Helsinki Deaconess Institute is a public utility foundation and a multifaceted social enterprise group with several subsidiaries. The group provides wide-ranging social welfare, health care and education services. The proceeds from the group's operations and assets are used to promote health and well-being and to build a more just society.
Helsinki Deaconess Institute offers child and youth welfare services, housing and employment support, substance abuse services, mental health programmes, and educational services. Helsinki Deaconess Institute also engages in development cooperation. In addition to service production, all of the Institute's operations promote civic activity.
The group employs roughly 1,600 people with an annual operating volume in the region of MEUR 150.
Helsinki Deaconess Institute was founded in 1867.
Helsinki Deaconess Institute’s project, entitled The Unprotected Project, does out-reach work to contact and provide information and support for undocumented and irregular migrants. The project also coordinates volunteers, who for example can support and assist the undocumented migrants to receive social services.
This year the Helsinki Deaconess Institute turns 150. To mark the occasion the Institute has published a history of its work, Ihmisen arvo – Helsingin Diakonissalaitos 150 vuotta (Human Dignity – 150 Years of the Helsinki Deaconess Institute). Its author is Dr Jyrki Paaskoski and the book is published by Edita Publishing.
The 150th anniversary celebrations of the Helsinki Deaconess Institute began on 5 January with a lantern festival. More than a hundred people came to the institute to light up the winter darkness, while many more were there in spirit.
The Helsinki Deaconess Institute is one of Finland’s oldest communities in continuous operation. It was established in 1867 as a hospital for infectious diseases and a place where young women were trained as deaconesses to assist people in distress. For the past 150 years, the institute has pioneered new solutions in social terrains where human dignity is under threat.