Unite the Armies

By Kirsi Kujala


Unite the Armies is a project run by a non-profit organisation called The Green Association for the Preservation of Life (Vihreä Elämänsuojelun liitto). The campaign aims to turn around the increasingly alarming development of our planet by uniting the armies to help regain the natural balance of our planet. The campaign was launched in 2014 by Finnish professors U.B Lindström and Eero Paloheimo.


Signs of a climate disaster are quickly emerging around the world in the form of increased hurricanes, floods, drought, and pollution. Environmental catastrophes are followed by humanitarian crises, like the refugee wave from Syria to Europe. The Syrian civil war was preceded by a drought that was worst the country has seen in nearly 1000 years. Environmental experts like Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, have confirmed the current drought in Syria, which has lasted about 15 years, is far outside of natural climate cycles. While its agreed that the drought was not the only, it was one of the most influential of the bundle of complex, interrelated factors that lead to the Syrian civil war.


It is clear that if no action is taken sooner than later, the Earth, followed by humanity, will be in a place of no return.


On the level of global politics, it is commonly accepted that national defence forces are called to action when a sudden or unexpected natural disaster takes place to help the accident victims. The Unite the Armies campaign aims to release this same potential to prevent the ongoing slower, but larger and fairly imminent natural catastrophe taking place sooner than later. In our petition to the United Nations it is suggested that the United Nations will make a global initiative to ensure that all the defence forces under the United Nations will direct a portion of their resources to fight the existing environmental catastrophes and help restoring the balance of our planet, first starting with their own national concerns. One of the greatest international goals that Finland could be participating in could be for example clearing the Baltic Sea from oil and plastic waste and building a proper filtration system to prevent further toxic waste from poisoning the water reserve. A vast project like this would naturally require co-operation within the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Goals like this can be achieved in co-operation between the United Nations and global humanitarian and environmental organisations.


Needless to mention, the mere manpower and resources that national defence forces hold are immense. Finnish defence forces alone hold a wartime troop strength of 230,000 trained soldiers with a treasury of thousands of vehicles, including over 100 fighter aircraft. A few examples of how these resources could be used are cleaning oceans from toxic plastic and oil waste, the reforestation of deserts, and protecting endangered species from illegal hunting.


The United Nations already holds a vast army of peacekeepers. Our goal is to form an army of greenkeepers whose agenda is to protect life, globally. Finland is one of the least populated countries in the world with 6 million inhabitants. Imagine what the defence forces of Russia, China or the US would be capable of.


Read more and sign the petition at: http://unite-the-armies.org/



Model United Nations in Helsinki & Model European Union in Vienna

By Lauren Stevens


On Wednesday 5th April, I went to Helsinki to attend the Finnish Model United Nations 2017 event. This was organised by the Finnish Model United Nations Society, which is an organisation for students interested in international relations. It brings together people to organise and participate in Model United Nations (MUN) seminars, debate issues on the UN and global agenda, and develop their understanding of global politics.


In 2016, the Arctic Council celebrated a full round 20 years of its existence, and in 2017 Finland is chairing the Arctic Council, which is why the theme this year was nothing less than the Arctic. I was acting as Finland in the simulation of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), an organisation which is a result of the call made by world leaders at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Brazil in June 2012, to strengthen and upgrade United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda and by establishing universal membership in its Governing Council. As the new governing body of UNEP, the UNEA has the mandate to take strategic decisions, provide political guidance in the work of the UNEP and promote a strong science-policy interface. Topics under the conference were 1. Minority rights and Arctic environmental protection, and 2. Sustainable tourism in the Arctic. I had to debate the topics from the point of view of Finland, therefore it involved lots of research beforehand.


2017-04-14 12.05.05.jpg


After registering, we attended the opening ceremony at the Helsinki Europe Hall. Keynote speakers included Finn Tarp, Director of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research; Francis Uy, Deputy Head for the Consulate and Senior Trade Commissioner of the Embassy of Canada to Finland; Ilmi Salminen, UN Youth Delegate of Finland 2017; and Marja Helander, a Sami-Finnish photographer. The opening ceremony was followed by a reception at the Helsinki City Hall to learn more about the local history and culture with food and drinks. We were welcomed by Ritva Viljanen, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki in charge of Educational and Cultural affairs, among others.


