Gender and culture
sensitive youth work

Kölvi is a non-profit NGO that offers a safe community space for boys and young men aged 12 to 29 with a refugee or migrant background. Based in Tampere, Kölvi provides gender and culture sensitive youth work as well as diverse support for young people in various areas of their lives. Our support ranges from work life, studies, and day-to-day affairs to finding meaningful leisure activities. Our goal at Kölvi is for our boys and young men to gain skills and courage to find their own voice as part of the Finnish society. There are two departments within Kölvi; Kölvi’s Preventative Special Youth Work and Vapari Team.

Preventative Special Youth Work

Kölvi’s Preventative Special Youth Work plans and tailors activities that match the special needs of Kölvi’s youth. Easily accessible activities appeal to youth who would not participate in more formal and school-like forms of support. Eventually Kölvi becomes a place for many where they can get the help they need in a homely environment. Democracy is a top priority at Kölvi, so our youth are always given the chance to make suggestions and play a role in the planning process. 

Kölvi’s activities include:

  • Sports activities, such as swimming and football
  • Weekly music studio workshops
  • Trips and excursions
  • Discussion groups alongside breakfast
  • Thematic evenings on various topics, such as work applications, dating, racism etc.

Vapari – volunteer work & peer support

Vapari coordinates and develops Kölvi’s volunteer work, peer mentoring and activities regarding civic engagement and youth participation.

Voluntary Work

Vapari recruits, trains, and supports the adult volunteers in Kölvi. Our volunteers come from various backgrounds and are a major help and resource in Kölvi’s everyday life. Kölvi’s adult volunteers support our boys and young men in a number of ways, including:

Vapari familiarizes the volunteers with their work and organizes meetings, trainings, and recreational activities for the volunteers throughout the year.

Peer Mentoring

Kölvi’s Big Brother peer mentors are older boys from Kölvi who want to share their own life experience with new-comers and Kölvi’s younger boys. In addition to this, the peer mentors support each other as well as the staff in a variety of tasks, including:

  • Leading by example, i.e., showing the younger boys how to behave properly at Kölvi and outside of Kölvi
  • Taking on more responsibilities during planned events at Kölvi, excursions and trips
  • Welcoming new youth and making them feel at home

Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement promotes migrant youth’s participation by introducing them to various ways they can positively influence their environment though active citizenship. Civil engagement activities in Kölvi include:

  • Thematic evenings on various topics of interest, such as voting, forms of activism, NGO’s etc.
  • Kölvi-democracies, where the youth can practice decision making and bring forth their own ideas for Kölvi’s activities
  • Small thematic groups, where the youth can get support for their own projects of interests