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lokakuu 18
Kick-off seminar: International Graduates to Work Life!

The seminar ‘Kick-off for study year 2017-2018’ was held in 5th of September 2017 at Diak Helsinki as a part of the project ‘International Graduates to Work Life!’ Students and graduates were invited from all the partner universities of applied sciences and door was kept open for anyone interested. The seminar aimed to present diverse perspectives by inviting speakers from different fields of expertise touching contemporary topics like innovation, personal branding, immigration employment, and entrepreneurship.

Meg Sakilayan-Latvala: Get Involved!

The seminar day started with Meg Sakilayan-Latvala from Nicehearts ry. Meg shared encouraging words about the work of Nicehearts and about the project Community Organize. She also encouraged participants to be more proactive in getting involved with different events and training programs that would equip one with necessary skills in the field of social work.

She shared information about an elective course on ‘How to be a community organizer’ that students can participate in. If you are interested to hear more about this course, you can contact Nicehearts directly for more information (meg.sakilayan-latvala(at)nicehearts.com).


Karim Ali: Make a brand

After Nicehearts’ opening, we heard the presentation of the first key speaker, Karim Ali, who is currently running his startup Consilta and is also a student of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.

During his presentation he shared his entrepreneurial journey and focused in personal branding. He disseminated his skills and tricks about, in his words, ‘how to sell yourself’. Furthermore, he also shared and opened some discussion on the topic of social entrepreneurship which is a broader term that may refer to any entrepreneurial activities that have a strong ‘social’ mission as their core purpose.

The participants and speakers were engaged with a question of how and when to draw the line with profit so that the social purpose would not fall apart.


Aape Pohjavirta: You can do it!

The second key speaker Aape Pohjavirta brought energy of startup world to the seminar hall. He shared interesting and provoking insights on how our complex world of today needs innovative minds to create a desirable change. Similarly, he also underlined the impact of IT and mobile technology development. During his presentation he spotlighted the history of Helsinki Deaconess Institute and ‘Neuvola’ health care system, their importance and how they have contributed in development of Finnish health care scenario.

Aape argued that every individual has a potential to make a good change in our world if he/she is just passionate enough.


The statistics behind it all

The last speaker of the seminar was Anu Yijälä, a social psychologist who has been working for City of Helsinki as a researcher and a project manager in the project Occupational Restructuring Challenges Competencies (Polkuja työhön), funded by the Academy of Finland.

Any Yijälä took over the podium with her presentation slides “Skilled immigrant employees – untapped potential in the Finnish labor market?” based on her research work over the last 10 years. She argued that getting a decent job is a way of integrating to a new society, as one gets a chance to be part of Finnish work life environment and thus familiarize oneself with the country’s work culture, have more chances of making local friends and learn local lingo.

Moreover, employment is also important for immigrants psychological well-being, since besides the economic gains, employment has also other kind of benefits e.g. for one’s self-esteem and status in the new community. However, she brought to a limelight that it’s been challenging for international talents to get into Finnish labor market.

In addition to the employment difficulties, there are also other kind of issues that have prolonged the integration process to Finland among the high skilled employees. For example, the highly skilled international professionals of the European Chemical Agency that Yijälä with her colleagues were studying in the years 2008–2010, stated that their integration to the society has also been challenging due to climate as well as difficulties in making friends with the Finns.

However, in Yijälä’s recent studies conducted among skilled asylum seekers some of the participants have also noted that “once you then get to know them (the Finns) better, you really start to love them”.

Anu_Seoul_Maijalle 6.8.2017.jpg

More about Anu Yijälä’s research:

Upon request, Anu agreed to talk more about the situation from international student’s perspective in a separate interview.  In the interview Anu shared that downturn of Finnish economy may have affected international students to get into job market as it was also the case for many natives.

She stated, “as these days economy seems to be getting better, along with uprising startup scenario most certainly does create more possibilities also for the international graduates in coming days”. Similarly, we also spoke about the attitudes of the main players in the Finnish job markets. How the employers view international students and graduates also makes a big difference.

She made an emphasis that Finnish employers should understand that international students and graduates who are already in Finland – i.e. who are thus familiar with the kind of difficulties the newcomers face in Finland and are still willing to stay in the country – are a valuable resource for Finland, since international experience is needed to secure the country’s success in the global markets. She stated that, “employers should take them as a resources and not as a risk or challenge”. We also spoke about the lack of enough scientific data and research on international students and graduates.

The seminar “Kick-off for study Year 2017-2018” was organized by a project (Kansainväliset korkeakoulutetut työelämään!/ International Graduates to work life!) which aims to enhance with concrete tools the employability of international graduates especially in the Metropolitan area in Finland. Jointly executed activities to enhance the employability (i.e. networking and recruitment events and workshops) help international students to understand Finnish work culture and life. Furthermore, career planning practices, including digital, will be developed in the project. The project receives funding from the European Social Fund, and runs until December 2017.

I see there is an immense need of open-mindedness, understanding and cooperation among the Universities, UAS, different projects and stakeholders working for international students including international students and graduates participation in the process.

Prabesh Khatiwada 21.09.2017, Helsinki

The writer is an international graduate from Diak UAS and has worked in student affairs in Finland since 2011. Currently, he is finalizing his Master’s degree from Roskilde University, Denmark and meanwhile works an intern for Diak’s various projects.

toukokuu 23
Cristina:"This movie is a thesis product by Diak Alumni, Dibba Siaka and Barrow Abbie, advocating for women rights in Gambia. Hearing the details from Siaka, it had even a deeper impact."

“a movie about healing. About fighting the odds and then healing. The right path to follow in order to move on.”

A mirror movie reflecting a perspective on the society. The script follows the phrame of a story in a story. The main character is a social worker who tries to help people in need, while fighting with her own demons. Felt particularly impressed by the topic since I felt lots of empathy during this movie. Showing a week in the life of this foster-care facility, the struggles, the little moments of compassion between the workers and the service users was a part of the narrative story line.
The social worker is also a young woman with her own fears and needs. Following down the road I felt often that “she” could be “me”; human cases, struggles and despair, but also happy moments and lots of emotions. This movie helped me to distinguish how frail is the border between being “professional” and being “humanly attached” towards a service user. How difficult is for a social worker to keep the track of code of ethics, without forgetting to be a “hearted” person. Sometimes we tend to forget so easily that people in decision position have also feelings. That they are also mothers, fathers, or sons of someone. I think about the moment when the social worker is told that his job is to create a safe environment and not being a parent to those children. Where is the line between being “too much” or “too little”?
There are always going to be crossing points in our profession like cases as Marcus, who doesn’t want to leave even if he is 18 or of the girl abused by their father. “Did your father ever hurt you?” How many times we will have to ask this question during our careers? It is not important, what is important is that we are prepared to hear those answers and act upon that.
A relevant aspect of this movie was how “clumsy” professionals can be. There are lots of things that you cannot learn from a book. The common sense that comes with the experience. The moment when Nate the volunteer introduced himself saying: "I want to work with underprivileged children" created great disagreement among the teenagers. Interesting stories that reflect a present reality. Some of the methods used with the teens in order to help them to cope with their insecurities and anxiety, were music, drawing, playing different games and counseling. The characters managed to express better their feeling through lyrics or drawings as a starting point for discussions.
Grace is using her own past experience as a weakness and as a strength. She knows what to tell to the young man who is using drugs and what to tell to the little girl traumatized by her father. But at the same time this is her weakness and (as it happened) can get out of control. An excellent learning example in this movie. A sad but meaningful path of the winners who cry hearing the heartbeat of an unborn baby, or like those who manage to “escape” from the shelter, running and screaming like Captain America!
“a movie about a welfare capital seen through the eyes of those who wander the streets trying to survive”
I had seen this video without knowing what to expect. I am a Romanian citizen myself and I have seen and heard some many things about the Roma people. Romanian Roma people – are they different than the Bulgarian ones? I had all kind of question popping in my mind. Seeing the video, I realized that involuntarily I had myself the mask of prejudices over my eyes. I was prepared to compare, to rank, to put in some level the Roma people…Romanians, Bulgarians, homeless, beggars. Because we are so used to read about statistics, bad things we find on newspapers, that we forget that they are just people. It’s much easier to put these people in a lower class, so we feel justified when sentencing our judgements. I realized that the etiquette proceeds the persons and I reevaluated my own perspective. Thinking about my own experience of Roma people from my childhood for example, I remember the two colleagues I had in the primary school, that were always put to sit in the back by the teacher, because they were “smelly” and “dirty”. I remember the Roma neighbors my grandma had across the street that were always “responsible” for the missing tool, missing chicken or broken stuff in everyone´s courtyard.
When I started to work as a teacher in kindergarten I was only 19. I had two pupils, brother and sister, belonging Roma people ethnicity. When they came in my class they were shy like no other children. I always used to smile saying their names Portocala Lupu and Ghiocel Lupu (Orange The Wolf and Snow Drop The Wolf). I always wondered what on Earth made their father to choose such names for his children. As time went by, I realized how much potential these children had. The boy Snow-drop, was extremely intelligent and eager to learn more and more. Sometimes he was telling me how he said fairytales and make the calculations at the market for his mother who was analphabet. One day he brought me a bunch of flowers. I was very surprised and I asked him where did he got it from since it seemed very expensive. He blushed and without looking in my eyes he admitted that he had stolen it from the cemetery with other flowers to sell them in the market. I felt crossed between such a sweet gesture and what he had done. I asked him not to bring me flowers anymore. But to draw them for me, so I could keep them always near my heart.
This happened in 2001. That boy is about 20 years old now and I don’t know what had happened with him, nor his family. I wish I would. I thought about them while seeing this video. I felt emotional at one scene when one the Roma man kissed the picture of his 3 years old boy. He had feelings like any father has for his little boy. I wish that anyone would see that before judging. I wish that before putting on a stigma, to realize that before anything, that they are humans. Just like “us”.
The discussion that followed was very intense. Boris Borislav explained his activity in Hirundo Day Center for homeless people in Itäkeskus. That made me realize that I could bring an effective contribution and help effectively these people. After that meeting, I started to volunteer for the Global Clinic every week in Hirundo. I feel happy that I can talk with Roma people and when is needed, I can translate from Romanian to English and help them to explain what are the medical emergencies to the nurses and doctors. It’s a different perspective I found myself in. From an observer I became I person who interacts with these people. The book text has found a practical extent in this matter. I’m not reading news anymore; I’m helping to make new ones. And I hope future for these people will be brighter. (picture 2nd November 2015 in PCD2-field exposure Itäkeskus)