On Thursday, the simulations started at the University of Helsinki Students’ Union’s historical premises. After the first two sessions, we visited the US embassy. Some of the speakers at the embassy said that doing the model UN in the past had helped them to get their jobs. In the evening, we went to a rooftop sauna. On Friday, we had the third session, then had lunch and a visit to the Ministry of the Environment before the fourth session. I used the opportunity to ask about the fishing agreement for the Deatnu (Teno) river, the biggest Atlantic salmon river in Europe, which was approved in the Finnish parliament 22nd March 2017, making it illegal for the Sami who don’t live permanently in the river valley to fish there. Regulations would cut the majority of traditional Sami fishing rights, while redistributing new fishing rights to non-indigenous cabin owners in the area. The Finnish government claim that the Sami are lacking in knowledge of the river and the salmon in it, and that they are trying to protect the salmon, namely 30 genetically distinct salmon populations in the river. The Ministry of the Environment responded by saying that this is currently a hot topic, but not something that should be addressed by this ministry. They did not specify which to which other ministry I should address this question instead, but I assume it might be the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the evening, we had a tapas dinner.


On Saturday, we had the fifth and sixth sessions, and finally managed to pass ‘resolutions’ for both the first and second topics. In the evening, I attended a Sitsit party, which is where many people gather for a three-course meal and alcohol. The guests are given a list of rules and a booklet with songs that will be sung during the event. After a song is sung, glasses are raised for a toast. The event is guided by a toastmaster, who keeps note of and introduces everyone who wants to perform something, ensures that everyone abides by the rules, and punishes anyone who doesn’t in a humorous way. Afterwards I then headed back to Tampere on the last train.


As someone who fears public speaking, this event was very challenging for me. However, I think it is important to challenge myself by doing things that scare me, and I feel that the event went well. I spoke up several times, and through this I improved my public speaking and debating skills, and learnt by making mistakes. Sometimes I forgot that I was representing Finland, and at some points I realised that I was presenting my own perspective on the issue rather than that of Finland. However, some people gave me some good feedback about my speeches. I feel a lot more confident after being there, and more knowledgeable about how the UN works. I’m really glad that I went.


2017-04-14 12.06.33



On Thursday 23rd February, I flew to Vienna to attend the Model European Union (MEU) Vienna 2017, which is a simulation on how the main bodies of the European Union (European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the European Union) function. MEU mainly aims to provide people between the ages of 18–30 years with more insight and knowledge on how decisions are made within the European Union and especially the ordinary legislative procedure. I was acting as a Member of the European Parliament representing the Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA) and Germany. We debated the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive and the Natural Gas Transmission Regulation.


Upon arrival, I chatted to and met some new people, and then we went on a city centre tour arranged by the organisers. We had a tour around the town hall, and saw the Austrian Parliament Building, the ‘Volksgarten’ garden, the official residence of the Chancellor (Prime Minister) of Austria, the Austrian National Library, and Café Central, among other buildings in the Museums Quartier. After going back to the hotel to change into our formal wear, we went to the opening ceremony at the House of the EU, which included a panel discussion and mock debate. On Friday, we were up early to debate the Natural Gas Transmission Regulation, and then later had a press conference. We had to propose amendments and gain support for them by negotiating with other parties who we thought would share some of our views. We then voted on them, and they went to the Council. The Council rejected most of the amendments because they were against European law, which I think most of us had limited knowledge of. In the evening, we had dinner at an original underground cavern Austrian restaurant called ‘Stadtheuriger’. On Saturday, we debated the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive and then had another press conference, and in the evening, we had dinner at a pizzeria. Afterwards we went to a bar called Kramladen and saw a performance by a band called ‘Balkan Tango Vibes’. I enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t the type of music that I would normally listen to. On Sunday, we had the last session and voting, and then the closing ceremony in which we all received certificates.


Inside the town hall


Österreichische Nationalbibliothek/Austrian National Library



House of the EU


I had arranged to stay a few extra days alone because I hadn’t had much time to do some sightseeing during the event. On Sunday evening, I went to a play that my new Syrian friend who I met during the MEU invited me to called ‘Badluck Aleppo’. It was interesting, but wasn’t a play exactly, it was people who’d lived in Syria sharing their experiences in German, English and Arabic (with a translator for Arabic!). I guess we don’t hear about these individual stories that often and it’s probably hard for people to share their traumatic experiences. I know some things that go on there but it was shocking and emotional to hear it from somebody directly. I’m very grateful to be European and have the freedom of movement. Afterwards he then gave me an evening tour of the city.


