Y's Men International - Region Finland-Balticum

Our Region | Internationality

The charity coffee concert for the Bethel Social Center of Tallinn 25.10.2015

The local Y's Men's Clubs of Helsinki region arranged a coffee concert to support the Bethel Social center of Tallinn. The social center started its activities in 1996 when some congregation members noticed homeless children on the streets of Northern Tallinn. The street work of giving clothes and food has continued as a day care center in the empty church since 1998. Since 1999 children who go to school have had opportunity to live in the church building. Since then the activities have been developed and renovations have been done for the church building and its living quarters. Now there is a plan to build a new building to accommodate children. However, almost all support comes from individual donations giving often possibilities only to cover daily, short term, costs. That is why continuous support is the necessary.

The concert was arranged in the premises of Brage Association in Helsinki. After the welcome speech of the chairman of the host committee, Kristina Rothe, the manager of Bethel social center, Mati Sinisaar, presented the activities of the center. The presentation was outspoken and realistic telling the destinies of the young people who had been living in the center or in its influence. Examples were given of good successes but there has also been sad destinies. The presentation gave a good idea of the need of help and also strong motivation for the audience to give its own contribution to the center.

Audience listening the concert

The youth of Bethel had prepared a lively pop-dance performance for the concert and also gave nice performance of piano music. The Chamber Choir IDUN presented a versatile set of songs in Swedish, Finnish, Italian and English. Duo P.S. had Jazz type evergreen songs in their program of good style. The music program was enjoyable and received big applauses from the audience.
IDUN Chamber Choir singing

Duo P.S. in the mood

During the pause of the concert coffee was served and lots were sold with good success. Also the Bethel Social Center had a sales desk for their handworks and cards to bring extra money. As a summary the economic result of 1800 euros exceeded the budgeted target that was accepted with satisfaction by the host committee: Kristina Rothe of YMC Femella, Ritva and Jorma Sinkkilä of YMC Vantaa, Taisto Hirvonen, Tor Bäckman and Veikko Juvonen of YMC Katajaiset and Maikki Vepsä of Katajattaret.

Veikko Juvonen
DG Finland

Report of MC/Extension seminar 14-16.02.2014

The seminar was held in the local boarding high school in February. The meeting was organized by area leaders under the lead of ASD/MC/SDS/YES Paul-Erik Didriksen. Participants were following: AP Henry Grindheim, RSD Arild Engelstad and RSD Bjørg Else Rasmussen from Norway, ASD, LTOD Jacob Kristensen, APE Carl Hertz-Jensen, RSD Jens Byskov and RSD Gorm Skousen from Denmark, DG Ion State from Bulgaria DG Katalin Barath from Hungary (Donau district), RD Ineta Krumina from Latvia and RSD Veikko Juvonen from Finland.

Seminar work going on.

The participants presented the situation of their region. Denmark has a good situation in this respect. They are increasing the number of clubs and members especially in their East European district of Donau, Transylvania and Bulgaria. Also the club members are participating eagerly in the activities. Jens Byskov and Gorm Skousen presented the situation in Denmark and the activities that are used in extension. For instance the Week4You-project in January gave good possibilities to meet people. Different happenings like gospel choir singing, exhibitions and fair has been arranged in the hospitals, shopping centers and on the streets. Good printed material like leaflets gave people possibilities to discuss more of the Y's Men's clubs. Interesting projects like Roll Back Malaria and some other development projects attracted also people's attention

The districts of Donau, Transylvanien and Bulgaria belong to region Denmark. There has been made lots of extension work and the districts have increased the membership considerably during last years as described by Katalin Barath and Ion State. Ion told about their club activity that was created around the Aikido. This is an interesting example which shows how the club can be created around any hobby or sports.

Norway has rather stable situation although the aging of members gives good reason for active extension work. The situation of Finland Balticum was presented by Ineta Krumina and Veikko Juvonen. The clubs of Baltic states show good activity and the number of members has been stable during last years. A new club will be chartered near Vilnius in the near future.

