AFAES ry is working in the capital region in the field of immigrant integration especially among those who have come to Finland from Africa. AFAES has been also helping families who have experienced any kind of crisis in their new home country and have needed assistance from social -or health services. Importantly the NGO has been also raising awareness of cultural differences among the Finns. AFAES volunteers are experts in storytelling, drumming, cultural food preparation, handicrafts, and dance workshops. This sharing of culture has brought African culture closer to the Finnish population.

imagepngMany immigrant background youths have experienced bullying, racism, and discrimination in their daily lives. Racism makes it much more difficult to integrate into Finnish society. Therefore, we think that it is important that young people have a safe space, where they can share their experiences and concerns. Youth integration advances a feeling that one can do something to benefit their own environment and society by implementing small initiatives. Proposing actions and supporting peers especially to younger ones or those who have just recently arrived at the country and know their new home country’s culture only a little.

Currently, this kind of peer support activities produced by the immigrant organization is far too little. Bantaban project organizes three training sessions during spring 2021. We will target over 15-year-old immigrant background youth in the capital region. Half of those participating are immigrants, half have been born in Finland.

Take An Action- training content is an educational tool for democracy, cultural dialogue, influencing in societal organizational work. In each training, participants are 15-20 young people. Methods include presentations, group work drama, and experimental activities. Training is free of charge. Covid 19 guidelines will be observed. If you are inspired, contact Päivi Haapasalo, the project manager for further information. Email:

In each training, young people form small groups according to own interest and plan youth initiative projects. Projects can be marketing campaigns, group activities, and event training. Most important is that young people use their creativity and enthusiasm. Ideas come from themselves. If needed AFAES will support the young people to contact decision-makers in their hometown and support fundraising to implement the initiative. The aim is that trained young people would continue as volunteer peer support in AFAES’s organization.
The project leaders of the Bantaban project, provide organizational and development guidance. AFAES is committed to developing its processes through training. It is important to maintain transparency and openness.

AFAES strategy weekend will be organized in spring 2021. Then the organization’s strategy will be sharpened and aims crystallized. During that phase, we will also plan ways of participation. Communication through digital channels will be developed. Organization documents, annual reports, action plans, and budgets will be developed.

Bantaban project will organize a funding seminar “New winds of organization’s funding” in October 2021. If the pandemic stops the event, the seminar will be organized online. Immigrant organizations are invited as well as partner organizations. Presentations are invited from old big organizations as well as small ones.
The aim is to form a dialogue between immigrant background and donor organizations. One of the main objectives is to establish common ground for future cooperation. Donors have a chance to present their funding schemes and help immigrant organizations such as AFAES to present their own activities.

Thanks to:
Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö, Moniheli ry, Nana’s TV, Eurooppasali  and African Pots

Contact details:
AFAES-office: Africans and African -Europeans Association ry
Mäkelänkatu 58 A, 3rd floor
00510 Helsinki.

Fatima Usman, Chairperson 040 811 9977 or

Päivi Haapasalo, Project Manager  050 346 3367 or