On Monday, my priority was to visit the Vienna International Centre, where the UN offices are located. I managed to join a guided tour in the morning, which was very interesting. We were able to see the International Atomic Agency, some Nobel Peace Prizes, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, a space travel exhibition which included a lunar sample (moon rock), and one conference room and the booths where the interpreters sit. I would love to be an interpreter, but I struggle to quickly switch between languages. I had some time to wait before the tour, so I went up the nearby Donauturm tower, which is 252 metres high. After the Vienna International Centre tour, I found a vegan restaurant called ‘Swing Kitchen’ for lunch where I had a vegan schnitzel wrap meal and vegan Sacher torte, a classic Austrian chocolate cake layered with apricot preserves. I then went to see the famous Hundertwasserhaus, which is an apartment house and expressionist landmark of Vienna.


View of Vienna from the Donauturm tower


Vienna International Centre




On Tuesday, I went to Bratislava, the Slovakian capital. I had found out from my Slovakian friends that Bratislava is only an hour away by train and the return ticket costs €16, so I decided to take the opportunity to go there. I appreciate the Schengen Area (an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders) because I didn’t have to show my passport and it didn’t really feel like I was crossing a border (which actually follows a river in this case). I’ve enjoyed the same privilege when travelling from Finland to Estonia. It’s a shame that Britain isn’t part of this area. It would make going to France much easier, for example.


Firstly, I went to the old town, where I saw the Primatial Palace, the old town hall, the main square, Michael’s Gate (the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications and ranks among the oldest town buildings), and St. Martin’s Cathedral. Then I climbed up a hill to Bratislava Castle, where I could see nice panoramic views of the city. After I went back down the hill, I walked through a long park where I saw the US embassy (with lots of security of course) and the Historical building of the Slovak National Theatre. Then I saw the Church of St. Elizabeth, commonly known as the Blue Church. I went back to the old city and had a look around The Bratislava City Museum for a few hours. I went past the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, 17th November Square (the Velvet/Gentle Revolution was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, which took place from November 17 to December 29, 1989), and had a nice evening view of the castle lit up, on my way to see the Presidential Palace. Finally, I went to a pub called ‘Slovak Pub’ that my new Slovakian friend who I met at the MEU recommended to me, where each glass of wine was €1 and pint of cider waa €2. Then I headed back to Vienna by train.


Bratislava Castle


Modrý Kostolík/the Church of St. Elizabeth/the Blue Church


Grassalkovich/Presidential Palace


Slovak Pub


On Wednesday, I went to Schönbrunn palace, and had an audio guide tour inside. The history of the imperial family was very interesting. Afterwards I went for a walk in the gardens and climbed up a hill for a nice view of the city. I went past the Volkstheater (People’s Theatre) on the way to a vegan ice cream parlour called ‘Veganista’, which someone I had met during the MEU had recommended to me. I had a scoop of maple pecan and a scoop of ‘Germknödel’ (a traditional Austrian dish, which is a dumpling filled with spiced plum jam) in a cone. Then I continued to a vegan bakery called ‘Nom Nom’ to get a cake and a nut and marzipan muffin for my return journey. I had previously thought that it might be difficult to be vegan in Vienna because I had found it hard as a vegetarian in Germany, but that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. After picking up my luggage from the hotel, I took an evening flight to Helsinki, and I managed to arrive in Tampere early on Thursday morning, because I had a class and a study group meeting the next day.


Schönbrunn palace


I found the MUN easier than the MEU because there was only one person representing each country, and there was a lot less people. In the MUN there were around 60 people, and at the MEU there were around 130. In the MUN you must consider your assigned country’s position, but in MEU you must consider your party’s and faction’s positions as well as your country’s, and this can feel confusing in debates.

An internship experience at the United Nations in Brussels

By Julia Kanerva


Brussels Town Hall on the famous Grand Place


Firstly, I’d like to thank TAYK for inviting me to be a guest writer. I have been following TAYK’s information channels for more than a year now and am really impressed by the professionalism and the activities of the association. I am currently based in Turku and was in the board of the UN Association of Turku, as well as the treasurer of the UN Youth of Finland for the term of 2016, which offered me a great opportunity to continue broadening my knowledge on UN issues.


I did an internship at the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels. It may sound like a cliché, but I encourage everyone to apply for their dream internships which they think they are not yet completely qualified for. Amazing things may happen in the application process as well – you never know. I applied for the internship position of the UNRIC Nordic desk, but got the internship position at the UNRIC UK and Ireland desk, which I did not know I could apply for. Majoring in English, the position proved the best possible alternative from the professional perspective, as I got to monitor some of the biggest British and Irish news sites and to work merely in English (and occasionally in French).