In Finland the situation has worsened during last two years. Two major clubs in Northern Finland stopped their activities as Y's Men's clubs. They continue now as clubs of local YMCA. But after all promising signs can be seen when in the biggest club (Vantaa) has attracted new members with its development project in Qambia. The start of youth club has been tried for a couple of years. The successful start of the youth club activity is dependent on life situation of young adults and the practical tasks which Y's Men's movement can give them.

Jacob Kristensen made a good presentation on the extension and Jens Byskov gave enthusiastically practical advises how to approach people and how to organize the extension work. IP Poul Thomsen visited the seminar presenting statistics and telling about the extension targets.

The seminar participants had also possibility to visit the big second hand market run by the local Alderlyst club. The club owns the double hall and sells all kind of stuff from furniture to small items like dishes and books. The work is voluntary and the economic result is good thus giving possibilities to help the work of Y's Men's clubs and many other associations.

The get-together dinner at the school on Friday and dinner in the home Paul-Erik on Saturday were warm occasions and offered a good possibility for mutual discussions.

Seminar participants visit the second hand market.

Veikko Juvonen


Ineta Krumina elected as ICM (5.3.2014)

The results of the voting of the clubs were announced in the end of February. RD Ineta Krumina was elected as a member of the international council (IC). The nomination concerns two years starting from the beginning of July 2014. The clubs of Finland-Balticum congratulate Ineta and support her in this demanding task.

Ineta together with Norway's Bjørg Else Rasmussen and Arildin Engelstadin in the RSD seminar of Silkeborg 14-16.02.2014.







Seminar of the situation and Future of District Finland

The seminar was arranged in the apartment of YMCA In Helsinki 24.11.2012. Twenty six members of Y's Men's clubs from Helsinki region, Turku and Tampere took part in the seminar. The reason for the seminar was the worry about the falling of the membership and weakening of the activities of the clubs in Finland. It was wanted to discuss of the measures to turn this development upwards. The target was to find solutions for the activities of the clubs, process of achieving new club members and starting of the new clubs. The seminar was opened by RDE Anita Kankkonen, who also interpreted the English training into Finnish. The main speaker and trainer of the seminar was Jacob Kristensen, who is the mentor of Finland-Balticum and responsible person of the training of area Europe.

The participants were divided in four groups, in which the first part of the seminar was carried out with brain storming method. The improvement proposals of the groups were put on the walls. The best ideas were then qualified out of these proposals. The summary of the ideas will be published as a separate report and it will be distributed to the participants and clubs.
Shortly it can be seen that the range of ideas is wide. Concerning the new clubs the long term, stable action model was seen important. Examples of these are for instance the overseas development projects, TOF-project and many local projects supporting YMCA and scouts. It was seen essential to get younger generation into the activities a which was also considered as a challenging issue. The start of the clubs for younger generation created special concern. The generation gap creates its own demands which require new approach to this issue. Concerning the club activities the creating of fellowship among members, a good welcome, orientation and care of new member were seen important. In addition the importance of a regular and well planned program was emphasized.

The second part of the seminar consisted of the actions of starting a new club and the team work. The emphasis was how to create the extension team, which sets the goals and takes the real resources and options into account. The achieving of the goal depends then on the will and activity. The accomplishment of the extension plan provides follow up in regular intervals. The financing of the extension work can be applied from the YES-fund. The principles of the club work were also discussed concerning the boar activities, plans, goal setting, training and communication through bulletin or home pages.

New ideas were presented. People are now needed to start the practical work in the clubs to get new members and to start new clubs.

At the end of the seminar the participants could enjoy of two musical presentations. Pekka Läntinen of Turku club presented ex. tempore a beautiful Norwegian song. Musician Pentti Hildén presented with two traditional lutes and a guitar a series of renaissance songs, songs of Bellman as well as songs from Argentina. His musical presentation was a successful end of the busy seminar day.

