Eväitä elämälle aid programme for the Finnish students
A child has the right to go to school.
(Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)
The Eväitä Elämälle aid programme is a form of early intervention developed by Save the Children Finland to support children’s schooling and hobbies in for example single-parent families and families affected by long-term illness or unemployment. The aim of the programme is to ensure that the financial difficulties of a family do not compromise the child’s right to positive development and social inclusion. The Eväitä Elämälle programme comprises three forms of support: study materials for secondary education (upper secondary school and vocational school), hobby expenses (fees, equipment and hobby-related travel) and mentoring.
Save the Children Finland has 80 local associations around the country. The Eväitä Elämälle aid is channelled through these local associations by the volunteers that run them. This enables the programme to reach children in the area directly and efficiently. The Eväitä Elämälle aid is granted based on actual expenses, instead of monetary donations. This is to ensure that the aid is utilised effectively and appropriately. The programme is funded with donations from companies and individuals.
The study material aid is directed to children about to finish their compulsory nine-year comprehensive school and unable to continue on to secondary education due to their family’s financial struggles. Children within the programme receive financial aid for one school year at a time to cover the costs of books and other study materials necessary for their education in upper secondary school or vocational school. Our aim is to ensure that these children are able to complete their matriculation examinations or vocational degree within three years’ time. The study material aid reaches hundreds of children each year.
Hobbies enforce children’s sense of equality as well as their general well-being and learning. The Eväitä Elämälle hobby aid is directed particularly to families whose difficult financial situation prevents their children from pursuing a hobby. The financial aid is granted to children individually and can be used to cover the actual expenses of for example hobby fees, equipment and hobby-related travel. The activities funded by this programme need to take place regularly and under supervision.
Mentoring is the most recent addition to the Eväitä Elämälle programme repertoire that is already being implemented by a few of our local associations. It is a form of early support designed to secure children’s right to a sound development and participation. The key idea is to support the child’s own motivation to study and increase positive learning experiences with the help of a mentor. The mentors are students in secondary and tertiary education who are recruited to support children’s learning for a small financial compensation. For the children involved, mentoring is free of charge.