The media monitoring covered two specific tasks: firstly, monitoring the UK and Ireland press to select daily headlines for the Executive Office of the Secretary-General in New York, and secondly, a media monitoring exercise on the media coverage of the United Nations climate summit. In addition to media monitoring, my tasks included producing and updating articles for the UNRIC main website. Another important task was to promote the United Nations’ film events Ciné-ONU, organised monthly for a wide audience in Brussels, on social media (Twitter and Facebook) and to participate in the planning and organisation of Cine-ONU events. This involved, for instance, research and enquiries related to the events as well as preparing the invitations and managing the registration and answering to email inquiries concerning the events. Moreover, I assisted in the organisation of these events at the venue and had the opportunity to watch all the inspiring documentaries that were screened during my time at UNRIC.


Panel discussion after a Ciné-ONU screening organised by UNRIC


Some of my favourite tasks included the media monitoring as I got to learn the latest developments around the world every morning as part of this daily task. I also enjoyed compiling articles for the website a lot, as the research on development topics improved my awareness of many global issues of which I did not have a thorough knowledge beforehand. Besides the job, I enjoyed my time in Belgium outside work as well.


Brussels is full of green spaces, such as the beautiful Woluwe Park.


Brussels is a vibrant city, famous for itseurobubble”. Different seminars and events are organised on a daily basis and the social life, such as the weekly gatherings at well-known squares for after-work meetings, provide unique opportunities to meet new people from all around Europe and beyond. I also visited Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp, tasted moules-frites as well as explored the Royal Palace of Brussels, the home of the architect Victor Horta, and the exhibition of Peter Paul Rubens at the Bozar (le Palais des Beaux-Arts). Brussels has a lively culture which goes much beyond being a mere center for the international institutions.



Arcade du Cinquantenaire, one of the most famous monuments in Brussels.


The time I spent in Brussels has continued to inspire me during the rest of my studies as well as my more recent professional experiences. I wish everyone good luck with finding internships! Remember to believe in yourself and just apply!


An extract from travel diaries in Morocco


I got pretty excited when Air France messaged me that the purchase I had just made a few minutes earlier was officially confirmed. It was late November, dark outside, melancholic even, but my mind got positive and my thoughts flew immediately to my destination in North Africa, in Morocco, where I was to spend ten days exploring the country and taking a small break from my study loaded life in Finland. I felt curiosity and travel spirit steadily arise in me.

Getting into Morocco from Finland is relatively easy. The standard is a quick stop (and definitely a quick one since Charles de Gaulle might take all your airport time in your search of the right terminal and gate for the connecting flight!) in the French capital before reaching North Africa. Rabat, the capital of Morocco, has about half a million citizens which makes it the 7th biggest city in the country. Modernity and history are smoothly tied together in Rabat that has actually its oldest parts dating back to the 12th century. I was also able to experience the presence of the past in many places when walking around the city: the old town area of Rabat, called also more generally ’medina’, has been recognized by the United Nations as a special landmark that has cultural and historical value not only on a local level but also universally. I had a chance to take a short afternoon walk inside the medina walls and I got really impressed by its architecture, especially by the labyrinth reminding streets ready to lead lost this curious-minded non-inhabitant of the quarter, and by the Mediterranean connoted colors (white and turquoise blue) used for the facades. A very special place to live in. Challenging too. No wonder why the UN wanted to make this charming site protected and universally recognized.


Exploring medina from the inside and falling for its colors


A view showing the walls of medina and a more modern quarter further ahead

Besides the capital, I had a chance to visit other parts of Morocco during my stay. One quite an interesting place was Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a fortified village that has its origins in the 17th century. Situated in the southern Morocco, in Ouarzazate region, the site used to play a role as a passage point linking an important caravan route from Marrakech to the rest of Sahara. Nowadays, the village, that is also a typical example of architecture in Southern Morocco, is protected by UNESCO and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site like the medina of Rabat. Interestingly, while the majority of the inhabitants has moved to another village right down the Ksar, the Ksar itself (that has been founded on a hill) still has today a few families living inside its walls. According to my guide, who walked with me a while and told me stories about the fortified village, life there is tough due to a variety of socio-economic and cultural changes that have taken place over the years. Still, a few families live there and are willing to stick to the traditions and their living conditions. That made me appreciate the site even more.

IMG_3340Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou and houses representing typical architecture in Southern Morocco

IMG_3364Earth, wood and clay: the main materials used for construction of the village 

IMG_3441Moroccan sheep in a back yard inside the Ksar

From the political perspective, interesting things were happening in Morocco at the end of January 2017. Country, that was absent from African Union for more than 30 years, made actually a comeback to the union on the 30th of January. The reason behind the withdrawal of Morocco from the AU can be explained by the presence of The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in the union, a country that had been recognized by the majority of other AU member states. The situation in Western Sahara, called as a non-self-governing territory by the United Nations since 1963, remains complicated due to sovereignty disputes Morocco and Polisario (liberation movement aiming to end Moroccan presence in the Western Sahara) have over the territory. Also, when talking about Western Sahara, some might have heard about the mission MINURSO which was established in 1991 by Security Council. The purpose of the mission was to prepare a referendum for the people of Western Sahara who could vote for either independence or integration with Morocco. However, after 26 years of establishing the MINURSO, the referendum has not taken place.