“a movie about pain. About wounds that sometimes are even deeper than the physical ones. Wounds who never heal and who determine a human destiny-forever”
This movie is a thesis product by two of alumni of Diak, Dibba Siaka and Barrow Abbie, advocating for women rights in Gambia. Hearing the details from Shiaka it had even a deeper impact. My previous knowledge about female mutilation was exclusively from the literature and media, I had never encountered anyone confessing being a victim of genital mutilation or someone from Gambia who knows about this practice directly. The movie documented this practice phenomena, and why such a barbarian practice continues to exist in our times. It was really difficult for me as a woman to watch this movie. And even if it was relatively short, it felt like endless. I found myself feeling of helpless and nearly shocked. The most difficult things for me were to see those women who said “I had been cut”- It felt painful to see the suffering and the humiliation from their eyes. The testimonies of those women (who survived the practice) it was just a tiny slice from a huge terrifying problem. I just couldn’t understand how some of the people interviewed in the movie ware so natural and accepting about it. After, when Shiaka explained the bases of his culture I understood why.
I learnt that some of the reasons that stand-out include religious belief, cultural beliefs that see the Female Mutilation as a rite of passage and for a long time, and in the past, the lack of legislation prohibiting the practice. Even if nowadays the practice is forbidden by law, it’s still practiced in hidden places and hasn’t stopped to make victims, women and most of the times very young children. The rate of practice is incredibly high over 78% in 2010 and seems that if there aren’t found new solutions in advocating against it, the number will maintain as such.
Even if many agreed that Female Mutilation is unhealthy and a violation of human rights of women and girls, “The cut” is a must in Gambia and other parts of the world. It seems that this practice is so old that even precedes the Islam and the Christianism, and it will be a great deal to change that. At least, Shiaka seemed confident sharing his home made food with us and telling us about his hopes. I found myself surprised and really inspired to see such dedication for a “women cause” coming from a man. He believes that empowering people in the community with knowledge on the subject and providing the necessary resources will help eliminating the practice.
After seeing this movie, I do have another perspective about the beauty and perfection of the human body. About how should we respect it and treasure it. “BORN PERFECT” is one of the slogans carried out by the advocates against the FGM and I feel proud to wear and promote their work. (figure 1- Born perfect bracelet hand made)

Film director Rotislav Aalto, had come and shared with us from his experience about how to make a good documentary movie for our personal or professional life. A very interesting meeting since the students had a different perspective over the “social issues”, not only from a sosionomi point a view, but also from a mediated point of view. I liked the director style of interacting with the group and it would be a good way of using his method in working with groups. He asked the students to present themselves, their backgrounds and interests.
Next we watched some scenes from different movies and we had been asked to identify the style in the movie was made. The main idea was that a social movie should expose a taboo or a community issue. This idea can be presented from a subjective, personal point of view. A meaningful perspective as a way of transmitting moral values. The idea that we want to transmit to the viewers should have a great impact capable of breaking stereotypes and clichés.
Another very interesting approach that I could use as professional, was the strategy of discovering something meaningful from our lives that we would like to express. “Find five things that you would made a movie about”- things that are important for you. Link a theme and a feeling connected to one of those important things, such fear, hate, love, happiness. Further on, the students were encouraged to use their involuntary memory and their synesthetic senses about colors, smells, people who were there that remember that moment in life. In the end we wrote a poem that will express what we felt and how we remember that moment in life. It emerged sadness, happiness, tenderness… All the students read the poems and were able to identify the tone in which that poem was written. Rotislav wanted to explain using this exercise, how to find the main feeling that should give the light in with a documentary can be made, the feeling that will like the way of the viewers like an inner voice.
We also watched some documentaries from the latest camerawork of Rotislav Aalto. Among them I enjoyed a lot the perspective of the old grannies selling cigarettes in Odessa. Aalto used the perspective of the cartoon of “Winnie the Pooh”, identifying those characters of the real ones. He advised the students to use the story telling in the way that fits our ideas. He exemplified his examples in sharing with us some parts of the documentaries about the refugees. He underlined the attention given to the talking style used, the sounds that are used at beginning as a way of gaining the interest of the viewer. In a social documentary is a good idea to film it as the interviewee looks straight in the eyes of the interviewer (and not a camera), to reconstruct the fictional veil and bring the feeling closer to the viewer. Usually the viewers must see something catchy in the first few moments of the documentary. We should try to find something interesting for the opening.
This meeting of social cinema proved to be extremely helpful for a possible way of making a social documentary as a thesis project. Opening up for ideas and new perspective for given a voice to those who are not heard.


This documentary reflects the Colombian reality of the terror of the political interests, of the guerillas, the paramilitary and the army, the tragedies of people and the thousands of lives without ever being brought to justice. Very mixed feelings again, like all the movies we seen before in Social Cinema, especially since it was introduced to us by one of our friend and colleague, William. Emphatic I felt so near him when sharing terrible stories about his own land. Very interesting to hear it from a true Colombian, whom explain the dynamics so complicated in his country.
The documentary seems like a children movie at the beginning. Made for children- by children. But as soon as you go deeper you realize there is more than the innocence of the voice of the children who share from their own live in Colombia. Many of things exposed in this movie are stories about violence, fear and death. The documentary took over 10 years to be made. It uses the real drawings and the real voices of the children described in the movie. It is even more meaningful since it made using participatory methods as a way of raising awareness and a way of helping these children in the process of healing. The “little voices” are actually having the effect of a thunder in people’s minds. They are the witness of the bloody interests of the Colombian mafia and other influential people. Its incredibly open eye experience this documentary. Using the participatory photo voicing effective. A picture can say sometimes more than a thousand words. It is also a therapeutic method for those subjects whom have difficulties in expressing themselves other ways. What made me smile as well, was that throughout the heart breaking stories, I was still able to sense the sweetness and the message of hope of those children. The movie does not impose anything. It is like an open journey in these children (now adults) lives. They are saying it as it was without adding or excluding anything. Cruel and natural like a bitter fruit, gives you the taste of what they lived in Colombia.
I do wish that many people could see this documentary. It is a lesson taught with simplicity and modesty. They do not shout, they do not cry, nor seem angry anymore. But you can sense their melancholy in their voice of the idyllic life they lost. From time to time the harsh tracks of the pencils in their drawings, shows their pain. The visual aspect takes over the narrative part. I felt drawn in the movie with my heart pounding. And definitely now red has gain a new connotation for me. The color of blood, the color of spilled life.
It was our last meeting. I feel like I had a cold shower. I realized even more things I was not so aware before. People say stories, and stories say about people. In my opinion, Social Cinema is great opportunity to share those stories, to learn from them and maybe helping others.
The past cannot be change but the future is still ours to make.

