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New Connection
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The project was a joint youth venture of the youth associations and organisations of Joensuu, Kitee, Nurmes, Lieksa, Kuhmo and Suomussalmi. The purpose of the project was to develop the cooperation and cultural exchange of the young people of North Karelia, Kainuu and the Republic of Karelia with club, camping and youth events and by developing the network communications amongst young people.

Main activities

• to activate cooperation between Finnish and Russian young people with joint camps, club activities and events related to hobbies


The project implemented cooperation between Finnish and Russian young people with joint camps, club activities and events related to hobbies. A total of 32 trips to the Republic of Karelia were organised for Finnish young people and, additionally, 31 camps/meetings in Finland with young people from Russia as well. The themes of the camps and meetings were the scout tradition, dance, music, wilderness, adventure and fishing activities, ecology, civic activities and manual skills. The project also organised 6 music and dance courses and 5 bigger events centred round dance and music. A rap-music event organised in the Joensuu Youth Centre Scream was broadcast live to the Internet centre founded by the Tacis project in Petrozavodsk, and bands from Finland and Petrozavodsk performed together on both sides of the border. The youth events were also communicated to the towns of the Republic of Karelia with web-cameras. The project also organised instructor training in electronic communication jointly with the Humanist University of Applied Sciences. There were 11 different clubs related to the project in Joensuu, Lieksa, Kitee and Ilomansti, where altogether 100 young people studied. In cooperation with the Tacis project called Karelian Youth Network, five seminars were organised in Joensuu and Petrozavodsk, where Finnish and Russian youth workers planned joint activities and events and exchanged their views and experiences on youth work. The organisations Nuoret Kotkat (“Young Eagles”), 4H and Partiolaiset (Scouts) found cooperation partners from across the border with the project. Plenty of image and video material, mainly produced by the young people themselves, were included in the Internet pages of the project at www.uusiyhteys.fi about project trips, camps and clubs. The languages of the web pages were Finnish, Russian and English, and they were an information channel for the young people. The young also kept in touch across the border with email and will most likely continue communications after the project as well. Working together brought the Finnish and Russian young people closer together and reduced existing prejudices. The participation of young Russian immigrants in the activities of the project helped them to settle in and also helped to create positive attitudes towards other cultures among the Finnish young people. The project offered work practice opportunities to several young people, as well as opportunities to learn at work. The project achieved a lot of networking: the organisations and youth agencies of the towns created mutual relationships both within Finland and across the border.

Basic information