Deaconess Foundation’s Christmas campaign kicks off – giving young people a reason to live!

15.11.2019

There are over 60 000 young people in Finland left out of the education system and work. All too many youngsters suffer loneliness, mental health and substance problems, homelessness, bullying at school, and lack of money.

 

This year, the Deaconess Foundation is again running the Reason to Live Christmas campaign, which aims to ensure that increasingly more youngsters get the help and support they need to realise their dreams, and find their own resources and place in society.

“There are too many young people in Finland in difficult situations, who are left alone with their problems or who for some reason have not received help. Many young people may see their future as hopeless. They may even feel that there is really no reason to live, ”says Terhi Laine, director of the Deaconess Foundation’s Vamos services.”

Kati, who is the face of the Christmas campaign this year, told us about her own situation:

“First came depression, and then anxiety and panic attacks. The diagnoses piled up but I couldn’t get help. I couldn’t see any tomorrow. And I couldn’t care less that I couldn’t see it. Nothing mattered, but I didn’t have the courage to kill myself.”

“I held off right till the end. I thought that at Vamos there’d be someone judging me again. But I was treated with compassion, not seen as a problem or a diagnosis but as a human being. It was almost the first time I’d felt like this.”

Vamos has helped over 12 000 young people

Created over a decade ago, Vamos has already helped 12,000 young people in eight localities. More than 50% of Vamos young people return to school or work within a year and 87% feel their lives have changed for the better. Every young person starting at Vamos gets his or her own support person who has time to get to know and meet his or her needs. Support is provided for everyday life as well as for future planning. Together, they gradually, they work out a path for the young person to school or work.

“Now, if you were to ask where I would see myself in five years, I would be able to answer. I see myself working with computers, coding and e-sports. No one is a hopeless case. All you have to do is find the right path. I’d have wanted to know this ten years ago.”

Laine says: “I hope that ordinary people and businesses will join our campaign so that we can help as many young people as possible next year.” And asks: “Can we adults give a youngster a better Christmas present than a reason to live?”

It’s easy to donate to the Christmas campaign

You can make a donation via

– the campaign website www.hdl.fi/syyelaa

– by bank transfer to account number FI85 2065 1800 1084 62, message: Christmas Gift for the Young.

  • by texting TOIVO to 16499 (€20)

The proceeds of the campaign are used to support young people through the services of the Deaconess Foundation.

On social media the campaign has the hashtag #syyelää. Everyone can support to the campaign by stating what or who is your reason to live.

Fundraising permit: RA / 2019/120, issued 7 February 2019, National Police Board. Valid from 1.6.2019 – 31.5.2021 throughout Finland except the Åland Islands.

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