toukokuu 19
Johnny Abdallah: "After watching his film and hearing him speak, it made me think about which target group I would most want to advocate on behalf of and help. "

​First Meeting, 19.1.2016:

The first movie I had the pleasure of viewing for the Cinema Social course was titled ”Short Term 12”. There was little said about the movie beforehand by Maija, other than a brief intro consisting of the film’s name and year in which it was made. As I had not inquired as to the list of films being screened for this course, I arrived at the school without any preconceived ideas about what I was about to experience.

As we all settled into our seats and bean bag chairs, the feature film began to play. The opening scene showed a group of young adults engaging in informal conversation with each other. Their discourse was light and fun, and I felt it perfectly reflected a common setting found in United States suburbia – one which I am quite familiar with, having grown up around American culture. To me these young adults seemed to be friends. Suddenly, I was taken aback by a further individual running out of the house which the aforementioned group were gathered in front of. He was screaming and half dressed, obviously in some kind of distress. Some of the others began to chase what now appeared to be an adolescent boy. I was both impressed and shocked by the extremes of such an opening, unsure about what to make of it. I suppose my reaction was expected, since these contrasting life moments would likely cause most people to react in a similar way.

Time went on, and as the story eventually unfolded, I found myself constantly surprised by the many developments and twists. Once it became clear to me that the story recounted the interconnecting tales of the adolescents and their supervisors at this group home, I could not help but be drawn in, imagining myself in similar professional and life situations. How would I react or behave if these things were happening to me? I wondered about this for most of the film. One of the central characters, Grace, was clearly dealing with a great deal in her personal life: relationship developments, a pregnancy, family issues, as well as her connection to and deep concern for a new arrival to the group home. I found myself empathising with her character, understanding how life can be due to the various trials and tribulations we all go through now and then.

As I continued to watch the film, I noticed that I was feeling a flood of emotions. The story was multifaceted, humourous and serious, joyous and sad. From one moment to the next, I felt all these emotions. In the end I realised that it was a rather truthful depiction of life, which could easily be compared to a rollercoaster ride at an amusement park. Although condensed into a 96-minute film, with clever editing and cinematic techniques to enhance effect, the story of these people could easily exist somewhere. Perhaps this realisation also terrified me a little, like some cruel reminder that life can suddenly be turned on its head.

After the film had ended, and the Cinema Social group began discussing what we had just seen, I felt that everyone present was in a pensive state. Just as I could not help but to imagine how my future work in the social services field might be at times, I think that everyone else was thinking the same thing. Perhaps they were also reflecting on their own life struggles. It was interesting and uplifting to hear some of the thoughts and views put forward in our group discussion, because I had the opportunity to see the story from another person’s perspective, while coming to the realisation that we also shared some very similar views.

While I was still watching the movie, but as the film began to reach its end, I thought of something and wrote these words in my notebook: ”Love is where it is found and fostered.” The adolescents in the story, as well as some of the adult protagonists, came from troubled beginnings. Despite this, however, they displayed human efforts to foster caring and love. While we may not always receive love and kindness from our parents or those we would otherwise expect it from, it is comforting to know that they can be found and created under unique circumstances. Perhaps the underlying message in the movie for me is that together we can do better, and that our joys and sorrows are interconnected.

Second Meeting, 16.2.2016:

During this second meeting of the Cinema Social group we had the pleasure of screening ”Bulgarian Roma” – a film made entirely by a former Diak student and graduate, Borislav ”Bobi” Borisov. Before the screening I only had some vague knowledge of the Roma people. I knew that they have been unjustly marginalised by society in practically every country in which they live, and that the impressions many have of them are solely negative: they are thieves, beggars, and will seize any opportunity to cheat you. While my own views of the Roma people were never this extreme, I must confess that after watching the short film, my own ideas about them took on a more positive slant.

In the film, Bobi interviewed about 4 different Bulgarian Roma men in Helsinki. The men had come to Finland to make money in order to support themselves and their families. The filming was intimate and compassionate. It seemed that, probably for the first time anywhere in the world, Roma people had a spotlight on them which was positive. I was struck by how the Bulgarian Roma men seemed to clearly understand the negative perceptions everybody else has about them, especially since they kept saying that they did not come to Finland to steal or kill. I found my heart breaking for them, for what they have had to endure in their lives.

Being part Bulgarian and speaking the language, Bobi was granted unprecedented access to these men. They showed him around their homes, which were their cars! In them they slept, cooked, dried their clothes. Again, I found myself being struck by the confronting nature of their everyday realities. Somehow, I felt ashamed. Ashamed that we, the rest of society, have done nothing to include them. Ashamed that we have perpetuated the unjust reputation which hangs like a ”sword of Damocles” over them. One of the men provides for himself and his wife and their family by collecting empty beverage cans. His age was then revealed to me: 34. That is how old I will be later this year, yet how different our life situations are. I began to imagine if I had been born as a Roma, perhaps this would be my life today. That thought disturbed me. How can life be so unfair for so many? It is true that we all have our particular crosses to bear in life. Many people deal with chronic illness, some with financial struggles, others with issues regarding ethnicity or race. What’s more common is that many must face several struggles. Clearly, the Bulgarian Roma people have dealt with a lot, and continue to face many challenges. In one of the interviews a man said, ”We all have red blood – all of us.” This hit me deep in my heart, and I had to write down these words. Once more, this told me the Roma people know all too well what the rest of society thinks of them. How awful it must be for anybody in this world to know that they are not liked, possibly even hated, and viewed with such overwhelming suspicion.

After the film was over, we began to discuss it with the group. We heard more about the challenging process Bobi faced in getting the film made, as well as the Roma people’s plight here in Helsinki. Bobi talked about how many homeless Roma live outside, even during the winter months, and we heard about how very few shelters are available to them. He talked about the work his organisation is doing, which is based in the Itäkeskus area, and that he is making a couple of more short films or documentaries about the Roma people. I was incredibly inspired by his passion, and felt happy that people like him have managed to find their way to such important work. It gave me a great boost of renewed motivation, so much so that I am considering contacting Bobi to see about doing a future placement with his organisation. I feel that learning under someone as passionate as him would be a positively worthwhile experience, for this work requires a certain passion, I feel. In Bobi’s case, it seems apparent that he has found his perfect niche, his quintessential target group. After watching his film and hearing him speak, it made me think about which target group I would most want to advocate on behalf of and help. My first experience was with refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq, and since then I have felt particularly passionate about their plight. Perhaps this will be the primary line I pursue, although any marginalised group speaks to my heart.

Third Meeting, 15.3.2016:

Today was the viewing of another thesis film/documentary by two former Diak students, Siaka K. Dibba and Abbie K.S. Barrow. Titled ”Deeper Than The Cut”, the film discusses the tragedy of FGM – female genital mutilation – specifically dealing with the practice as it exists in the West African country of The Gambia. A taboo subject for many years, though thankfully an issue which has been given the spotlight by various groups campaigning for the outlaw of its practice, FGM remains a problem strongly embedded in society as a result of centuries of tradition.

It was a fascinating screening, especially because the creator(s) of the film was present and able to share more insight into the making of the documentary. I have known of the FGM phenomenon for many years now, although during my own childhood and subsequent early adulthood spent in the West African country of Nigeria I never heard about it. Perhaps this is because it did not directly impact my own circle of family members. The first time I heard of this practice, however, I was appalled. It struck me and still strikes me as being a violation of human rights; a crime perpetrated against young girls and women under misguided beliefs. Moreover, even if such beliefs were justified, it would still be wrong in my opinion because a community is assuming control over an individual’s body.

