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About us

The Finnish Intercultural Community (SKY) was first formed in 2019 by people of immigrant background, with an aim to strengthen interethnic, intercultural, and interfaith relations through dialogue. SKY’s vision is:

1) To enable, encourage, and build the capacity of people of migrant background for active civic participation, and successful adaptation to Finnish society;

2) To facilitate awareness, understanding, and sensitivity among the larger society about migration and minorities. This, we believe, contributes to the idea of a welcoming, inclusive, equal, diverse, peaceful, and sustainable Finland. 

Structure

SKY is a nationwide organization in line with its goals, with local representatives in many cities across Finland. As of late December 2022, it consisted of 20 Members of the Board and 50 regular members. The Board of Directors has one chairperson and two vice-chairpersons. All activities are on the shoulders of the Board and implemented by both board members and regular members. The Finnish Intercultural Community (SKY) also pays great attention to gender equality and youth empowerment. From January 2022, it has formed SKY Nuoriso (youth) where the younger generation is involved.  

Funding

SKY currently is under the Fin Polar Kulttuurikeskus ry, which provides financial support in paying the costs of the activities in part. Other parts of the costs are covered by the board members self contribution and by means of partnerships with other organizations where the costs are shared. Also, local municipalities cover some of the costs of the activities in those cities. In the coming years, our goal is to move more towards financial support by the means of project competitions and by the means of concrete municipal support. 

Achievements

Formed by 5 people in 2019, SKY reached an all-time high number of board of directors in 2022, consisting of 20 people. With no members at the beginning, it now has 50 members across Finland. Some selected achievements in numbers:

  • Volunteer of the year campaign 2021, one finalist, and one winner of the Award.
  • Young Changemaker of the year 2021, one finalist. 
  • Volunteer of the year campaign in 2022, one finalist. 
  • MAYA prize finalist, in 2022.

In SKY, our board members speak 16 languages (not in the meetings). Diversity and inclusion are our goals also within the organization and we need the most diverse perspectives in our actions. Therefore, we encourage people to become members and move toward active participation, board membership, and decision-making. 

Board Members 2023

Ilkhom Khalimzoda

CHAIR

Migration, media and intercultural communication I consider to be my strong side.  I am true integrationist and aim to mediate between fellow immigrants and the host society. Travelling, campfire and hiking is my passion. In painful times, I tend to write poems. Being chosen as a chair in SKY, I aim to facilitate societal initiatives and work together with the team to increase inter-personal / inter-ethnic contacts for the benefit of the cohesive & inclusive society.

Münevver Sahinkaya Ayyıldız

VICE CHAIR

I am from Turkey and currently living in Helsinki. I’m a biologist and interested in nature, environment and science. I like learning and getting to know different cultures. In SKY, my aim is to know cross-cultural issues and contribute to the “culture of living together”.

gulten

Gulten Kutlu

FINPOLAR COOPERATION

I am Gulten, a newcomer to Finland and resident in Tampere. I am Biology teacher. I was also an activist in my country of origin, helping minority groups and individuals who were lonely and victimized for various reasons and tried to provide humanitarian support. My reason for joining the SKY working group is to meet new people, get to know more customs and traditions, engage in dialogue activities and improve my skills and capacity. In community spirit, I believe I can reach more then I would alone. 

Selahaddin Uslu

TRANSLATION

Muutin Suomeen vuonna 2018. Nyt olen opiskelija Helsingin yliopiston Suomen kielen ja kulttuurin kandiohjelmassa. Haluan osallistua yhteiskuntaan tekemällä hyödyllisiä projekteja. Minun mielestäni kun ihmiset, jotka ajattelevat eri tavalla, tuntevat ja kunnioittavat toisiaan, se tekee meistä paremman yhteiskunnan, siksi meille tarvitsee enemmän dialogia.

Merve Karadis

MEMBERSHIP COORDINATION

I’m Merve and living in Finland. Graduated from International Relations, Vistula University, Poland. Currently I’m learning Finnish language and advancing my English.

As a SKY’s new member, it is improving my relations with people as well as my skills. Especially, it’s helping to understand or look at things from different perspectives. I think that I’m good at  communications and maintaining them. I love to organize events and I would like to be good at it because it makes me happy and feel better. Initially, I will be contributing by my activism in SKY. 

