ministries, and donations from private persons. The activity is nonprofit.