What I found interesting and wonderful was that one of the creators of the film, and our presenter on the day, is a man. Surely lending a male voice to the movement in protest against this demeaning and destroying practice against women will do much to help in breaking down the taboo barriers and making change. Or at least that is my hope. Of course, both men and women, young and old, must come together in order to do this. Siaka shared with us that 42% of health professionals in The Gambia are in favour of FGM. This is shocking. Some claim that FGM is linked to Islam, the idea being that it helps keep a woman’s chastity and makes her ’clean’. However, Siaka shared with us that FGM actually predates Islam and Christianity, and so it would appear to be a tradition that is far more deeply ingrained in society than anyone could imagine, and therefore potentially makes it a much harder habit to break.

According to Siaka, and as we heard about in the film, outlawing the practice is not enough. Rather, campaigns against FGM must target people’s attitudes, and education is a good way of going about doing this. Even though a law finally exists in The Gambia which outlaws FGM, it remains a persistent phenomenon for the reason mentioned above. As Siaka said, a negative consequence of the law means that the practice will simply go underground, being done in secret.

In terms of spreading awareness and affecting positive change, Siaka mentioned that, because still largely taboo, when he and others speak about the issue with elders, they need to choose their wording carefully. He also shared with us some information about this phenomenon’s impact upon his own family. Coming from the Mandinka tribe, Siaka said that they practice FGM a lot. He also shared with us the intimate detail that all all the women in his family have been cut. I feel great respect for him for being bold enough and comfortable enough to be that forthcoming.

After the film we had a discussion which offered much of the information I wrote about above. Although I did not ask Siaka any questions, I found those asked by other members of the Cinema Social group to be very thoughtful, and led to Siaka opening up more about this topic. I found the afternoon to be most enlightening, and feel more passionately about this issue than before, if that is even possible. Despite the weight of the topic, a pleasant addition to the day came in the form of some cause bracelets we were given. Made in The Gambia, they were all different colours and had different phrases on them, such as #endfgm and #endvaw. In addition to these bracelets, Abbie had prepared some Gambian fried bean balls or frittbean balls were familiar to me, since in Nigeria I had eaten ’kose’ many times, which is essentially the exact same thing. Once again, it was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking Cinema Social group.

Fourth Meeting, 12.4.2016:

The second to last Cinema Social gathering welcomed Rostislav ”Rosti” Aalto, a Russian-born filmmaker who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Aalto University of Art and Design. Maija had hyped this particular session a lot over previous weeks. As such, I was really looking forward to seeing what it was about this visitor/host of today’s Cinema Social group that was so special. The session began with Rosti introducing himself and telling us a bit about his background, after which he then asked us to introduce ourselves. This was quite unlike our previous Cinema Social sessions in that we were mainly unknown to our previous hosts/filmmakers, whereas this time around we became known. I liked that. From this I could tell that Rosti was clearly in the business of interacting with people – which as a filmmaker is paramount to being able to tell their story. Clearly, he is an inquistive and curious person.

This session also differed from previous ones because we did not watch a full documentary film. Instead, we only viewed snippets from some of Rosti’s work. One told the story of a Kurdish refugee who had come to Finland. Another was about two old ladies in Odessa. The third was titled ”Trip To Aleppo”, and told the story of a Syrian man who had come to Finland as a refugee. After the recent Syrian war had broken out, this man took it upon himself to transport toys to Syrian children orphaned or somehow else affected by the war. It was incredibly poignant and moving.

As we watched, he would describe the style of the filming, often pausing the videos, and either rewinding or forwarding to particular points in the clips. In essence, his whole presentation was mainly to impart some basic knowledge about filming, potential styles of storytelling, and to give us some ideas about how to apply these to our own documentary-thesis. Before we watched the brief clips from some of his work, he had us perform a short creative exercise. It began with us thinking of 4-5 potential topics of interest to us which we, if given the opportunity, could make into a documentary. I could only think of 4: what it is like to grow up as a third culture kid; inequality; my family history; and the healing power of music.

Next, Rosti asked us to choose only one, and to think of what the main feeling or emotion behind the topic is. I chose my family history, and the emotion or feeling was happiness. After this, he asked us to think of one moment when we clearly experienced this feeling, and to write down words which related to that moment. In my case, it was of Sundays spent at the beach with my family. When this had been done, he announced that he wanted us to write a poem about that moment. Here is what I wrote:

The beach, my family; the sun, my happiness; the music, the waves; the birds flying free; I’m here at home; and yet I’m not; this nomad soul, this nomad heart; my happiness is where I choose to find it; and I find it here, in this moment – on the beach; with music playing, and laughter wild; what more could I want, this nomad child; the beach, my family; the sun, my happiness; it goes on and on, on and on.

After we were done, Rosti then asked us to take turns reading aloud our poems. Some of us did, while some of us did not. I was happy to create and share with the others, and found myself thoroughly enjoying the moment. I enjoyed the creativity and emotions of my peers. It was a wonderful exercise, the point of which was to show us that focusing on a particular emotion (even several) when telling a story is a tried and true method in filmmaking. Rosti told us that it is best to keep things simple, but to be bold enough to give, to share with others. As a creative person myself, having written songs for years with my band and for a recording artist in Nigeria, I fully understood what he meant. Life is truth, and truth is sharing. If we were not willing to give or to share, then art in all its forms would not exist.

Rosti was clearly passionate about what he does, and he was eager and anxious to show us more excerpts from his films. However, by this time it was almost 7 in the evening, and many of us had been working since 8 in the morning at our placements, having woken up even earlier in order to commute to them. I would have liked to hear more, but I had to listen to what my body was telling me: it was both hungry and exhausted. Still, the ideas which Rosti’s presentation sparked in me will remain, and if I end up creating a film for my thesis they will definitely come in handy.

Fifth and Final Meeting, 10.5.2016:

Unfortunately I was unable to participate in the final Cinema Social meeting. The reason why was due to an interview for a future placement. I found the Cinema Social course to be a worthwhile and highly motivating, interesting one. I sincerely hope there will be an opportunity next autumn for it to continue and for more Diak students to participate.

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Diak Areena 12.5.2016, Kenelle korkeakoulun kellot soivat? Koulutuksen tasa-arvo Suomessa

Diak Areena: Kenelle korkeakoulun kellot soivat? Koulutuksen tasa-arvo Suomessa.

DiakAreena tuo yhteen huippuasiantuntijat, opiskelijat, sosiaali- ja terveysalan ammattilaiset ja yhteiskunnan vaikuttajat. Tilaisuus on avoin kaikille.

Diak Areena –seminaari järjestettiin nyt kolmatta kertaa 12.5.2016. Tilaisuuden avasi rehtori Tapio Kujala.

Seminaarin pääpuhujana meillä oli tällä kertaa VTT Osmo Kivinen, joka on toiminut Turun yliopiston yhteiskuntatieteellisen tiedekunnan koulutussosiologian professorina vuodesta 1995. Kivinen on myös Koulutussosiologian tutkimuskeskuksen (RUSE) johtaja. Hänen erikoisalaansa ovat koulutusjärjestelmät, koulutuksen ja työn väliset suhteet, koulutuspolitiikka ja erityisesti korkeakoulutus. Koulutuksen periytyvyys ja koulutusmahdollisuuksien tasa-arvo ovat keskeisiä teemoja hänen tutkimuksissaan, ja näihin kysymyksiin hän keskittyi myös Diak Areenalle pitämässään esityksessä. Karismaattinen ja humaani lähestymistapa aiheeseen sekä vankka asiantuntijuus pitivät yleisön otteessaan. Osmo Kivinen vertasi suomalaista koulutusjärjestelmää kannattavaksi pitkäaikaiseksi sijoitukseksi. Hän totesi, että koulutusjärjestelmämme on globaalissa vertailussa yhä kärkijoukossa varsinkin naisten tarkasteltaessa.