Overall, Morocco is a fascinating country with a lot a variety in landscapes and different regions, to mention a few. It is definitely a country that has a lot to offer to visitors: surfers, architecture and history lovers, hikers and desert explorers, you name it, enthusiasts of all sorts of activities are welcomed. I personally thought that the eastern (or southern) the better: there was something very unique about the sunburn houses, endless dune landscapes and lonely highway walkers I did not get tired of admiring. Another visit to Morocco will be a must in the future.


By Anna-Mari, development cooperation and Peace Day coordinator


MINUTES  of BOARD MEETING                                           3.3.2017


Time    Friday 3rd February 2017 at 16:00

Place   Kulttuuritalo Telakka (Tullikamarinaukio 3)


Emilia Tuurala

Elisa Palminen

Salla Uusitalo

Hasan Sohail

Anna-Mari Hiltunen

Sylvi Otranen

Niina Jyränen (arrived at 16:11)

Sami Vuorenpää (arrived at 16:17)

  1. Opening the Meeting

The meeting opened at 16:06.

  1. Legality and Quorum

The meeting was legal and the board was able to make decisions.

  1. Organisation of the meeting

Emilia Tuurala was chairman.

Anna-Mari Hiltunen was secretary.

The scrutinisers are Salla Uusitalo and Hasan Sohail.

  1. Acceptance of the agenda

The suggested agenda was accepted.

  1. Announcements
  • Aviisi has interviewed Emilia Tuurala and the paper is going to publish a story about TAYK next week. TAYK will also publish the text through its social media channels.
  • Elisa Palminen will be the chair of the board for the next two months during the absence of Emilia Tuurala (from the beginning of March until the end of May).
  1. Economic affairs
  • The UN association Tampere has decided to let Nina Huhtinen and Emilia Tuurala to have an access to the bank account of the organization. They will also be given a credit card (Visa Electron) for the account and they have the right to use the bank account on the web.
  • We will reimburse the costs of the train tickets (42 euros) for Anne Palm who was the guest speaker of our event ‘’Have a drink with TAYK’’ on the 28th of February.
  • We will have to pay for TAYK’s webpage domain during March.
  1. Past events
  • We had an internship information session with TEN on the 15th of February. The event was a success with approx. 45-50 people attending.
  • Have a drink with TAYK, which was organized on the 28th, went also well.



  1. Upcoming events
  • We will participate at the event organized in the spirit of ‘’Providing free contraception for youth -campaign’’. The event is going to be a panel discussion that TAYK could promote through its social media channels once the event is created on the web. We could participate at the actual event on the 20th of March.
  • The week against Racism combined with material collection for Apu-Paku ry: we are thinking about creating a two-day event at the campus (possibly the 21st and 22nd of March) during which we would encourage the students to write small texts in accordance with the theme week and to donate some material Apu-Paku ry needs for their Gambia project.
  • In April-May we could arrange another Have a drink with TAYK -event.
  • We thought about applying for a Vision’s grant in order to organize a cultural event, e.g. a movie night. The deadline for the application is the 15th of March. Before applying we have to check how much screening a movie (DiCaprio’s Before the Flood) would cost. One possible date for the movie night could be the 20th of April.
  • The spring meeting has to be organized soon. We will have to figure out whether there is a deadline for organizing it.
  • We will arrange a Vappu-picnic later on in the spring and ask other organizations to join (e.g., Amnesty and UN Women).
  • The excursion to Switzerland might be too difficult to arrange. We thought about having a trip to Helsinki instead in the autumn.
  1. Webpage and blog
  • Our publicists have been active on our social media channels.
  • Joel Linnainmäki has promised to write for our blog, we will ask again for his text.
  • The minutes have to be published on our website.
  • Translating the webpage has not started yet due to some technical questions. The workload will be shared among the board members anyway.
  • Our publicists decided to have a separate meeting to discuss the idea of live streaming and other steps to make publishing of future event more successful.


