Our new team member Elias

Our new team member Elias will introduce himself. We are pleased to have him as a part of the StepEurope team.

Hello all! I am Elias. I am doing a work practice in StepEurope ry until the end of March. I have been participating to some of StepEurope’s activities in my free time since the summer of 2016 as a volunteer while also working full time job.

I have studied human rights law and graduated from Åbo Akademi University in 2015. I have always been interested in advocacy and promotion of human rights. During my work practice at StepEurope I have the opportunity to develop my professional experiences. Besides the basic office tasks, marketing and organizing events, I have engaged in human rights education and trainings. I have been organizing two workshops at Novia UAS on the issue of migration, asylum seeking in youth work and also coordinating and preparing the restaurant day with Stepeurope’s volunteers and team. I will also be a co-trainer during our international training “Not just numbers: migration, asylum seeking and youth work” in December.


Uusi tiimiläisemme Elias esittelee nyt itsensä teille. Olemme iloisia siitä, että  olemme saaneet hänet osaksi tiimiämme.

Hei kaikki! Olen Elias. Teen työharjoittelua StepEurope ry:ssä maaliskuuhun saakka. Olen myös osallistunut joihinkin StepEuropen tapahtumiin jo vapaa-ajallani kesästä 2016 lähtien vapaaehtoisena työn ohella.

Olen opiskellut ihmisoikeuksia ja valmistuin Åbo Akademi yliopistosta vuonna 2015. Minua on aina kiinnostaneet kertoa ja puolustaa ihmisoikeuksia. Työharjoitteluni aikana StepEurope:ssa minulla on mahdollisuuksia kehittää ammattitaitoani. Normaalien toimistotöiden, markkinoinnin ja tapahtumien järjestämisen lisäksi, olen samaa mieltä ihmisoikeuksien koulutuksesta ja kouluttamisesta. Olen organisoinut kaksi työpajaa Novia UAS:ssa siirtolaisten ongelmista, turvapaikan hakeminen ja nuorisotyö ja myös koordinoinut ja järjestellyt ravintolapäivää StepEuropen tiimin ja vapaaehtoisten kanssa. Tulen myös olemaan ohjaajana kansainvälisessä “Not just Number”- koulutuksessa joulukuussa. Osa-alueisiini kuuluvat maahanmuutto, turvapaikan hakeminen ja nuorisotyö.


Best regards.

Elias Ayele





Wow, we just had a blast last week in Italy! We enjoyed the trip full hearted and fell in love with the beautiful people from all around Europe. We made some good friends and had so much fun exploring the streets of Cagliari Sardinia with them. The city is gorgeous with its old architecture. And the food was excellent – everywhere! StepEurope sent us to Cagliari, Sardinia to participate seminar called Migration 2020: Towards Sustainable Inclusion. This seminar was part of Erasmus+ project and it was arranged by NGO called ”Studenti per la Cittá”. Their staff members and leaders made everything possible to take good care of the participants of the seminar and we had a five star experience because of their hard work. We couldn’t be more happy! Our hearts are full of gratitude towards each one of them and also towards StepEurope that made our trip possible. Thank you so much!


“I find I’m so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” – Quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption – It took us 20 hours to get to Cagliari from Finland. We took a bus to Helsinki, then a plane to Amsterdam, then another plane to Milan Malpensa where we needed a bus and a taxi to move to the next airport Milan Linate. From there we took our last flight to Cagliari and needed just one more ride by train and a little walk to arrive at our hostel. I can tell you it was all worth it! However the night before our trip we felt quite anxious. We weren’t
sure what it was going to be like. How would we – two Finnish girls – find our way in Milan in the middle of the night? Perhaps all the best adventures always start from that moment of ”not knowing how’s it gonna be”. To experience something new we needed to say farewells to our comfort zone. It felt a bit scary but wonderful at the same time. Everything worked out well. We found our way and once we opened our hostel window and saw the view to the old city we knew the bigger and more beautiful adventure was just about to take place.


So what did we actually learn? We were more than happy to participate to Learning by doing -method paced teaching. It was relaxing and nostalgic to use real paper and pencils. The effects of mobilization are easily seen in teaching today. At least for me personally it is easier to focus when I can do something with my hands and talk about the subject. I was surprised how well we dealt with this huge phenomenon of Migration so deeply and diversely in only one week. I think the main reason behind it was the joyful atmosphere and the practical methods we used.


To end this blog we would like to encourage you to meet Italian people and pay attention to their lively hand signals. We were amazed by the way the Italians express themselves through their body language. We learnt a lot of new ways to talk using only our hands and facial expressions. We made a teaching video about some of them.