PRD Veikko Juvonen

Report from charter of Y`s Men´s Club of Vilnius Community 9.6.2012

Arrived by flight from Helsinki together with RD Veikko Juvonen, Jaakko and Pirkko Koikkalainen. We were met at airport and brought to the hotels. Before going to the church we visited the second hand shop of old records and record players run by club president Arturas Franckevi?ius. Very interesting.

Charter event started with service at 6 p.m. in Vilnius All Saint´s Church. The charter procedure was handled by me (PAP), Veikko (RD) and Ineta (RDE) and it became very solemn and dignified also due to the atmosphere in the church.

I had a short speech remembering among other things the charter of 1999 in which some members of the new club took part. I hoped they will take my AP-year motto as their own motto: “Let the light shine” and forget all problems they have had and look into the future with joy.

After the charter ceremony, the priest Vitautas blessed the club and wished them good luck in their activities and welcomed the club to the church when chartering new members and also to help in the church´s activities for children and elderly people.

After the ceremony we all went to the kindergarden, where the club have their regular meetings. President Arturas showed a powerpoint presentation of the club´s activities, and after that it was time for congratulations.

  • YMC Femella is the sponsorclub for YMC of Vilnius Community and gave as a present 100 euros to be used for some project for children. Femella handed over also their banner and a guestbook. Femella also wants to be Brother club with Vilnius Community club and they agreed.
  • Cesis Y`s Woman`s club (4 attenders)
  • Region F/B (RD Veikko)
  • Vantaan YMC ( Jaakko and Pirkko Koikkalainen)
  • Many congratulations had come from other clubs and Y`s Men but where unfortunately not announced.

    After this part of the charter festive, we all went out in the garden for barbeque-party and fellowship until 11 p.m.

    Next day at 2 p.m. we met Diana Zarembien? who guided us around in Vilnius old town and took us also to the tower of St.Johns church.

    Two days full with program, well organized charter-event! I came home with satisfaction that Region F/B and Area Europe got 15 new members and a new active club.

    Kristina Rothe (PAP)

    From RD

    Baltic Tour 11-13.5.2012
    Regional director Veikko Juvonen ja regional sectretary Esko Vepsä

    The main purpose of the trip was to meet the responsible persons of the next season and discuss about the current issues the region. Also the plan was to meet as many clubs as possible and discuss of the targets and receive local news. The route was following: Tallinn-Pärnu-Liepaja-Riga-Cesis-Tallinn and the trip was made with car of regional secretary.

    The first short stop was on Friday noon in Raekylä school in Pärnu where Piia Karro, Kaljo Kaasik and a new member of the club was met. The membership of the club has grown up to eleven at the moment which was noticed as a positive development. Raekylä school is the base of the club. Many courses and other activities are arranged in the school the club being partly participating in these activities. During the visit there was a course for unemployed going on.

    Liepaja club was met on Friday night in their club house in the middle of high block of flats. To the club was brought children's sports shoes, jogging shoes and sportswear which had been left over from the lottery of the calendar sales in Helsinki region. The club had received the flat from the city, renovated part of the rooms and built a playground for children. Immediately it was noted that the further development and renovation of the place was a good object of the regional project for which there had been collected money during all season without any definite target. It was decided to confirm the project in Cesis in the board meeting. The evening went on smoothly with the club members and during the evening it was heard about the future plans of the club. The most important issue on region's point of view was the arrangement of the regional meeting in September 22-23, 2012. This was seen an important matter for the club which agreed to arrange it. The night accommodation was arranged in Alzers Normund's house.

    In Saturday noon three members of Riga club were met. The club arranges among other things small scale concerts for senior people. It was discussed of the views and possibilities of the future and the activities of Finnish Region. There are four active members in the club and two members who are at the moment studying and working abroad.

