Kiitos Suomi Joulukuu 2023


What is Kiitos Suomi/Thank you Finland?

A charity festival, Kiitos Suomi (Thank You Finland) took place on 5th December 2023, in Maunula Talo, Helsinki. As many as 200 people registered for the event and the venue was vibrantly filled with participants. Collaboration among several organizations and companies, passionate volunteers and many participants made the event totally successful.

The aim of the event is to bring foreigners living in Finland together and encourage them to appreciate and celebrate Finland's welcoming spirit. Africans and African European Association (AFAES), Finnish-Indian Society, Women Designed for Success, Sierra Leone Consulate Planning Office Finland, and Earth Angels of Finland organized with Maunula Talo this festival.


5:30 pm Thank you Finland – A welcome address

5:40 pm. National anthem and flag procession

5:55 pm Journey to Finland – stories about integration

6:30 pm International fashion show

6:45 pm Theme address on Finnish culture: customs, traditions and values

6:50 pm Theme address on the significance of internationality and new Finnish citizens to Finnish culture

6:55 pm Thank you Finland video and a break

7:15 pm Award ceremony

7:40 pm Closing address

7:50 pm Cake service, small snacks and beverages at the Maunula House lobby

8:30 pm Frankuson and the Family concert in the Metsäpuro Hall

Its Achievement

kiitos Suomi was successful, with 200 people coming. The event contained the academic part, cultural part and food part in good balance. For the academic part, the panel discussion about " Journey to Finland – stories about integration" had strong engagement from the audience. Stories of each panelist differed from each other, which interested both new Finns and Finn-born audience. Cultural part had high professionality thanks to prominent designers and performers. Food part, where participants were most excited, was also commendable, because food sponsors and volunteers worked very passionately and showed great hospitality towards participants.

Successful Collaboration

Key reason for the success was collaboration. Not only civil society (NGOs) but also public and private people joined us and shared their strengths.

A: Collective Organizers

Civil organizations, namely Africans and African European Association (AFAES), Finnish-Indian Society, Women Designed for Success, Sierra Leone Consulate Planning Office Finland, and Earth Angels of Finland collaborated with public Maunula Talo and several private sponsors. Role of Maunula Talo was not only venue provision, but their members prepared for and organized Kiitos Suomi. The event became a great example of multi-sector collaboration.

B: Free Performance

Many performers, designers and speakers enriched the event in the fashion show, cultural performance and debates for free for their charity spirit.

C: Food Sponsors

There were food sponsors who contributed their food for free to the event. Salad Master in Finland, a branch of US metal products company, provided salad for 200 people. Additionally, Ravintola Maritisor, a Somali restaurant prepared Sambusa and Somali Falarel for 50 people respectively. Those international companies were impressed by the philosophy of Kiitos Suomi and cooperated with the event.

Vital Role of Volunteers

For Kiitos Suomi, as many as 30 people joined as volunteers, who were a vital part of the event. From preparation for the venue, to attendance to participants, volunteers engaged in several things. They worked very efficiently with roles divided.

Volunteers were very motivated. There were some tips for it. First, they were well managed and communicated. This raised their commitment. Secondly, volunteers make friends among them. For them, it was a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. "Friendship" is always a motivator for people to collaborate. Lastly, their contributions were confirmed on certificates of gratitude. So, people will feel recognized and keep their passion high afterward too.

Future of New Finns Community

Kiitos Suomi had a great success and became an opportunity where host society and new Finns (immigrants) strengthened bonds.

In Finland, the role of immigrants is growing and their presence is increasing. To keep Finnish society safe and beautiful, the relation between host society and new Finns is critically important. Kiitos Suomi became an excellent example of a way to show friendship to each other.