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Activating civic activities in Karelian villages
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The purpose of the project was to develop abilities for the personnel of social and health care and education sectors in the implementation and marketing of family and drug work.

Main activities

• to increase the understanding of future social and health care workers about the mutual cultural heritage and people's everyday coping mechanisms in different environments. • to develop abilities for the personnel of the Deaconess Institute and the A-Guild to work with the development of international family and drug work and, at the same time, to give students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with work in various environments. • to develop the work against drug use based on civic activities together with the villages of Karelia • to create structures during the project that enable the actualisation of a civic society, action models preventing the alcohol and drug use of young people and a treatment model based on the ideology of the A-Guild for alcohol/drug abusers and their families.


The project involved Finnish students and their tutors and representatives of the Kalevala Parish and the A-Guild. Working in the project gave those involved experiences about a different culture and a good opportunity to develop their abilities for international family and drug work planning and implementation. New and active partnerships in the villages of Jyskyjärvi and Kalevala were created during the project. The project workers became familiar to the villagers and gained the trust necessary for cooperating with the villagers. The project helped to gain valuable information about the existing situation and possibilities for action. Those involved gained concrete experiences about local drug and alcohol issues and learnt to view social and societal problems from a new perspective. The created network was considered useful in future projects. The project organised camping events in Kalevala and Jyskyjärvi and designed written camp work guidelines for the cooperation with Karelia. The project distributed information about the work of the A-Guild and Al-Anon, produced presentation material about their ideologies in Finnish and Russian, and distributed working models, also activating local support workers and accomplishing joint visits. Ideologies were made better known on both sides of the border, and a new discussion was started in the Karelian villages about the damage caused by alcohol to its users and their environment. The operations based on voluntary activities and peer support were deemed a new and difficult concept to grasp, as the local drug and alcohol treatment ideology emphasises institutional treatment. The project succeeded well in reaching those close to people with drug or alcohol problems, but less well in reaching the users themselves. Therefore, establishing the activities will still need much time and effort. It was thus considered worthwhile to direct future preventative drug work especially at the network of those close to people with alcohol problems As a result of the operation, there are possibilities that can be exploited in the villages for implementing preventative drug work and peer support.

Basic information


Activating civic activities in Karelian villages


2001-06-29 - 2004-06-30

Total Budget / Programme funding

86 188 € / 41 991 €

Lead partner

The Oulu Deaconess Institute’s Fund
Lead partner web-site


Kalevala District Council
Kalevala Deaconess Association
Kalevala National District
Jyskyjärvi Village Committee
Jyskyjärvi School
Oulun A-kilta Ry
Al-Anon Society