Projektipäällikkö Sari Vilminko sekä sosionomi-diakoniopiskelija, opiskelijamentorikoordinaattori Katja Nuottila esittelivät seminaarissa Opin portailla Pohjois-Pohjanmaalla –hankkeen, jossa kehitetään sujuvampia koulutuspolkuja maahanmuuttajille ja romaneille sekä tarjotaan valmennusta opetus- ja ohjaushenkilöstön monikulttuurisen osaamisen kehittämiseen. ESR-rahoitteista hanketta toteuttavat Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Oulun Diakoniaopisto ja Oulun Seudun Ammattiopisto yhteistyössä Pohjois-Pohjanmaan ELY-keskuksen kanssa. Molemmat puhujista painottivat yhteistyön merkitystä ja mentoroitavien yksilöllisten sekä kulttuurisidonnaisten tarpeiden ja elämäntilanteiden huomioimista. Tärkeäksi koettiin myös mm. mentorin ja oppilaan maantieteellinen läheisyys, toiminnan moniulotteisuus sekä yhteisistä onnistumisista iloitseminen. Pienillä edistysaskeleilla ja aidolla kohtaamisella on suuri merkitys sujuvampiin opiskelupolkuihin

Alumnipuheenvuoroista vastasivat Degree Programme of Social Sciences -alumni Borislav Borisov sekä asioimistulkkauksen alumni Bakhcha Shaban. Borislav Borisov kertoi oman elämäntarinansa pienestä bulgarialaisesta kylästä peräisin olleesta pojasta, joka Diakin opintojen jälkeen on päässyt tekemään merkityksellistä työtä kaikkein haavoittuvimmassa asemassa olevien ihmisten hyväksi. Borislav työllistyi Diakonissalaitokselle Hirundo-projektiin suoraan valmistuttuaan. Päiväkeskus Hirundo palvelee liikkuvaa väestöä ja paperittomia tarjoamalla tukea ja neuvoa. Osa Diakin oppilaista suorittaa Hirundossa työharjoittelunsa ja tuntee Borislavin tätä kautta. Hirundo-projektin lisäksi Borislav toimii Global Clinicin vapaaehtoisena, kuvaa dokumenttielokuvia mm. Helsingin kodittomista ja toimii aktiivisena Diakin alumnina osallistuen mm. Cinema Social by Diak Alumni -toimintaan.
Borislav Borisovin sanoma oli selkeä ja voimaannuttava: oma osaaminen on hyödynnettävä muiden auttamiseen, ei ainoastaan oteta vaan annetaan takaisin.

Bakhcha Shaban on Diakilta valmistunut tulkki. Nykyään hän on sisäministeriön alaisena toimiva kielenkääntäjä. Bakhcha Shaban kertoi omista kokemuksistaan ensin suomenkielen ja myöhemmin Diakin opiskelijana. Hän painotti oman aktiivisuuden merkitystä ja kiitti Diakia, joka otti ensimmäisen askeleen kohti asioimistulkin ammattinimikkeen suojaamista. Bakhcha Shaban koki että suomalaista ammattikorkeakoulututkintoa arvostetaan työmarkkinoilla. Lopussa hän esitteli meille kauniin kurdinkielisen sanonnan ”aikuiset kaatavat vettä ja lapset laittavat jalkansa aikuisen kaatamaan veteen”. Tähän viisauteen meidän oli hyvä lopettaa seminaarimme tällä kertaa.

Osallistuneille tiedoksi: palautetta tilaisuudesta ja ideoita tulevalle voi jättää osoitteessa
www.catcher.fi/diak. Tai sähköpostiini: maija.kalm-akubardia@diak.fi
Seuraava Diak Areena järjestetään 20.10.2016. Lisätietoa sisällöstä ja esiintyjistä tulee hieman myöhemmin

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Ansu Sherrif: ​About the Cinema Social by Diak Alumni and its importance  

Why one could say social cinema program consist of numerous of advantages for its participants in general, because of massive illumination glimpse on all participant motives regardless in what way you are watching the movies, this newly brilliant way of learning full of advantages, experience, and ideas. In fact, I wonder why students are failing to perceive the excellent transformation of idea from this program, as for me, it’s my first time to participate such program of its type, there are  so many skills that best developed in comprehensive group discussion such as public debate, public speak and many more, I think social cinema program is one of the best places to practice these skills for all English speaking students, the main scenario in this program, is all about to inspire and actuate you in order to persuade your dream.

Vast majority of participants often tell stories very similar, to the current movie watching, which can gives a great imagination to other participants present. Social cinema program gives participant the possibility to clarify all unclear issues, and doubt about movies productions, its technic and how to begin your own innovation, precisely in movies productions as well. Letting audience and participants to know the importance of certain ideas and information that could inevitably open their mind and motivate them, by increasing their enthusiasm about the production of movies, in most cases, hearing another voice from someone else views you’ve never seeing before, or point of views magnify your imagination and enthuse you to be more motivated in the program. When I analyzed social cinema program, I realized many new things that could be learn within its context not just about movies

I am convinced that the social cinema program, could be one of the most effective way of delivery new idea or transformation of knowledge, which could entails a unique life experience for all participants in the program, whenever the story behind the movie is reveal, one can see a broad light of experience that will precipitate the producing of movies by every audience. I never knew anything about movie making at all, but since I initially started my participation in this social cinema program, my understanding in movie producing system is becoming increasingly higher, robust, and every time I go to watch a new film, I always gain a new idea and experience either from my colleagues or from the producer of the so-call film, this is one of the reason why I have boost, and endeavoring my motivation in this social cinema program, nonetheless, movies are varies anyway.

Some of the experiences and feelings I have gotten from this program, thought there many different types of movies one could choose to watch depending the objective of watching it, there will be no astonishing your gold will be achievable if only it is done through the context of social cinema program. The program has a  perfect and convenience time set for students, in order to be present after daily duties execution, at the time, I am relaxed from all daily activities, its gives me the sensation, and feeling which could allow me to experience the life that I may never really get to experience, by placing myself in the shoes of the main character being watched in the movies. Every times when I am watching the movies, I like to see the principal performer known as the protagonist in the movies, what he does especially; he’s action and adventures in the films.

Why is the movie touching sometimes, it's because most of the audience including myself tend to classify ourselves quickly at the beginning of the movies, which could influence us widely from many dimension while watching the movie, for example the problem of the protagonist and he’s emotion can quickly be part of us, I mean the audiences, while watching the movie. Nevertheless, true life story movies on the other hand, which could even allow me to witness and experience the life of other which was experience by them, in some cases, actions taken in real life story movies by the principal performer is admirable, when I analyzed how some were able to solved their problems, and endure the many challenges they faced during their life time, regardless of their living condition, environment, society, and community, geographically, in conclusion, one will say social cinema program could be proliferation program if its consistency continuous without interruption or cessation.

Ansu Sherrif.
Student of Degree Programme in Social Services

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Cinema Social by Diak Alumni: "The discussion with other students also introduced a compelling angle and remarks about the connection with the movie and the career we are pursuing."


Spring 2016 Milja Moilanen (Student of Degree Programme in Social Services)

19.1. Short Term 12

The movie Short Term 12 was a multifaceted film, which introduced many different viewpoints to the story. As discussed already at class after the film, it was showing the story from the trainee’s point of view, as well as from the residential facility staff’s and clientele’s point of view, but the plot concentrated also to the personal standpoint of all of the characters. I found all of the perspectives easy to identify with and as we discussed in class, probably many social service students can relate to the story on some level. It is discussed in the beginning of our studies how the chosen career path of social service workers can and will be personal at some point. Many of us have some sort of experience of the social sector, some of us might have personal background of being a client or worker in the field and this same kind of experience came across in the movie.

I personally related to Grace’s character as I have had some trauma related to my youth, even though not as severe as in the movie, it has affected my relationship, my career choices, experience on the working field as well as my motherhood. Of course, movies are always made by exaggerating the reality and drama is often supplemented, however in Short Term 12 all this was done very carefully and with dignity to those whom the movie’s setting might concern. Even though I plan not to work in the same setting as Grace, I find it important that such worker has some kind of similar life experience as the clients might have. Obviously, it does not have to be the same trauma with the client, but some kind of knowledge of the feelings that the person you are working with is going through, is important in order to identify and approach the problems or difficulties that are on the way of better life quality of the client.

