The important role of municipalities in our everyday lives cannot be emphasised enough. The municipalities make decisions about things such as the future development of health care, basic education, social services as well as road maintenance, services related to sports, physical activity and culture. Municipal elections are held every four years. The elected councillors have multiple opportunities to advance the well-being of intercultural and bilingual families. The previous municipal elections were held in June 2021.
multicultural municipalities – Familia's goals
Now, there are more than 80,000 intercultural couples and families in Finland, half of which are families with children, and the number is constantly growing. The Municipalities should take these families and their needs into consideration in their political decision-making, especially in social politics and services. Advocating knowledge about multicultural families is necessary to create equal and diverse Finnish societal structures. The Municipalities need to be mindful of diversity to improve the well-being of their citizens and to create a safe environment for identity formation.
1. SUPPORTING CULTURAL IDENTITIES
A positive identity experience is essential for a person’s well-being. Healthy and vibrant environments support diversity and create tools and resources for identity formation and development. Especially important is to aid the identity formation of children and youth.
Identity is a colorful ensemble vast enough to house multiple languages. We want multilingual Finns to be officially acknowledged and their language skills appreciated. Our goal is a future where multilingual workers, creators, and decision-makers can see themselves as an asset starting from childhood.
How can cultural identities be supported on a societal level?
2. EMPLOYMENT AND NONDISCRIMINATORY MUNICIPALITIES
Personal characteristics can not be an obstacle to a person’s chances in the job market.
How can employment become more inclusive?
3. CUSTOMIZED SERVICES
Services must meet the needs of multicultural families and couples for the whole duration and steps of human life. Both parents need to be considered, not just the Finland-born parent. Possible language barriers need to be acknowledged and actively worked on.
Services need to be arranged so everyone in Finland can use them equally. Everyone needs public services and has a right to them despite their language skills or other characteristics. Municipalities should grant paramount importance to services used by families with children.
Services targeted for children should consider their rights, the prohibition of discrimination, prioritizing what is best for the child, the child’s right to develop and get both heard and respected. Making sure to implement these rights is imperative for the development of a child’s identity and personality.
How should customized services be implemented?
4. MULTICULTURAL FAMILIES AS A PART OF THE MUNICIPALITIES
The Municipalities will invest in active civil society by supporting volunteer work and the work of NGOs. This will create a participatory and proactive atmosphere where all citizens are involved in the decision-making affecting their daily lives.
How can multicultural families become a better part of the municipalities?