Monday, 12 April 2010

Puhu minulle suomea - Speak Finnish to me

On photo: Minna Säpyskä, Laura Lindeman and Mwilumbwa Kibbassa

Fourth-year environmental engineering student Mwilumbwa Kibbassa received a pink badge with the slogan Puhu minulle suomea (Speak Finnish With Me) on 8 April in connection with launching the Puhu minulle suomea campaign in TAMK. The campaign aims at encouraging international students to speak Finnish.

"The playful Puhu minulle suomea campaign aims at encouraging international students to speak Finnish in everyday situations and giving them the chance to do so. Finnish can be used with all wearing the badge. However, nobody is forced to speak Finnish. Speaking Finnish starts with small steps, such as using the words kiitos (thanks) and terve (hello)," told Project Manager
Minna Säpyskä from the Baltic Institute of Finland and Coordinator Laura Lindeman from the University of Tampere Career Centre.

Lacking Finnish language skills are one of the largest employment barrier among international students in the Tampere Region. Knowing even a little Finnish facilitates employment and integration to the society. The campaign badges are being distributed both to international students and to the participating institutions´ staff.

The University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and TAMK participate in the campaign. The campaign is set to run through April and May in the spring and continue in the autumn. A further aim is to extend the campaign to companies in the autumn.

The campaign has been organised by WorkPlace Pirkanmaa project, which aims at bringing international students and employers closer together. The roots of the campaign are in the city of Helsinki. The campaign has spread to the higher education institutions in Tampere through the Puhu minulle suomea event organised by Tampere Adult Education Centre´s immigrant education.

Mwilumbwa Kibbassa already speaks very good Finnish. "I would like to learn more Finnish if I just had enough time," Kibbassa told.

Further information:
Project Manager Minna Säpyskä, the Baltic Institute of Finland, tel. 050
587 0357,
Coordinator Laura Lindeman, Career Centre, University of Tampere, tel. 040
190 4064,

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