"Responsibility, empathy and sustainability are the foundation of the well-being of the municipality."
I´m Doctor in Geography with a teacher's qualification and a professional degree in entrepreneurship. At the moment I coordinate a project promoting the wellbeing of youth and good ethnic relations in the youth services of the City of Helsinki. The well-being of children and young people, as well as vulnerable people, are crucial themes for me, in addition to climate and the environment issues. I want to promote a just and socially, ecologically and economically sustainable city, where all residents have the opportunity to feel involved, heard and seen.
Having grown up in Namibia and Geneva, and having worked in development research, global education and integration of immigrants, I have good knowledge to impact on educational and immigration matters in the city. I also worked as immigration coordinator in Kauniainen in 2019.
The social sector is also familiar to me through multisectoral work and personal studies (I am e.g now participating in the Open University´s course in child protection.
A pioneer in climate and the environment
In order for Kauniainen to become carbon neutral by 2035, climate and the environment must be given priority both in our thinking and in all our political and practical decisions (eg in climate-friendly urban planning and construction, transport, recycling, biodiversity and procurement). I want to take my own responsibility in the Resource-wise Roadmap towards a climate-neutral Kauniainen 2035. In addition to wise decisions, we must understand that global and ecological responsibility and ecosocial civilisation are the foundation of our future. Climate-wise choices in Kauniainen also include preserving our cultural and historical heritage and green spaces.
The mental and physical well-being of the residents is the foundation of the well-being and future of our city. People with special needs and those in a vulnerable position must be a priority in services in order for equity to be achieved. Seniors should also be provided with adequate services at home. The "Covid19 Year" has decreased wellbeing, especially among young people. Now is the time to put the well-being of young people at the top of the priority list, giving them hope for the future and a sense of inclusion and empowerment. Kindergartens and schools must be given sufficient resources so that staff can be the safe support in the daily lives of young people and be able to address the challenges of children and young people both through prevention and at an early stage. At the same time, the well-being of those working with children and young people must be ensured. Young people must also have safe meeting places and meaningful leisure activities, and the financial resources of families must not prevent children and young people from having opportunities for constructive social life and hobbies.
All residents should be able to feel involved and equal, regardless of skin color and cultural background. Successful integration depends a lot on how successful we are in the two-way integration. Good integration means opening up our social networks and treating immigrants equally in both basic services and in our everyday encounters. We must better recognize the various forms of racism and combat all forms of discrimination. Good ethnic relations are however also a question about our ability for dialogue in difficult matters (I e.g have competence in restorative dialogue and mediation). We must also work to ensure that both the city and its inhabitants can better support the integration of immigrants into working life.
My expertise and bilingual networks in the field of public and third sector integration are an asset to Kauniainen. I have supported the integration of immigrants in Kauniainen through volunteering, in my earlier work as immigration coordinator in 2019, and in cooperation with the third sector and parishes. I also want to encourage the fourth sector (we active citizens) to take an active part in promoting smooth integration.