  1. Other matters
  • We have to decide what theme we would like to have for Peace Day in the autumn. ‘’Peace and Security’’ was discussed as a main team that we could split into smaller parts/themes later. After discussions, we chose that to be our main theme and talked about having the event possibly on the 21st of September. Before choosing the date we still have to make sure that the ‘Political Science Department Day’ is not going to be on the same day.
  1. Next meeting

Elisa Palminen who will be the chair for the next two months will organize a poll about the date and time of the next meeting.


  1. Ending the meeting

The meeting ended at 17:23.



 MINUTES of BOARD MEETING                                           7.2.2017


Time    Tuesday 7th February 2017 at 18:00

Place   O’Connell’s Irish Bar

Rautatienkatu 24, 33100 Tampere


Emilia Tuurala

Elisa Palminen

Lauren Stevens

Nina Huhtinen

Salla Uusitalo

Hasan Sohail

Anna-Mari Hiltunen

Elina Häkkinen

Niina Jyränen

  1. Opening the Meeting

The meeting opened at 18:02.

  1. Legality and Quorum

The meeting was legal and the board was able to make decisions.

  1. Organisation of the meeting

Emilia Tuurala was Chairman.

Lauren Stevens was Secretary.

The scrutinisers are Salla Uusitalo and Anna-Mari Hiltunen.

  1. Acceptance of the agenda

Emilia added point 10.

  1. Announcements

Some people are away for internships and exchanges at some point this year.


  1. Confirming the membership register
  • We currently have 65 members who have paid the fee, most of whom (around 48) are Tamy members
  • The fee is only paid once and membership lasts as long the person announces that they no longer want to be a member
  • The problem is that as a result we are unable to identify active members
  • There could be a fee which decreases annually in order to identify the active members
  • We need the email password
  • There is no English version of the rules
  • Emilia can ask other associations how they manage this situation
  • We could cooperate with Tampere UN Women to gain more members from outside the university
  • We can meet informally to plan the rules
  1. Economic affairs

Nina still doesn’t have access to the account, but she will attend Tamy’s treasurer training session.

  1. Upcoming events
  • TAYK & the European Youth of Tampere (TEN) – Internship information event/Harjoitteluinfo 15th February 18:00 in the Paavo Koli lecture hall (Pinni A building, on the right hand side after entering the main doors)
    • There will be four speakers
    • The Facebook page is ready and around 100 people are attending/interested
    • It has been very visible on Twitter as Salla has been very active there
    • Elina and one person from TEN will lead the discussion if the university person cannot come
  • Have a drink with TAYK
    • Nina’s contact cannot come, but she has an idea for two others, one of whom is already attending Tampere Peace Perspectives on 17th February 9:15-16:30 so perhaps she could come after, although there is an after party starting at 19:00
    • Nina can ask the speaker if 21st February is suitable
    • It could be in O’Connell’s/Kaijakka/Bar K (no separate room)
    • Everyone can buy their own drinks
  • Excursion
    • Elisa spoke to her teacher Tarja Seppä who promised to help if needed said it’s better to organise it for the autumn because that leaves enough time to do lots of planning
    • First we should determine a group of people who will definitely go
    • We could make a poll in our group to see who will attend and then open it up to others
    • International Relations students could get academic compensation
  • Movie night
    • There is uncertainty about copyright and how we can stream films
    • We could cooperate with Tampere UN Women
    • UN association/youth could have some movies
    • We could buy one on iTunes
  • Week against racism (20th-26th March)
    • TAYK could consider participating
    • We could connect it to agenda 2030
  • We could aim for one event every 2 weeks
  • The informal meeting will be 2nd March at 18:00 and the location will be announced later
  • Mahdollisuuksien tori and sosiaalifoorumi will organise an event in May, and this could be a good thing to participate in in order to advertise our work and reach out to people outside the university
  • Nina suggested a trip to the theatre to see a play about in climate change (only in Finnish)


  1. Website and blog
  • It is in good shape
  • There is only one section in English: the introduction, board (updated), and how to join
  • We need to pay for the domain in March. Sami Vuorenpää has the information.
  • Salla has time to translate it in the autumn
  • We could divide the sections and start with the most important section, such as upcoming events
  • There is no option for the user to see the entire website in English
  • We should decide whether we have a drop-down link for each page under the English tab, or just have English below the Finnish on each page
  • There will two blog posts in February; Joel and Hasan, and Suvi in March
  • We could pay for increasing advertising on Facebook but if we remove it then our visibility could be worse than in the beginning. We could save this idea for a specific event.
  • We could post events at certain times (12:00 and 20:00) in order to increase visibility
  • We could all like the posts in order to increase their visibility
  • Buffer is a website that can be used to post things at a certain time
  1. Creating an email account

We don’t have an email account and need to set one up.


