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From Finland to Belgium
We are part of Voices of Culture 2022

Our project coordinator ”Father is important”, Shareef Askar, participated in the Voices of Culture – Structured Dialogue Between the European Commission and the Cultural Sectors at the Goethe Institut in Brussels, Belgium from 4 to 5 October 2022.

53 organizations that have been selected to participate in the structured dialogue on ‘Youth, Mental Health and Culture’ with the European Commission. The selection process was conducted by the European Commission.

The dialogues and workshops took two days. Most of the participants were experts in different cultural, social and artistic sectors from different parts of Europe.

The discussions and the group work were very powerful and fruitful in bringing insights on the role of cultural and creative sectors in improving mental health of the youth.

We have shared our input on several areas of discussion:

  • Evidence on the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to improving the mental health and well-being of young people, at national and international level.
  • Synergies with other policy fields (health, education, social welfare, etc.) to maximize results.
  • Examples of interventions where there is robust evidence of successful outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged young people. Conditions for success of such interventions.


The most rewarding part of the two days, although intensive and short, was networking with professionals from civic and governmental sectors and sharing our knowledge on working towards enhancing the wellbeing of the youth. Shareef shared valuable information on our work with the youth through our project a Better Life for Our Youth also his knowledge on projects related to cultural and artistic activities for the youth in Finland. He will contributed in writing a Brainstorming Report. In this report, the results of the discussion between participants at the Brainstorming Meeting will be expressed. This report will then be presented by him with other participants to the European Commission at the Dialogue Meeting.