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Statement related to today's Yle article

Updated: Mar 15

❗️Update: The Finnish version of this article has been partially corrected by our request❗️

Today, on the 14th of March Yle released an online article raising a concern regarding the alleged trend that Russian-speaking associations received more funding for projects that support Ukrainians than Ukrainian associations.

We as House of Helsinki were explicitly mentioned and positioned as a Finnish Russian-led organisation and would therefore like to comment on the article.

House of Helsinki is driven by people from various backgrounds, and while English and Finnish are our official languages set in our statutes, in our internal and external work we always use the language that makes the most sense in any given moment. With our STEA-funded project Refufin we help Ukrainians navigate Finland, regardless of the language they chose to communicate in. In 2023, 96% of Ukrainians who reached out to us felt that the support received from Refufin was helpful (based on our ongoing satisfaction survey).

We believe that every project is to be viewed individually. Funding decisions are tied to multiple criteria that are defined and exercised by STEA. Since the beginning of the war, our volunteers have helped thousands of people arrive safely in Finland and navigate life here. We were fortunate to receive funding to continue the work started and run solely by volunteers speaking Ukrainian, Russian, Finnish, Swedish and English. Above all, we believe that it is the cause that matters.

Humanity should not be limited by languages, borders and backgrounds. We as House of Helsinki are honoured to be part of a diverse landscape of organisations helping Ukrainians and will continue to collaborate with others and highlight the importance of the work to support those in need.


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