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November 2019
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Day of Peace in Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland - For the International Day of Peace, UPF-Finland held an afternoon seminar on September 21 for Ambassadors for Peace and other invited guests on the topic of “Youth, Peace and Development.”

During the first session, “Principles of Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution” were presented by UPF-Finland Secretary General Keijo Mikkanen, followed by questions and answers as well as a discussion.

During the second session, five panelists offered contributions on the topic “How to Encourage Youth to Serve for Peace.” The panelists were men and women as well as younger and older people, which resulted in lively, easy-to-follow presentations.

Maija Saarni from the Finnish Lutheran-backed development aid organization Fida International discussed her organization’s positive experience with young people volunteering in aid work overseas.

Kalervo Aromäki, a psychologist and pastor, reported on his experience working among young people who engage in risky behaviors in one of Finland’s provinces.

Monica Melén-Paaso, an educational counselor with the Ministry of Education, spoke of her research and work on global education and globalization education.

Raine Klemola, chairman of Finland’s Christian Democratic Youth, elaborated on his experience as a young politician motivating young people to participate in international and development aid projects.

Finally, some of UPF's Religious Youth Service projects were introduced. They have a distinctively interreligious purpose, which makes the experiences both challenging and enriching.

A lively question and answer session ensued, and vivid discussions continued over coffee and sandwiches.

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