There is a somewhat new trend in the social field, especially in the organizational level, to use experience experts to provide and plan services. Albeit a social service worker needs to have an academic knowledge of human development and behavior; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors (socialworkers.org), it is a good addition to a team of academically educated staff to have some experts with the same experience as the clientele has, or better yet to have educated staff with personal expertise on shared experiences with the clientele, as in the movie. During my practice period in VVA (Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry.) I underwent same feelings as the trainee (Nate) in the movie did. I thought I have nothing really in common with the clientele of VVA and in the beginning I was, if not disgusted as the trainee in the movie but maybe a little scared or at least prudent wit the clients who were often under the influence of various substances. As the practice went further I learned, however, many similarities among us and I gained confidence to confront the people with their differences using my own personality and knowledge of the feelings the clients might have had. Even though I could have not understood all the feelings (some clients there were severely discriminated and socially isolated) I was able to relate to those feelings in a smaller scale and I also was willing to hear and learn about their experiences.

 I think the movie was highlighting (for reasons mentioned above; adding drama and humor etc.) the trainee’s differences with the youth and his unwillingness to set himself on the same level with the clients, yet he found a concrete utility to create relationship with one of the residents, with whom it was difficult for any staff member to create contact with. Indeed, I think that scene where Nate found Sammy’s (I think his name was Sammy) toy character (or whatever it was between the couch cushions), told a lot about the first and important breakthrough of a new employee or a trainee where a start for a new trust and a companionship is created at work. Such little, yet decisive gesture decreases the client-worker gap tremendously and create confidence and also shows the worker’s or trainee’s ability to sensitize and notice the client’s necessities and interests.

In conclusion the movie mirrors realistically and respectfully the diverse setting of a youth facility and not only that, but other fields of social work and the different feelings, experience and occurrences of the field and the people in it. It would be interesting to discuss about the movie with a person without a connection to the social work, however to see the movie as a part of my studies, I made really interesting and valuable observations that would have probably left without attention if seen in another environment and mentality. The discussion with other students also introduced a compelling angle and remarks about the connection with the movie and the career we are pursuing.

REFERENCES: https://www.socialworkers.org/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2370248/

  16.2. The Bulgarian Roma In Finland

This short film by Borislav Borisov narrates individual stories of the Bulgarian Roma living in Finland. The movie opens some of the reasons why this moving community has come to Finland and what are their lives like here and back in Bulgaria. My thoughts of the topic of the film are not objective, as this topic is very important to my studies. I am working on thesis in cooperation with Hirundo, where Borislav is also working and which is a day center for Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants.

Borislav has captured the struggles on the film in a way that portraits objective narration about the topic. I mean this film is a useful device in opening a discussion for different viewpoints around the “Roma issue”, which has been introduced in mainly negative way in the mainstream media. Even though it should make the viewer sympathize with the discriminated group, it still does it in a way that the viewer will get very honest picture of this group and their motivation for being here. I think the public in Helsinki (as a matter of fact, I know this, because of the research and discussion done for my thesis and other projects) has gained misguided information about the motives for the Bulgarian (and Romanian) Roma for being here in Helsinki. Many people cannot eve relate to their problems, because we live in socially secured country, where only very few belong to as discriminated and socially excluded group as the people who Bobie has interviewed.

The biggest problem with the public opinion about the Roma immigrants is, that this group has been stigmatized as dishonest, yet there is more evidence of honest Roma immigrants than the opinion suggests. Borislav’s film brings precisely that issue out in the film. Unfortunately it takes more than a person from the discriminated group telling that they are not thieves nor dishonest to change the negative image but initiatives like this film are in the key role to start open the doubtful minds of the public, both here in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

What inspired me most in the film and in the work with the Roma immigrants in Finland is their cheerful attitude towards life even though their situation is severe. The most of these immigrants lack of basic everyday necessities in life, yet they have not stopped smiling and being optimistic. I like the fact that the film portraits this characteristic of the people as it is something that we should all learn from them.

15.3. Deeper Than the Cut

Siaka Dibba and Abbie Barrow have created a short documentary as their thesis work, which aims to figure out why there is still such a vast convention of female genital mutilation in Gambia, after decades of advocacy against this human rights violation. The film has various professionals and advocates who speak up in order to prove this tradition to be harmful, against human rights and wrong.
I appreciated that Dibba and Barrow had brought up the reciprocal opinion as well, even though the interviewee walked out of the scene in the middle of the interview. I understand the pressure of the society for this type of tradition, however as Siaka explained, not all the mothers are willing to let their daughters to undergo the cutting. But even with the mother’s resistance many girls are cut and as a mother of a girl I cannot understand how someone would let this kind of cruelty happened to their daughter, no matter how strong the pressure from outside might be. Therefore I was longing for thoughts of these mothers (or other relatives) who resist the tradition but who still against their will have had their daughters undergo the cutting. However it was a delight to see the vast resistance through organizations and people like Siaka himself.

The film was (no matter what Siaka says) done in very professional manner and the narration, picture and other artistic aspects were framing the serious topic in a very beautiful way. I would have watched this film for hours, because the topic and the way the film was done were so interesting. Usually when a film discusses topic as serious as this one, especially with this issue that has been advocated against for such a long time with only slim results the feeling that remains are not very hopeful, but this film left me thinking that a lot good things are happening in order to end FGM.

 As it was discussed in the film and after the film, illegalizing FGM might only take the practice to be executed underground and I don’t really know whether it is good or not. But it is a start. The more important facet in the process of ending FGM, I think, is the attitude change, which many of the advocates were referring to. Separating FGM from the religion and educating the young women about the consequences and harms of this tradition will hopefully turn the percentage of cutting to decline. I also think (I cannot remember whether the film discussed about it or not) that bringing the FGM from only women’s issue to the male citizens agenda too will make a huge difference. It is fruitless and unfair that men wash their hands off of this issue as it concerns physically only women. A human right violation is never restricted to only one sex, but affects both sexes as the violators are both those who are dealing with the issue physically and those who remain silent about the discriminating practice. Also if the men think that FGM is happening for valid reasons, then they are opposing the change and therefore involved in the violation of human rights.   


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Sari Ilvonen, YAMK-alumni vuodelta 2011:”Ylemmän AMK-tutkinnon suorittaminen kannatti, ehdottomasti! Terveyden edistäminen sopii tähän työhön kuin nenä päähän” (haastatteli Katja Helander, Diak)