Selim Temiz

TRANSLATION

I used to be a physics and math teacher. I taught for ten years in Turkey. I came to Finland in 2018. I want to improve my Finnish language level and become a teacher in secondary schools in Finland. I also believe that the world will be a better place by contact and dialogue. We may think differently, be of different races, have different beliefs, but we can understand each other by accepting each other.

Mustafa Bazu

Tulin Suomeen vuonna 2018 ja olen Turkkilainen. Olen turkin kielen ja kirjallisuuden opettaja. Asun Hämeenlinnan kaupungissa. Tykkään pelata jalkapalloa, koripalloa ja pöytätennistä. Pidän myös matkustaa ja tutustua uusiin kulttuuriin. Olen SKY: n jäsen, koska haluan tutustua ja oppia uusia kulttuureja ja ihmisiä täällä. Tämä on yhteisö, joka uskoo rakkauden ja vuoropuhelun voimaan. Uskon myös, että osaan integroida  ja  osallistua yhteiskuntaan SKY:n kautta paremmin.  Mielestäni ei ole ongelmaa, jota ei voida voittaa käsitteillä rakkaus, kunnioitus, empatia ja vuoropuhelu. Ja SKY valmistaa sopivan ympäristön tälle polulle ja kehittää projekteja.

Neslihan Dane

VICE CHAIR

I am Neslihan from Turkey and I have been living in Finland since 2020. I have been learning Finnish language because I believe that this will be a great asset for me if I am competent in it. By profession, I am a Mathematics teacher. I am with 11 years experience of teaching in Thailand, which also served me to widen my networks, meeting new people and learning their cultures. These is actually the reasons why SKY attracted me as it aligns with my enthusiasm. I support volunteering for multicultural initiatives. 

Talha Dane

YOUTUBE-VIDEO EDIT

I have been traveling whole around the world past 13 years and my final destination is Finland in 2020 September. I am an electrical and electronic engineer. After visiting many countries and meeting cultures I found myself searching for bridges between cultures. Now I am with the SKY group as a volunteer. I am interested in IT projects and as much as possible I am helping my colleagues

.

Nermin Karaoglan

SECRETARY OF BOARD

I am Nermin and I am a newcomer to Finland. Currently I am learning Finnish language and my aim is to study social services because, it’s a field where I can be helpful to people and I enjoy doing so. Before arriving to Finland, I have lived in India for 6 years where my interest for dialogue and intercultural topics was born. By engaging with more people, I got more interested in interfaith issues. Being a part of SKY, I wish to encounter and learn more about dialogue activities which sure will give me a different perspectives to look from.

Mustafa Kaya

I am Mustafa. I studied business and administration in Turkey and worked in a bank for 4 years and then at the Ministry of Finance as a taxcontroller for 5 years. I have been living in Finland for 3 years. I’m studying accounting here and working as both a football coach and a referee. I am happy and honored to be a part of SKY, which always thinks that differences are richness.

Buneyye Özmen

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

Minä olen Buneyye. Tulin Turkista. Olin yhdeyskuntaoppin opettaja. Olen asunnut suomessa noin 2 vuotta. Nyt käyn suomen kielen kurssilla. Tein paljon vapaehtoistöitä monissa paikoissa, kun olin yliopiston opiskelija Turkissa.  Tällä hetkellä, olen vapaaehtoinen finpolar kulturikeskus.ry:n sosiaalisen median ryhmässä. Olen sosiaalinen nainen ja olen utelias erilaisista kulttuureista ja pidän aktiviteeteista. Uskon, että minulla on mahdollisuus tutustua moniin erilaisiin kulttuureihin  Sky:n kautta ja tietysti voin oppia paljon muilta ihmisiltä.

Murat Sarigul

SKY NETWORK COORDINATOR

Hei, olen Murat. Olen asunut Suomessa noin 2 vuotta. Opettelen suomea. Olen tällä hetkellä valmaopiskelija RASEKO Ammattikoulunissa. Partio on suurin harrastukseni. Harrastan aktiivisesti partiokerhoa. Pidän erittäin tärkeänä kulttuurienvälistä vuoropuhelua ja Sky:ssa osallistun sellaiseen tapahtumaan.

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