<3- Asta and Elisa

Finland’s Bright Future for Sustainable Development

Finland has been promoting sustainable development for many years. As Finland is reaching 100 years, The National Commission on Sustainable Development headed by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä wants to provide a special gift to Finland- a more sustainable future. To achieve this the commission introduced the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, laying down the shared goals and the framework for sustainable development across Finland.

Finnish people are actively working to promote sustainable development to provide for a better future. In October the University of Turku together with the Student Union hosted Sustainable Development Week. They had a wide range of activities to promote and enhance thinking on sustainable development in the country. There was an insect evening, providing info on how to solve worlds hunger problems with a session focusing on how Insect and Cricket Farms can be used as a good source of food in the future. Otto Selenius, an insect specialist, presented on the topic and even offered an opportunity to try cooking and eating crickets at the venue. In addition, there was a documentary film shown called Little Yellow Boots, Inequality Coffee, a flea market & program about sustainable consuming. This event really spread awareness to students and all participants on how to really implement sustainable development in daily life.

StepEurope ry also got in on the cause and movement. This summer StepEurope ry organized a Gardening Project. The organization believes that sustainability is an essential subject in today’s World, where our generation is facing big challenges like global warming and climate change. The Gardening Project aimed to provide basic knowledge about gardening, tools to live a more sustainable life as an individual and be more aware of the environment. They had organized to plant crops in Elävän Kulttuurin Koroinen to promote sustainable living in their region. The team provided an enriching program including hands-on work in the garden, workshops and interesting speeches and documentaries about sustainability. Of course, at the end of the summer, all participants and their families were invited to a huge party where all the harvest from the garden was used to prepare a meal and bond again over their hard work!

In Finland, not only students and organizations are players in the sustainable development movement many companies and individuals such as Finnair, Neste, Ilmi Salminen- UN Youth Delegate of Finland, Anne Nuorgam representing the Sámi Council and many more are actively participating! Finland’s participation is truly inspiring and a model to strive for in implementation of sustainable development in the future. StepEurope is excited about the future and is confident that sustainable development will take off and keep thriving in Finland.


Media Literacy workshop

What Media Literacy workshop

When Thursday 16.11

Where Kirjan Talo

            Linnankatu 24

A workshop in which we will define media and how it operates in the West and the Middle East. How it has been affecting people’s life, and how it has interfered in shaping people’s options. The mechanism in which media can be acheived. We will also have a glimpse on wrting as a profession. We will review the most influntial toolbox that any writer may need.


Työpajassa tutustumme mediaan, ja siihen millaista se on Länsimaissa ja Keski-Idässä MIten se on vaikuttanut ihmisten elämään, ja miten se on sekoittanut ihmisten ajatuksia ja mielipiteitä. Vilkaisemme myös millaista on ammattilaiskirjoittajan työ.  Me käymme läpi puhuttelevimpia työkaluja, joita jokaine kirjailija saattaa tarvita.

A Look Behind The Labels Seminar

What A Look Behind The Labels Seminar

When Wednesday 15.11

Where Siirtolaisuusinstituutti – Migration Institute of Finland

            Eerikinkatu 34, 20100 Turku, Finland

StepEurope ry is organizing a seminar in cooperation with We see you and Åbo Akademi volunteers at the Siirtolaisuusinstituutti – Migration Institute of Finland. The seminar is about young people facing direct and personal attacks in public and social media in the shape of offensive comments and threats because of gender, origin, sexual orientation, opinion on migration issues or political ties.

The seminar will bring voices of young people who have had to tackle these problems to the stage to identify strategies and resist these negative perceptions and attitudes also to give tools for effective inclusion of young migrants focusing on how to create inclusive societies in Europe.

Event is open for everyone!

StepEurope ry järjestää mielenkiintoisen seminaarin yhdessä We see you -kampanjan ja Åbo Akademi volunteers -ryhmän kanssa. A Look Behind the Labels -seminaari käsittelee nuorten kohtaamia suoria ja julkisia loukkaavia kommentteja ja uhkauksia sosiaalisessa mediassa, jotka liittyvät heidän sukupuoleen, alkuperään, seksuaaliseen suuntautumiseen, mielipiteeseen maahanmuutosta tai poliittiseen kantaan.

Seminaari tuo haasteita kohdanneiden ja niistä selvinneiden nuorten ihmisten äänen kuuluviin. Tarkoitus on identifioida strategioita ja antaa välineitä vastustaa näitä negatiivisia ajatuksia ja asenteita sekä mahdollistaa nuorten maahanmuuttajien tehokas integraatio. Pohdimme myös, miten luoda inklusiivinen yhteiskunta Eurooppaan.

Tilaisuus on kaikille avoin!