Town Hall Event
20-November 2019, Mirsal presented different topics and questions for councilors of different political parties in the City Hall event. Our questions and topics were very important, which we collected by organizing many workshops.
The event is part of Moniheli’s Democratic Education for All Elections. The activities supported by the City of Helsinki with the help of integration work.
Questions collected by Mirsal are the following:
Workshop on 27 October 2019 for Arabic Community
1- Regarding the health care services in Helsinki, what are the future plans to develop the health care sector?
2- Kaikkien Vaalit is a good step toward involving immigrants in the decisions which are taken in Helsinki, but this small project is not enough. There have to be more efforts done to raise awareness of politics, which can also help to awaken the sense of social responsibility among immigrants, as they are part of this country. For example, through seminars, conferences.
3. In connection to number 2, what is the role of Counselors having foreign background to achieve number 2? How they will work in the future to involve their communities more and more in making decision?
4 Regarding the education system. Do you have projects to involve parents from foreign backgrounds with school supervisors for the benefit of the student (periodic meetings?
5- In terms of leisure and sports, how the municipality works to support foreigners in terms of sports competitions? Why we do not see tangible achievements reached by foreigners in this field?
6- Why Finland- Helsinki has no online voting system, which plays a huge role to encourage foreigners and minorities to vote and be more active?
Workshop on 7 November 2019 for Arabic Community
1- Solution for unemployment of immigrants! Connect the voluntary work with the services of TE-toimisto. The policies of TE-toimisto must be more comprehensive. There must be a law to enforce employers in all domains in Finland to accept a minimum number of volunteers or interns according to the size of the company. At the same time, the law must enforce unemployed people to do voluntary work after while being unemployed. Voluntary work must be in accordance with each person’s qualifications. It seems to many that the current policy intends to fill the occupations that are needed in the Finnish market by immigrants rather than help them to find themselves or work according to their dreams or qualifications. This will never work because many immigrants prefer to stay home than work in a job that they do not like or meet their expectations.
2- Support immigrants to learn the Finnish language until the end. Why we cannot find even one Finnish advanced course that is very intensive, i.e. daily course, with affordable prices or for free? Why not have it as part of the integration plan for immigrants to rise their qualifications?
3- Housing problem! The maximum rate of social benefit regarding housing allowance needs to meet the rent prices of houses in the city. Many social customers face challenges regarding finding a suitable house because the social rate for supporting their house rent is low compared to house prices.
4- Immigrants, specially the newcomers with low income, they do not have enough information about their children’s rights regarding social services in the city. For example, social supports children’s hobbies. Many of children of immigrants they do not have any hobby, because their parents think that they cannot afford financially the hobby of their children, as they do not know that social support can cover this.
5- In connection to number 4, how Helsinki Municipality promotes sports culture among foreigners, e.g. for elderly immigrants? Our association has a target to see elderly immigrants in the city having enough knowledge and support to join in support rather than being set at home.
6- Despite of busy roads, limited parking spaces and pollution in Helsinki, year by year cost of public transportation is becoming more expensive. Why not make Helsinki an environment-friendly city by encouraging people to use public transportation instead of cares? Why not to make Helsinki or region ticket for residents free of charge or affordable, e.g. public transportation of Tallinn City is free of charge for its residents.
7- The municipality must give more opportunities to foreigners in order to be creative, what steps the municipality is following in order to exploit foreign experts, intellectuals and talents?
Workshop on 16 November 2019 for Russian Community
1- How the local districts work in Helsinki. Do you have a small council or committee for them? How us as residents can participate for the benefit of our district?
2- How the elections are happening? Do you choose candidates base on political parties?
3-Why not all services in Helsinki to be provided in English as well? Why there is no online platform where it is easy to have the instructions regarding the daily errands, especially to those who newly arrived in Finland.
4- In connection to point 3, the advising service of different authorities such as Kela and social in Helsinki is lacking efficiency. It seems as authorities are not aware of the process when dealing with the client, as what should be done first or what office should visit first before moving to another step.
5- Is there cooperation between the Helsinki council and other councils in UUSIMAA?
6-How can we reduce the use of alcohol among youth and how to control the selling of alcohol, e.g. through the internet?
7- The inspection department of the city council must control better the funds which are granted to implement different projects in the city. Many projects were granted a huge fund, but the result was very little.
8-How Helsinki saves forests, does Helsinki intend to cut the forests and build houses to replace it?
9- How climate change is considered and what is being done to improve it?