Created in 2004, the Netari is Finland’s only national online youth club. You can use it to hang out, meet friends and chat with youth workers and with other reliable adults.
The site is open to all young people, and it operates from all the main online communities that young people in Finland use: IRC-Galleria, Habbo, Twitch, Ask.fm and social media. In 2015, Netari was visited by over 55 000 young users. The resource, which is currently only available in Finnish, is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Its aims are to:
- Enable participation in youth club activities online. The service suits those who for whatever reason do not want or cannot take part in youth club activities in their own municipality;
- Provide enjoyable free time activities online;
- Strengthen and support youth development by providing company of peers, adult help and communal activities in the online environment;
- Increase the scope for young people to make new friends online;
- Create a safe discursive environment on the internet;
- Prevent problems by providing a forum for support and opportunities to talk about your own worries to a trustworthy adult;
- If necessary, apply a child protection approach to youth problems.
Multi-professional input to Netari activities
Just as with a real youth club, Netari has professionals working for it who are trained in youth work, and who are from several cities in Finland. Save the Children’s staff members and adult volunteers also take part in the initiative. Netari instructors can be easily distinguised from other users of the site as they have a Netari ID. This allows young users to be sure that they are chatting to an actual adult. Professionals from other fields of work, such as culture and social affairs and health, can also visit Netari. It also has assistant instructors working for it made up of other young people.