  1. Other matters
  • We voted for equality to be our theme, which resonates with the Finland 100 theme
  • Our copy card for printing posters etc. has expired due to the new printing system. Members of the board could request a quota for association use.
  • Elisa has the locker keys
  • We have new badges that can be given to new members
  • We could have a sign-up sheet and badges at the internship event
  • We have a notice board in the university that we should make use of
  1. Next meeting

The next meeting will be on Monday 20th February at 16:00. The location will be announced later.


  1. Ending the meeting

The meeting ended at 19:23.


     MINUTES  of BOARD MEETING                                           24.1.2017


Time    Tuesday 24th January 2017 at 18:00

Place   Kulttuuritalo Telakka

Tullikamarinaukio 3, 33100 Tampere


Emilia Tuurala

Elisa Palminen

Lauren Stevens

Nina Huhtinen

Salla Uusitalo

Hasan Sohail

Anna-Mari Hiltunen

Elina Häkkinen

Niina Jyränen

  1. Opening the Meeting

The meeting opened at 18:01.

  1. Legality and Quorum

The meeting was legal and the board was able to make decisions.

  1. Organisation of the meeting

Emilia Tuurala was Chairman.

Lauren Stevens was Secretary.

The scrutinisers are Elisa Palminen and Emilia Tuurala.

  1. Acceptance of the agenda

The agenda was accepted as distributed.

  1. Announcements
  • The UN Youth of Finland are having their next meeting in Tampere. There will be an organisational day at the university on 11th February to which all UN associations will be invited. Speakers are needed.
  • The UN Youth of had their first meeting in which they organised positions and the agenda. Their focus will be on the environment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Salla and Nina will keep us informed.
  • Last year’s theme was multiculturalism. We need to decide this year’s theme.
  • We applied for some funding from the city. Last year we received €1,500. This year we asked for €2,500. We could get €2,000 because the organisation has grown. We will apply for other funding.
  • Tamy’s Big Association Blast is on 31st 25th January is the deadline. Participation can influence our funding.
  • Tampere Peace Perspectives on 17th February could be relevant to TAYK.
  1. Confirming the membership register

We should do it today, but we can’t because we don’t have it. It will be confirmed in the next meeting.

  1. Confirming the right to use the association’s account

Nina Pauliina Huhtinen (062087-218S) should have access because she is the Treasurer and Emilia Tuurala (270994-204H) could also have access.

  1. Economic affairs

Our balance is around €528.

  1. Upcoming events
  • An internship information event with Europe Youth of Tampere has been organised for 15th February at 16:00. However, this event has previously been criticised for being organised too late. We should choose two speakers who have done an internship with the EU or UN. Last year there was a speaker opening and a panel with questions by people who had done internships. Last year the room was too small, but we don’t want to use a room that’s too big otherwise it will look empty. We also need to buy gifts for the speakers.
  • Have a drink with TAYK will be organised on 20th, 21st or 22nd Nina has an idea of a speaker she could invite. O’Connell’s would be a good location because the library room is free and everybody can hear.
  • Last year there was an idea to visit the Embassy of Finland in Geneva in May for 10-15 people. Some travel expenses can be reimbursed depending on our budget and funding.
  1. Other matters
  • We need to choose the theme. It could be equality, which is broad and incorporates a range of equalities, such as gender, race and religion. Non-discrimination is related. As a result of Resolution 2250, youth and security could also be an option for another theme. However, choosing youth could make older members feel excluded.
  1. Next meeting

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 7th February at 18:00. The location will be announced later.


  1. Ending the meeting

The meeting ended at 18:41.

Loneliness in Elderly Age


Hasan Sohail

Old  age is the most complicated and sensitive phase of a human life. Elderly people have to face certain social, psychological and physical barriers that make their life more complicated. It is a harsh fact that as people grow older; society tends to diminish them from their social circles.

According to a study conducted by University of California, 43% of the people tend to feel lonely on the regular bases. How a person feels when he is lonely at a growing age? I guess the answer lies in a simple question. Just consider and ask yourself that you are now young, enjoying your life, cheering up with your social circles, not feeling bad for the elderly people who have been cut off from their families and living in old age homes. Now just think, this time is going to come on you also. Day by day, you are aging, growing old. You can’t handle the loneliness in young age so how you would tackle it when you are old. The answer of this question will create a self realization of the fact that how tough it is to be lonely at an older age.

woman-alone-staring-out-of-window-554224Loneliness is contagious. It can spread from one to another. Hard to believe but study conducted in University of Chicago observed that the people living alone at old age push others to go away from them and isolate themselves in a more desolated environment. They don’t even make efforts to connect with other people and make new social circle.

