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The Development of the Operations of the Women’s Crisis Centre (creating a joint safety and service network in the border regions of Finland and Russian Karelia) (NCRB)
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The purpose of the project was to improve the situation of women and children in acute need of protection from violence in the border regions of Finland and Russian Karelia through the development of activities of the women's crisis centre.

Main activities

• to increase the knowledge of gender-oriented violence and to campaign to reduce it • to familiarise the region's crisis centres with each others' objectives and procedures, to support their cooperation and operational capabilities and to develop their working culture in a subject-oriented manner. • exchange of experiences and information


The project brought Nordic and Russian centres together into a network, where they were trained in interaction, information- sharing and exchange as well as cooperation. All member centres were included within an electronic network, and it was intended that computer technology would in the future act as a means of distance training, campaigning and fund collection. The courses provided basic information about the crisis centre models of various countries, their history, procedures and methods, present situation/development trends and the cooperation between the crisis centres and the public sector. The courses also dealt with the norms related to gender-oriented violence, legislative changes and development programmes. Campaigning helped the centres in their local information and transition work and, in Russia, also in their input in the creation of a democratic civic society. At the same time, a multicultural cross-border women's activity community was assembled. The project brought together units, which even in the Nordic countries were different from each other. The project managed to create a multicultural learning environment, where inspiration was exchanged both ways between the east and west. The new kind of learning environment promoted an open and critical attitude to the centres' own objectives and procedures and made the centres more responsible. This supported, on its part, the operations of the Russian centres as even more equal partners. The project had the greatest impact on Russia, where the dispersed, mutually competitive and inadequately funded centres were assembled into a functional and developing network, with to the readiness for cross-border cooperation. The project activities were a part of the Barents Region NCRB network. The operations were funded by the Nordic Council up to the year 2005, but the Russians were no longer involved, since the elected project coordinating area, the Arkangel region, had been excluded from funding, and funding could not be secured from anywhere else. The centres had been planned to continue their operations in the electronic network, but the end of funding also ended the coordination. The general situation is difficult, and several of the Barents and St. Petersburg units have ceased operations. The operations have partially continued in the project Welfare, Gender and Agency in RUSSIA during this first decade of the 2000s, at the Alexander Institute. The networking of the Nordic crisis centres with Russian centres enabled their versatile and interactive development, despite the variant working environments, cultures and institutional structures. The idea of networking can also be applied to the development of other service systems.

Basic information


The Development of the Operations of the Women's Crisis Centre


2001-06-20 - 2003-12-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

69 476 € / 54 608 €

Lead partner

University of Oulu
Lead partner web-site


Pomor State University
Crisis Centre Maja
Finnish, Russian and Nordic crisis centres.