Ehkäisevän päihde- ja mielenterveystyön koordinaattori Sari Ilvonen suoritti ylemmän ammattikorkeakoulututkinnon Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulun Porin toimipisteessä vuonna 2011. Nykyään hän on töissä Porin perusturvan psykososiaalisissa palveluissa. Sarin mielestä sosiaalialan ylemmän ammattikorkeakoulututkinnon suorittaminen kannatti ehdottomasti. Hän kokee, että opinnot kannustivat häntä kehittämään omaa työtään ja lisäsivät ammatillista ennakkoluulottomuutta. Lisäksi ne syvensivät ja laajensivat hänen osaamistaan. Ennen sosionomi (YAMK) tutkinnon suorittamista Sari oli jo opiskellut Diakissa sekä sosionomin (AMK) että sairaanhoitajan (AMK) tutkinnot. YAMK-tutkinnon suuntautumisvaihtoehto, terveyden edistäminen, sopi Sarille erinomaisesti, sillä siinä hänen oli mahdollista syventää sekä sosiaali- että terveysalan osaamistaan. Opintoihin osallistuikin usean eri sosiaali- ja terveysalan AMK-koulutuksen suorittaneita, etupäässä sairaanhoitajia, sosionomeja ja fysioterapeutteja.
Terveyden edistämisen YAMK-tutkinto toteutettiin monimuoto-opetuksena. Opetuksessa oli lähipäiviä vähän, mutta ne olivat Sarista sitäkin laadukkaampia. Pienten lasten työssäkäyvälle äidille monimuoto-opiskelu mahdollisti perheen, työn ja opintojen yhteensovittamisen. Sari koki, että opinnot toivat hänelle uutta tulokulmaa, nimenomaan terveyden edistämisestä ja sen laajuudesta. Hän arvosti sitä, että YAMK-tutkinto ei ollut puhtaasti sosiaalialan tutkinto. Opinnot olivat hyvin työelämälähtöisiä, tehtävät oli alusta lähtien mahdollista kytkeä omaan työhön. YAMK-tutkinnon järjestämisestä vastasivat yhteistyössä Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu ja Satakunnan ammattikorkeakoulu.
Sarin nykyisessä työtehtävässä on kelpoisuusvaatimuksena ylempi AMK -/ maisterin tutkinto. Hänen työnkuvansa ehkäisevän päihde- ja mielenterveystyön koordinaattorina on laaja. Koordinaattorin tehtävänä on vaikuttaa sekä päihteiden saatavuuden sääntelyyn että kysynnän ehkäisyyn. Saatavuuden rajoittamisessa on olennaista tiivis yhteistyö kauppojen, ravintoloiden, huoltamoiden ja pelimyyjien kanssa. Toiminnan keskeisenä ideana on motivoida elinkeinoelämän toimijoita noudattamaan tupakan, alkoholin ja pelien ikärajoja ja kannustaa vastuulliseen myyntiin, anniskeluun ja pelaamiseen. Päihteiden kysynnän ehkäisyssä korostuu lasten ja vanhempien päihdekasvatus erityisesti ala- ja yläkouluissa sekä toisella asteella. Koordinaattorin työtehtäviin kuuluu erilaisten tapahtumien, infojen ja vanhempainiltojen järjestäminen. Koulutoimen lisäksi Sari tekee yhteistyötä muidenkin hallintokuntien, kuten nuoriso- ja liikuntatoimen kanssa.
Ehkäisevän päihde- ja mielenterveystyön koordinaattorina Sarin työkenttään kuuluu myös nuorten päihteiden käytön varhaisen puuttumisen mallin toteuttaminen, nuorisopäivystys sekä Porin Perusturvan muiden ammattilaisten kouluttaminen ja koulutusten järjestäminen. Varhaisen puuttumisen mallissa viranomaiset ilmoittavat koordinaattorille alaikäisistä lapsista ja nuorista, jotka jäävät ensikertaa kiinni päihteiden käytöstä. Koordinaattori keskustelee päihteiden käytöstä lasten ja nuorten kanssa ja varmistaa, että myös vanhemmat ovat tietoisia jälkikasvunsa käytöksestä ja Perusturvan tarjoamasta tuesta. Nuorisopäivystyksessä Porin Perusturvan työntekijät, jotka kuuluvat virka-ajan ulkopuoliseen päivystysrinkiin, jalkautuvat kaupungille nuorten pariin keskustelemaan ja varmistamaan, ettei päihtyneitä nuoria jätetä heitteille. Porin lisäksi Perusturvan yhteistoiminta-alueeseen kuuluvat Ulvilan ja Merikarvian kunnat.
Diakin Sari Ilvonen valitsi aikoinaan opinahjokseen siksi, että hän arvosti Diakin tarjoamaa mahdollisuutta eettisiin pohdintoihin. Sosiaali- ja terveysalan työtehtävissä etiikka ja arvovalinnat ovat päivittäin läsnä, joten työntekijän on hyvä olla tietoinen omista arvoistaan ja valintojensa vaikutuksista. ”Eettiset pohdinnat ovat kasvattavia kaikille sosiaalialan työntekijöille. Lait ja asetukset eivät määritä kaikkea, työntekijöille jää paljon valtaa ja vastuuta. Ainakin itse haluaisin, että työntekijä, joka käyttää minuun valtaa, tekee sitä tietyltä arvopohjalta”, Sari toteaa. Pienen ammattikorkeakoulun vahvuudeksi Sari nostaa yhteisöllisyyden ja joustavuuden: ”Opiskelijoiden keskinäinen yhteistyö oli tiivistä ja opettajat olivat joustavia, mutta kantoivat samalla huolta myös opintojen etenemisestä.”
huhtikuu 19
Asmara Riaz: My experience with Cinema Social by Diak Alumni

I got to know about cinema social through one of our alumni emails from student office. First of all it was a breeze of fresh air to receive something which is extended for everyone and we are not segregated in groups DSS-S, DSS-D, C33, C35, etc. And of course it was a connection with Diak once again and the most exciting part was that it is in our new campus (Yes, we alumni feel left out from this awesome new campus you newbies are enjoying :p). After my bachelors I was trying hard to get some extra credits (in English of course) in social services which can help me in my Master’s admission in universities. So I enrolled in for the credits and for the sheer fun of going back to Diak and hopefully meet other alumni.

My first movie of the event was “Deeper than cut” presented by Siaka as part of his bachelor thesis. I know Siaka because we have worked as tutors in O’Diako and also because he has chosen the same exchange place as me. The movie was really aspiring and inspiring for me. The grip on subject and the way they directed the movie was definitely a work of professionals. I was overwhelmed how they showed the social issue of genital mutilation in its core form, along with the required drama to engage the audience.
After the movie, the discussion started which I thought will be boring and studious (because I am not a student anymore duh..). On the contrary, it turned out a very deep and emotional experience which left a room in our minds to think about our future and present condition of women who are still in danger of facing the incision. And later the most surprising part was Ghanian treat prepared for all of us, which somehow reminded me of a street food in Pakistan, and once again question of geographical distances and variety of cultures left me spellbound. It always came up in my mind when I think about how countries and cultures, so far from each other, share the same things?

Meeting alumni, my old friends and of course meeting new students in the event was itself a wonderful experience. I would like to watch more documentaries if possible in the same setup, some which are maybe a bit longer so that we have lot to talk about it later. This feeling I had in my second event where we met with very talented and inspiring Mr. Rostislav Aalto, who has shared his experience of movie making (documentary making) with us.

The first part of the evening came as a surprise when Mr. Aalto asked us to pen down our five stories on paper which we want to tell. Out of those five he asked us to pick one and associate a feeling with it, out of these four; Love, Happiness, Fear and Hate. When we are done with it he asked us to write a poem about that. Everyone present there, including me, hesitatingly started to write thinking that we are not poets. After 5-10 minutes he asked us to read it in front of whole class, which requires a lot of courage and lot of opening up in front of bunch of strangers. Everyone seems hesitant and then almost all, except a few, shared our poems. When I heard them saying it, I can see the faces, feelings, people, hidden beneath the exteriors, who are expressing their childhood memories, their utmost fears and their most cherished and loved moments. Most of them, except me of course, were exceptionally talented in poem writing and described it beautifully.

At the end of this experience, we all felt more opened up and more human and I think that was the purpose of this exercise to show us the power of storytelling. Later Mr. Aalto described his process of making his documentary and told us about his experiences. At that time I felt a little out of the place, as documentary was in Finnish language or with Finnish subtitles, and also instead of showing us the full documentary he choose to tell the process of its making while pausing it in between. Being a social service alumni and seeking a place in master’s degree in social sciences, my core interest was to learn more about his experiences on personal and emotional level. Being a movie buff and documentary fan, I was expecting to see the full documentary with English subtitles (if possible) instead of listening the technical and practical aspects of movie making. However, apart from that little hiccup, my experience of that evening was very enlightening and I appreciate the efforts of Maija, Diak and Mr. Aalto. And hope that this feedback will be taken in positive light.
I am looking forward to see more documentaries with like-minded people and then having a fruitful discussion later on the subject. Also I would like to thank Maija and Diak for providing us with the opportunity and hope to see events like this in future.
Thanks for reading so far, 

Asmara Riaz

Diak Alumni 2015/Degree Programme in Social Services

Personal assistant and an active volunteer

Intern for the Maailma kylässä -project


huhtikuu 05
Mirikle Nousiainen: Oman ammattitaidoin kehittäminen, vierailu Thaimaan sote-alan palveluissa

​"Olin asettanut tavoitteita koskien hoitopolkua, kuntoutusmetodeita ja hoitajien jaksamista. Lisäksi pohdin turvallisuusnäkökulmaa ja osaamisen kehittämistä. Näin jälkeenpäin ajateltuna tavoitteeni olivat osittain ennakkoluulojeni ohjaamia. Sain vastaukset näihin peruskysymyksiin, mutta opin paljon enemmän."

 Mirikle Nousiaisen raportti Oman ammattitaidon kehittäminen, vierailu Thaimaan sote-alan palveluissa.