Tina Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist is of the view that one of the major causes of loneliness is that older people are not encouraged to express themselves. It is a general fact that we don’t listen to the people we love. She is of the view that “Tell me more” is a perfect gift that you can give to the elderly patients. Try to listen to them, what they want to say. Let them express their beliefs and emotions. If you discourage them by not listening, they would make themselves pushed towards loneliness.

The generation gap could also be another potential reason for loneliness in elderly people. Youngest relative of the elder people found them as boring or crazy. They don’t spend time with them. This attitude gives elder people a notion that they are not of any use now. Actually elderly people are a gem of experience for us. We should listen to them and let them teach us.

Lack of social circle also causes depression and loneliness among elderly patients. I think instead of pushing our grand elder to old age homes, we should spend time with them, share our daily routines, give gifts and make them feel that they are still an important part of the family. Not of all of these reasons may be true but some are harsh facts that have been observed in day to day life and surely leads to loneliness among elderly.

Kohti uutta vuotta


Vuoden alussa valitsimme TAYKin tämän vuoden teemaksi monikulttuurisuuden. Yhtenä tavoitteenamme oli tehdä tapahtumistamme kansainvälisempiä ja kohdentaa niitä enemmän vaihtareille, joten suurin osa tilaisuuksista pidettiin englanniksi. Saimmekin mukavasti uusia osallistujia mukaan tapahtumiin. Lisäksi syyskokouksessa ensi vuoden hallitukseen valittiin kaksi vaihto-opiskelijaa.

Toinen uudistus liittyi TAYKin logoon ja nettisivuihin, sillä molemmat kaipasivat mielestämme päivitystä ja selkeyttämistä. Uudessa logossa on sinisävyinen maailmankartta sekä teksti Tampereen YK-yhdistys suomeksi ja englanniksi. Teetimme myös uudella logolla varustettuja haalarimerkkejä. Nettisivut kokivat muodonmuutoksen, kun ulkoasua raikastettiin ja tiedot päivitettiin ajan tasalle. Myös somenäkyvyyteen panostettiin ja TAYK löytyykin nykyään sekä Facebookista, Instagramista että Twitteristä.


Vuoden aikana olemme järjestäneet tai olleet mukana lähes 20 tapahtumassa! Tähän voi vielä lisätä yli kymmenen hallituksen kokousta, epävirallista tapaamista ja suunnitteluiltaa. Voimmekin olla ylpeitä aktiivisista hallituslaisista ja jäsenistä. Iso kiitos myös kaikille teille, jotka osallistuitte tapahtumiimme 🙂

Nyt on vuoden 2016 hallituksen aika kiittää ja toivottaa onnea ensi vuoteen! // Thank you on the behalf of TAYK’s board of 2016 and good luck for the next year!

Sanna, TAYKin sihteeri

Tapahtumarikas syksy TAYKissa


Vuosi alkaa lähestyä loppuaan ja pian jo uusi hallitus ottaa ohjat käsiinsä. TAYKin syksy on ollut hyvin tapahtumarikas ja antoisa.

Syksyn aikana olemme järjestäneet muun muassa dokumentti-illan TIPSYn kanssa ja malli-YK:n FinMUNin kanssa. Malli-YK:ssa simuloimme YK:n yleiskokouksen kolmatta komiteaa ja pyrimme luomaan yhteisen päätöslauselman aiheesta ”nuoret ja Agenda 2030”.  Järjestimme syksyn aikana myös perinteisen ”Yksille TAYKin kanssa” –tapahtuman, jonne saimme vieraaksemme nuorten ilmastodelegaatin, Katri Ylisen. Vuoden viimeisimpänä tapahtumanamme vietimme pikkujouluja ravintola Gopalissa, jossa saimme kuulla ruohonjuuritason toiminnasta Apu Paku ry:ssä, samalla kun nautimme erinomaisesta kasvisruoasta.

TAYK jakoi Maailman parhaita uutisia Agenda 2030 -tavoitteiden vuosipäivän kunniaksi.

Tapahtumakirjo on ollut laaja ja iloksemme tapahtumat ovat saavuttaneet paljon innokkaita osallistujia läpi koko vuoden. On ollut inspiroivaa saada kuulla erilaisia puhujia, ja mikä parasta, käydä hedelmällisiä keskusteluja ja vaihtaa ajatuksia tärkeistä aiheista yhdessä samanhenkisten ihmisten kanssa.

Kiitos jo tässä vaiheessa kuluneesta vuodesta kaikille ja ihanaa joulunodotusta!

Riikka, tapahtuma- ja ekskursiovastaava