In English. FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (Sept. 6, 2021)

1. How does the Finnish National Organisation of the Unemployed define the users of its service?

The users of our service are

  • local unemployed organisations hosting all sorts of activities, and some employment opportunities. Unemployed organisations generally tend to have mainly unemployed as their members
  • the long term unemployed generally – whom partake in activities in our member organisations
  • generally we regard all unemployed people as benefiting from the work that we do

2. What is the organisation main target group?

The main target groups are the unemployed for our services, and for our advocacy work the Finnish government, parliament and all political parties. Also all the relevant ministries dealing with the employment question, including Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, The Ministry of Education and Culture.

3. What kind of target group in projects are mostly supported by the financial organisation?

Within our projects, the long term unemployed are the main target group benefiting from the services we provide (health, physical exercise and education, social issues including legislation support, food aid etc.).

4. Does the organisation work straight away with the final users of the services or through other organisations?

Mainly our member organisations work directly with the unemployed. We host seminars and activities involving the unemployed, and our board of governance include the unemployed.

5. Can you describe briefly the services that the Finnish National Organisation of the Unemployed give?

At the moment in the year 2021 we have three projects benefiting the unemployed directly. We have Cheers for Health 2.0, Kaikki Kunnossa (Physical Education), and Eväitä Elämälle (money support for food aid). We also distribute FEAD (EC funded) funding food aid.

6. Can you explain the organisation’s social and cooperation network? What kind of multi-professional or interdisciplinary cooperation do you have?

We are a member of SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health. There is also a group called the Välityömarkkinat (Intermediate labor market), which works to build services for different unemployed groups (in an NGO basis). There are some other formal representations that we have with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) which have to do with The Economic Support Fund (ESF). We have with  Finnish Food Authority regarding food aid, and other more informal networks – like we host a network for health professionals dealing with unemployed health check ups.

7. What kind of social benefits or support the organisation’s service users may be entitled to?

Our member organisations provide work placements, cafeteria and sometimes catering services, food distributions, recycling and different vocational training and work training (car, handicrafts, woodwork, bicycle, media, ICT etc.).

8. How does the organisation apply the relevant legislation and policies?

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment provides funding for different apprenticeships and work and project management. Relevant legislation is applied in practice (eg. work contracts). When legal assistance is provided then it refers generally to benefits or accessing services.

9. How has Covid-19 affected your work with the customers in general and after 1.5 years living with this virus, how has the numbers of service users change? Which social status does service users of the organisation have? How do they define themselves?

For some NGOs Covid-19 has been devastating as services have been closed down – others have mitigated risks in practice and have been able to continue almost as normal. As regards food aid and health assistance the needs of our service users have increased.

Many of our service users are experiences long term difficulties in finding work and are likely to be in lowest income groups in Finland benefiting from the lowest possible social benefits granted by the Finnish social security system.

10. How does the organisation identify communities, partners or individuals to work with? How have you worked to build trust and relationships in the field?

We have a 30 year long history as an organisation. We work hard, stick to the truth and have no fear. We also try to listen and learn as much as possible and try to piece together varying and conflicting sources.

11. What are your requirements for working with your organisation (another organisations, employees etc.)? What would disqualify them? How do you deal with the problems with your projects or with the organisations you are working with?

The requirements vary with the job. But most of us have unemployment history. So being unemployed might give some additional qualification, but is not mandatory. Both work and educational qualifications are significant when asking for a position.

Generally there is a lot of good will among NGOs and officials working together for a common goal. For advocacy work financial constraints are the biggest obstacles to overcome. The visions and attitudes of political parties can be conflicting.

12. How is your organisation funded? How do you get together the aims of the economics and the social service in general?

Our main funding is from the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA). At the moment the requirements of this funding do not interfere with our mission and basically are aligned. The bureaucratic requirements of funding elements have increased over the years.