House of Helsinki was awarded the Golden Medal 12.06.2022

Updated: Jul 22



Every year the City of Helsinki presents awards to deserving people on Helsinki Day, 12 June.

In 2022, Golden Helsinki Medals were awarded to ten accomplished citizens in the fields of science, art, culture and sport. The Helsinki Golden Medal is a highest recognition given by the city.





One of those medals has been granted to our chairman Artem Kuosti and to House of Helsinki, in general.


This award is an homage to all REFUFIN volunteers. To thank you adequately is impossible. You spent long hours on REFUFIN project, sacrificing your personal time to help Ukrainians during this difficult period. Through your efforts you have made the world better.


The main coordinator and initiator of the REFUFIN project, Daria Gulik, also deserves this gold medal. Her professionalism, patience and dedication, even in the most crisis times, are admirable! Throughout the entire project she was coordinating buses, training volunteers, helping Ukrainians, and inspiring all of us to keep moving forward! Without Daria none of this would have happened! Thank you so much!


A huge thank you to Veera Rautio for her emotional support, mentoring, and willingness to help even during the most difficult situations. We could keep the legitimate rights of Ukrainians who came to Finland, thanks to Veera.


Many thanks to Brix Ziemann for her professionalism, wisdom and strategic thinking. Brix has been developing a program to help volunteers gain their professional skills.


Thanks for all the work to Nikolay Gofman. Nikolay was managing the team of translators, creating teaching materials for the volunteers and also he was helping other organizations on behalf of House of Helsinki.


Special thanks to Margarita Obraztsova who had a great influence on the development of the project at its very beginning! Margarita was helping to establish connections, sharing information. After all she continued to cooperate side by side with the REFUFIN project and House of Helsinki.


We are also grateful for Natalia Rippinen's help! While she was coordinating bus trips, she professionally and promptly solved various problems. She sincerely cares about every single passenger. Despite all the difficulties, Natalia manages to complete the job to the end each time, and thus, each passenger safely arrives to Finland.


Thanks to Nadezhda Kanevskaya for setting up the structure of the project, for training volunteers and for her caring attitude toward the problem as a whole. Nadezhda proved not in words that she does care about Ukrainians during this difficult time. Thank you so much for your tireless support.


We are also very grateful to Maija Lähde for her tremendous work. Maija was on the project from the very first day and helped in every structure. We would not be able to achieve these results without her.


Many thanks to Alexey Shumilin. He was helping us by sharing important information and he also has been in Poland to work as a volunteer in a camp for Ukrainian refugees. We wholeheartedly appreciate your time and effort just to help us.


We thank Tasha Tolmacheva for her work! Throughout the entire project, Tasha supported each of us and was ready to come to our aid at any moment. We were able to transfer over 2,500 Ukrainians thanks to people like Tasha! We would have fallen apart without your generous contribution.


We are very grateful to our Helpers: Anna Makarenko, Alexandra Aksenova, Igor Frey, Ksenia Bureiko, Victoria Gaiduk, Pavel Seleznev, Maria Dorovskikh, Alla Bolotova. You are our main support. Volunteers like you make the world a better place with your time and efforts. Without you, we couldn’t have done it.


We would also like to thank our chat operators: Elena Romanova, Nadezhda Laukkanen, Anna Avdeeva, Anastasia Osipova, Maria Vlasova, Elena Timofeeva, Anna Mu, Vasilisa Teshina, Liya Merzon, Yuri Yunitsky, Elena Pushkina, Natalia Andriichuk, Valeria Dmitrieva, Polina Fedoseeva, Yulia Mustonen, Vladislav Virtonen, Marina Neznaeva, Vera Siarova, Marina Andrianova, Anastasia Barabash. You spent a huge number of hours helping Ukrainians. You have been signing people up for buses and solving their problems. We also know that you have been a tremendous help outside of the project as well. We appreciate your contribution very much.


We cannot ignore those whose equally important activities took place in the background. We cooperate with different countries, so sometimes we had to resort to the help of our volunteer interpreters. Many thanks to Alexander Rukin, Tatiana Pekki, Katerina Mizina, Justyna Szara, Karolina Drobotowicz, Katerina Kub, Varvara Pushkova, Katerina Nironen! Thank you for the unbelievable volunteer work. We owe our success to you.


Thank you all so much for your volunteer work. We know and understand that it has been a lot of work, but you have done a great job keeping the inflow and outflow running smoothly. Please know that we could not do this without your hard work. We are forever thankful for the time you have given us. You have made an unforgettable difference.