On Wednesday 10 August 2022, spouse of the President of the Republic of Finland Jenni Haukio participated in the ceremony celebrating the end of the summer camp for Ukrainian children at the National Museum of Finland. During the presidential couple's state visit to Sweden in May, Haukio, together with Queen Silvia of Sweden, got acquainted with similar activities and encouraged the organisers to bring the concept to Finland as well.
This year the Swedish charitable foundation Skill Shift Initiative ‘Beredskapslyftet’ collaborated with the National Museum of Finland and corporate partners to arrange summer camps in the museum premises for 6–12-year-old children who have fled the war in Ukraine. A total of 180 children, who will all start school in Finland as the autumn term begins, participated in the camp activities. The camp was aimed at providing a safe environment for the children to spend their summer, learn new things and acquaint themselves with the Finnish culture and the Helsinki area.
“Summer camps have made it possible to bring safe activities to the lives of Ukrainian children that bring them joy and help them get adjusted to living in Finland. Hopefully, the camp experience will also carry them long after the actual camp periods have ended,” Jenni Haukio said in the speech she held at the ceremony celebrating the end of the summer camp on Wednesday.
She said that Finns will do their best to ensure that Ukrainian families could have as good life as possible in Finland under these exceptional times. “First and foremost, we want to ensure that not a single child or family would be left alone, but that it would always be possible to offer the kind of individual support each family needs.”
“Even though we all love our home country the most, I hope that you could feel being at home here in Finland as well. We promise to do our best to make it so.”
The end of the camp ceremony was also attended by Olga Dibrova, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Finland, and Nicola Clase, Swedish Ambassador to Finland.
The party in charge of organising the summer camp activities was Beredskapslyftet, which has earlier arranged similar active support for Ukrainian children in Sweden in collaboration with the Nordiska Museet. During the presidential couple’s state visit to Sweden in May, Haukio got acquainted with these activities with Queen Silvia and encouraged the organisers to bring the concept to Finland as well. The camp premises, contents and practical support for arranging the activities were provided by the National Museum of Finland. The activities were funded with donations made by Finnish and Swedish companies and associations.