Friends in Finland (FiF)

Friends in Finland is a new way to participate in intercultural activities as an International volunteer. FiF offers opportunities to experienced immigrants to support immigrants who has recently arrived in Finland and help them to integrate in Finnish society in Helsinki. Its goal is to enhance wellbeing of immigrants and give volunteering opportunities to non-Finnish speakers.  

The Project is a joint project of Red Cross Helsinki-Uusimaa Area and its branches: Northern Helsinki, Kallio-Käpylä Helsinki and Cities’ Immigration Units and MoniHeli Association. 

The project consists of 

  • Training of International Volunteers. Training is in English. More information will be available on 1 November 2019. 
  • Information session for new immigrants (International Friends)in Helsinki immigration office 
  • Matching friend pairs 
  • Six months joint friendship and activities 
  • Evaluation and development of FiF concept


International Volunteer 

  • Experienced immigrants in Finland who are committed to Red Cross values and principles
  • Friends in Finland course is required
  • We also recommend Red Cross’s Friendship activity course, however, it is not a prerequisite 
  • You must commit to the program for six months
  • You need to have time to meet your Friend at least once a month
  • Volunteers should be at least 25 years old

International Friend

  • Meant for single immigrants/couples/families that have residence permit
  • Mainly live in the capital area, Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa
  • One in the family should be at least 18-years-old
  • City immigration unit looks for suitable people among their customers and invites them to an info-session with Friends in Finland volunteers. There it is possible to enroll and fill in a Friends information sheet.
  • The program lasts half a year and includes at least six meetings and possible group meetings
  • City Immigration Unit’s social worker and counselor give background support if needed

Matching Friend pairs

  • The information written on voluntary sheet is important and the basis for finding a friend
  • Based on the information sheets suitable pairs will be found
  • Matching team takes care of matching
  • Finding a suitable friend takes in most cases only some weeks but could take months
  • Information will be delivered as soon as a friend has been found
  • If the candidate doesn’t seem suitable or volunteer’s or friend’s situation has changed, it must be informed and searching can start again

Support for Volunteer Friends and International Friends 

  • The matching team gives advices and support
  • Red Cross Helsinki-Uusimaa Area gives additional counselling if needed
  • Immigration Unit supports new immigrant (international friends) according to its normal practises and rules

Communication and information 

  • If you are interested in working as an International Volunteer, first participate in Friends in Finland training. Course will be organized on 30 November at SPR Training center in Kamppi. Registration link and more information will be delivered by on 1 November.
  • Please feel free to deliver information about FiF to your friends and teams. 
  • Facebook page for Friends in Finland
  • International friends Facebook for events in the capital area

You can get more information by mail