I contacted Aurala in February last year. Somebody gave me the number saying ”You are an immigrant – whatever problem you have, they will help you”. I called them not knowing what to expect… maybe they have projects for immigrants: language courses, some cv writing, maybe preparation for interviews… I needed something else and could’t believe they would be of any help. But I called them anyway, and that was the best decision ever.
I had no plan for work in Finland. Humanistic education doesn’t help if you don’t speak the language fluently. And the courses I have already done in Finland did not have any influence on the possibility to get a job in my proffesion.
Aurala’s website shows four areas of work: adult education (kansalaisopisto), kindergarden (päiväkoti), seniors (seniorit) and immigrants (maahanmuuttajat). Part for immigrants offers various types of support. I chose a project called PERUSTAIDOT. It means ”basic skills”, but offers much more than basic. I was listened, understood, and helped the way I needed, without ”I know better what is good for you”. Nobody expected me to take (another) language course, nobody forced me with their ideas about the job I should take. I just metioned my radio experience and that I would like to do interviews… After a few weeks Radio Robin Hood started cooperation with me.
One of the groups of people I interviewed were Aurala’s workers and management. There was something surprising in the interviews. Two questions were answered very similarly by all of people working in Aurala:
– Why do you work in Aurala?
– What is the most important in your work?
The answers to these questions were covering each other. Each interlocutor said about values of the association and about the style of work possible there. Work in Aurala is focused on the client, not on the programm. The goal is to serve client’s needs as effectively and as fast as it is possible (and much faster than official institutions). Workers in Aurala always look for solutions tailored for one particular client and one particular situation. They don’t have normal Finnish language courses. They have indyvidual support for people who want to learn Finnish. They don’t offer help in particular areas of life. They invite all immigrants with various problems and after that look for answers. Flexibility, openess, individual approach are brand marks of Aurala.
The values are present in every area of work and important to every worker. Human being is in the centre, not his behaviour, not his papers… Every person is welcome. His or her story is important only if it helps to solve the problem, otherwise it doesn’t matter where people are from, what culture, what religion, what habits clients have. The clients are important and their needs are priority. Aurala’s projects cover help for various groups of people, also those with law problems. Aurala’s workers don’t judge, they just help. Every person is a value as a human being.
So many times I have heard these words: Everybody is welcome in Aurala… I was welcome too… and I just got a job there.
”Where are you from? – Mistä sinä olet kotoisin?” interviews will be in Radio Robin Hood in December 2021 and in January 2022. Here is links to interviews, which I made with Auralas workers and management:
Ewa Kukanow Writer has just started work in Aurala in promotion and projects’ planning