At Luckan, 28 new mentor pairs have in June been introduced through the mentoring programme FIKA Light: Finland meets Ukraine.
FIKA Light is a shorter version of Luckans mentoring programme FIKA, which has been running for 10 years now. In the programme, people who have moved to Finland are matched with their own mentor, who becomes their friend, coach, or local contact for 6 months.
Since February 2022, many people have wanted to show support for Ukraine and to stand against war and human suffering as well as racism or xenophobia. With FIKA Light, they find a way to do this. As mentors, they support newcomers to Helsinki from Ukraine to find a sense of temporary or permanent home here.
Some mentors are seasoned volunteers who have been part of FIKA for years, while some mentors have themselves been mentees on the programme and want to share their experience of having immigrated to Finland. Many others are new to the programme, and just want to do what they can to support people from Ukraine with what they have to offer: time, experience, local insight, or company.
Some mentees talk about practising English, Finnish, or Swedish, about needing advice in their job search, or learning more about Finland and what it has to offer.
During the bilingual events where the mentor pairs meet for the first time, many pairs are already practising their language skills in English, Ukrainian, and Russian. Many pairs tell about their plans to explore the city, visit libraries, make music together, or simply socialise and have fun. And sometimes what we can do is just that: have some fun to bring more light to the times we live in.
In the future, Luckan will continue to offer mentoring opportunities to everyone who has moved to Finland, regardless of what country they come from.