It’s Our Life
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006
Objective of the project
The purpose of the project was to create a friendship school model aiming at strengthening multiculturalism as well as the participation and well-being of young people, which would focus on the development of peer student activities for the 7th to 9th classes in comprehensive schools.
• to develop friendship school activities between three pilot schools: 1) The Arppe School in Kitee and Helylä School (Sortavala), 2) the Comprehensive School of Joensuu Lyceum and the Sortavala School No. 1 and 3) the Tietäväinen School in Tohmajärvi and Värtsilä School (Sortavala). • surveys on attitudes towards multiculturalism • training camps and friendship meetings for young people on both sides of the border.
The project developed friendship school activities between three pilot schools: 1) The Arppe School in Kitee and Helylä School (Sortavala), 2) the Comprehensive School of Joensuu Lyceum and the Sortavala School No. 1 and 3) the Tietäväinen School in Tohmajärvi and Värtsilä School (Sortavala). The schools designed the activities to meet their own requirements and committed themselves to continuing them, even after the end of the project. Friendship school activities were supported by offering young people the chance for multicultural meetings: two basket ball tours were organised for the friendship schools in Finland and Russia, as well as floorball games. The young people also met each other during various visits in the friendship schools and during their performance trips. Students were trained in using computer technology in the cooperation between the schools. The students made project assignments about their home regions in Finland and Russia and got to know the history and the present day of Old and New Valaam. The project also implemented student exchange for the peer students of the Comprehensive Lyceum in Sortavala School No1 in addition to peer exchange at the Tietäväinen School in Värtsilä, as well as visits between the teachers of the friendship schools. 12 trainers were trained to develop the peer student activities, who familiarised themselves with the project's annual themes and held various training events for the students. The annual themes of the project and types of training were the self-esteem of young people and the appreciation of oneself, the prevention of bullying, and building an enjoyable school environment. Young people's knowledge about choices supporting their own health and well-being were increased by themes concerning self-knowledge, the prevention of drug abuse and the assurance of sexual health, thereby increasing their own knowledge about the issues. Enjoyment of school was enhanced by developing action models to prevent bullying. The project organised a total of eight camps for young people on both sides of the border. Altogether, 21 students from a Finnish school and 6 Russian students attended the camps. Additionally, It’s our life training events in Finland gathered a total of 3002 participants, and the education and information events in Sortavala saw over 6500 participants. The project also brought up the need for young people to have a say in the improvement of the physical school environment. Sortavala School No. 1 and the Joensuu Comprehensive Lyceum continued the operations in the Kaupunki on kotimme project (The City is Our Home).
AcronymIt's Our Life
Duration2004-01-01 - 2006-12-31
Total Budget / Programme funding289 706 € / 192 944 €
Lead partnerMannerheim League for Child Welfare, North Karelian Department
Lead partner web-site