Raportti on osa vapaasti valittavia opintoja joita hän suorittaa terveysalan koulutusohjelmassa (Syrjäytymisvaarassa olevien terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin edistäminen, YAMK, Diak)

 Mirikle Nousiainen, raportti Bangkok.pdfMirikle Nousiainen, raportti Bangkok.pdf

huhtikuu 04
Ville Valkeamäki, Seta: Hanketyötä ja yhdenvertaista vanhuutta

​Valmistuin Diakonia-ammattikorkeasta viime vuonna ja olen sen jälkeen ehtinyt olemaan kahdessakin sosiaalialan hankkeessa. Olen kokenut, että Diakonia-ammattikorkeakoulu antaa erinomaiset valmiudet hankkeissa työskentelyyn, sillä koko opiskeluaika oli erikokoisia ryhmätöitä ja osallistumista pienempiin ja suurempiin ”hankkeisiin”. Havaintojen ja kokemusten kirjaaminen yhdessä muiden aiemmin tutkittujen lähteiden kanssa sujuu kymmenien kirjallisten tehtävien jälkeen hyvällä rutiinilla ja työkavereiden vaihtuminen tuntuu tutulta monien harjoitteluiden kokemuksella.

Paljon puhutaan koko alan hankkeistamisesta eli siitä, miten hankkeet aina seuraavat toisiaan ja kaikki hankkeissa saadut hyvät käytännöt eivät aina tule osaksi muiden työntekijöiden arkea ja osaamista. Hanketyöntekijöillä korostuu kaikessa tekemisessä hankkeessa aikaan saadun kehityksen jatkuminen hankkeen loputtua. Käytännössä tämä on kirjaamista, raportointia, kouluttamista ja osallistumista moniin ammattilaisille suunnattuihin tapahtumiin. Eli oikeastaan juuri sitä, mitä koulussa jatkuvasti oman ryhmän tai isommankin yleisön edessä harjoittelimme.

Olen juuri aloittanut työt ihmisoikeusjärjestö Setassa Yhdenvertainen vanhuus-projektissa. Projekti on osa Ray:n rahoittamaa Eloisa ikä-ohjelmaa ja kaksiosaisen projektin toinen osuus päättyy tämän vuoden loppuun. Hankkeen tarkoituksena on tehdä sukupuolen ja seksuaalisen suuntautumisen moninaisuus näkyväksi vanhuspalveluissa.

Sateenkaariseniorit ovat olleet hyvin näkymätön ryhmä ikäihmisille tarkoitetuissa palveluissa ja 2012 vanhustyöntekijöille (92 vastaajaa) tehdyn kyselyn tuloksista kävi ilmi, että iso osa työntekijöistä oli siinä uskossa, ettei ollut työssä kohdannut yhtään seksuaali- tai sukupuolivähemmistöön kuuluvaa asiakasta. Vanhuspalveluissa käytetyissä alkutietolomakkeissa ei useinkaan voinut kertoa olevansa rekisteröidyssä parisuhteessa eikä sukupuoleksi voinut merkitä muuta kuin mies tai nainen. Seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöihin kuuluvien asiakkaiden näkökulmasta tilanne näyttäytyi ahdistavana. Heille samana vuonna tehdyn kyselyn (103 vastaajaa) mukaan moni oli jättänyt palveluja käyttämättä, koska pelkäsi tulevansa epäasiallisesti kohdelluksi joko työntekijöiden tai muiden asiakkaiden taholta. Sateenkaariseniorit tunsivat, että henkilökunnalla ei ole tietoa sukupuolen ja seksuaalisen suuntautumisen moninaisuudesta. Vanhuuden pelättiin pahimmillaan merkitsevän paluuta kaappiin ja oman itsensä tai pitkänkin parisuhteen salaamiseen.

Monilla sateenkaarisenioreilla on vielä tuoreessa muistissa aika, jolloin homoseksuaalisuus oli Suomessa sekä rikos että sairaudeksi luokiteltava asia. Transvestisuus poistettiin tautiluokituksesta vasta vuonna 2011. Pitkään jatkunut syrjinnän tai epäasiallisen kohtelun pelko voi aiheuttaa vanhuspalvelujen asiakkaissa vähemmistöstressiksi kutsuttua ahdistusta siitä, että kohtaamiset ammattilaisten ja muiden asiakkaiden kanssa tarkoittavat uusia kokemuksia syrjinnästä. Vähemmistöstressi voi aiheuttaa esimerkiksi sen, että jos palveluja käyttävä henkilö kuulee epäasiallista kommentointia samaa sukupuolta olevista pariskunnista, voi hän jättää sen vuoksi kokonaan palvelun käyttämättä. Vahvasti normatiiviset kysymykset voivat tuntua asiakkaista kiusallisilta ja asiakas saattaa jättää oleellisiakin asioita elämästään kertomatta, kun kokee että kysymystenasettelulla häntä yritetään johdattaa tiettyyn ennalta määrättyyn muottiin. Avoimet kysymykset puolisosta tai ihmiselle tärkeistä läheisistä sekä muista asioista, joita haluaa hoitohenkilökunnan ottavan huomioon, toimivat hyvin sekä vähemmistöihin kuuluville että muillekin asiakkaille. Kysymys aviomiehestä tai aviovaimosta voi olla monelle liian määrittelevä ja tästä syystä olisikin hyvä kysyä esimerkiksi puolisosta tai kumppanista.

Yhdenvertainen vanhuus -projektissa on tähän mennessä koulutettu satoja vanhustyön ammattilaisia ja opiskelijoita. Useimmiten koulutuksen päätyttyä tulee palautetta siitä, että aiheesta olisi pitänyt saada tietoa jo osana sosiaali- ja terveysalan peruskoulutusta. Yhdenvertaisen kohtelun periaatteet kuuluvat oleellisesti kaikkien sosiaali- ja terveysalan asiakkaiden kohtaamiseen, mutta on hyvä myös tunnistaa niitä tiettyjä sateenkaarisenioreihin liittyviä erityispiirteitä, joita ei välttämättä tiedä ellei ole aiheeseen päässyt perehtymään. Sosiaalisen esteettömyyden toteutuminen vaatii meiltä ammattilaisilta tietoa, asennetta ja osaamista.

Omassa koulutuksessani asiaa käsiteltiin hyvin suppeasti ja opetus oli ulkoistettu HeSetalle, jonka työntekijä piti meille aiheesta yhden tunnin luennon. Tämän lisäksi sukupuolen- ja seksuaalisen suuntautumisen moninaisuudesta oli yksi valinnainen verkkokurssi, vaikka myös tämän näkökulman ottaminen jokaisen asiakasryhmän kohdalla olisi ollut tärkeää. Toivonkin, että tämän hankkeen jälkeen ammattilaisten ja opiskelijoiden koulutus jatkuu muodossa tai toisessa - ei ulkoistettuna, vaan koulujen omana opetuksena. Uskon, että tiedon lisääntyessä myös kohtaamiset lisääntyvät.  Seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöihin kuuluu joidenkin arvioiden mukaan noin 5–10 prosenttia väestöstä eikä ihmisten moninaisuus ainakaan vähene iän karttuessa. Vanhukset eivät todellakaan ole mikään yksi yhtenäinen ryhmä vaan moninaisuutta löytyy aivan samoin kuin nuoremmissa sukupolvissa.

Toivon, ettei ikä tarkoita kenellekään pakkoa asettua ulkoa annettuihin normeihin tai raameihin, vaan tuo mahdollisuuden tulla kohdatuksi aidosti omana itsenään ja arvostettuna yksilönä. Tässä meillä alan ammattilaisilla on iso rooli ja voimme omalla esimerkillämme ja osaamisellamme tarjota yhdenvertaisen vanhuuden asiakkaillemme.
Alta olevasta linkistä löydät lisätietoja projektista ja siihen liittyvistä kyselyistä. Sivulta löytyy myös aiheeseen liittyvä Haluaisin pystyä kertomaan -video, jota voin suositella jokaiselle vanhustyöstä kiinnostuneelle.


Ville Valkeamäki
Sosionomi vuosimallia 2015
Yhdenvertainen vanhuus- projekti II
Seta ry

1 - 10Seuraava

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