    On Saturday afternoon it was participated into the meeting of the club of Cesis. Three new members were chartered and now the number of members is 19. It was a good manner that the new members told in the meeting about their background and life. The meeting was very lively and during it good food was served and there was even possibility to have a sauna bath. It can be said that the club is very energetic and its views of the future are positive. The club is also taking international responsibility when Ineta Krumina starts as a regional director and possibly Dace Kalnina as a regional secretary in coming summer.

    The accommodation was given in Ineta Krumina's house. During the visit there was the board meeting in which it was confirmed the chartering of the new club of Vilnius in 9.6 in Vilnius, the regional conference in Liepaja 22-23.9 and the regional project in Liepaja: max. EUR 500,- during the ongoing season and max. EUR 1000,- during following season. Additionally the list of responsible persons was discussed but to this issue board must still return later.

    The tour was considered useful and during it many current issues could be pushed forward.

    Regional secretary Esko Vepsä taking photos of parts to be renovated.

    Veikko Juvonen
    RD Finland Balticum

    Older posts

    From RD

    The regional meeting of Finland Balticum took place as a cruising meeting on the ship between Helsinki and Tallinn in 23-25.09.2011. The district meeting of Finland was held on the way to Tallinn and the regional meeting on following day when baltic members entered the ship. The district meeting of Baltic clubs was again on the way to Tallinn. The separate district meetings were arranged in the form of training which gave the participants the opportunity to discuss of the current issues. In the regional meeting there were handled only the issues provided by the rules.

    The esential issues of the region are the membership conservation and acquiring new members, starting new clubs and supporting the youth.

    Taking care of the club members has the major importance whether it concerns old or new members. Many clubs of District Finland have during these years celebrated their 35-40 years anniversary. The long period of activity is an achievement for the clubs but also we can see changes in their membership. Normally membership is reducing due to the natural ageing. There are, however, positive exceptions when the number of members has started a new rise. This is apparently a result of active membership recruiting and actions in taking care of the existing members. One potential group of candidates for club members are those who have recently retired or will retire in near future. Often they have free time and energy for the activities in different associations. Also their age is suitable with the other members. But the success in this way provides active membership recruiting.

    To create new clubs is then another issue and it has an essential impact on the future of Y's Men's movement. This activity in Finland is at starting point and it will be activated during this period. Questions arise like for instance whom are we looking for, or whom do we want as members or which activities attract people especially in Y's Men's movement. Also the working life has changed hurried and this must be taken into account as far as people are still in working life. Perhaps the club can be created by a group which meets in a same hobby. There could be for instance a golf-club, nature-club or orienteering club etc. In this way the hobby could create a natural continuity for the meetings. The development aid, which is represented by TOF-activity and the Taggu Liggey project in Qambia of Vantaa club can become a remarkable activity which is considered important by many people.

    In spring an ASF support was given to three YMCA young leaders for their participation of YMCA Youth Forum in Kenya, Nairobi in August this year. Contribution to the youth is an important part of Y's Men's movement and in this field new forms of activities and cooperation will be looked for with YMCA. The youth of today is soon young adults in working life who are needed to continue the Y's Men's activities.

    The change of extension responsibility to Denmark does not mean the cutting of contacts to Baltic clubs. We are still the same region and both personal contacts and contacts between the clubs shall be further developed.

    Veikko Juvonen
    RD Finland Balticum

    Our Region

    Finland-Balticum is the smallest of European Regions in y´s Men Movement. The development of this Region is mainly taken place in the Baltic Countries, specially in Latvia. There are plans to get the Extension work stronger in Finland as well, but so far it is going slow.

    In the beginning of 2008 there are 13 Clubs in Finland: Rovaniemi (mixed), Oulu (mixed), Kuopio (mx), Jyväskylä (mx), Tampere (male), Pirkattaret (female), Turku (m), Vantaa (mx), Tretton (mx), Femella (f), Helsingfors (mx), Katajattaret (f) and Katajaiset (m), 2 in Estonia: Tallinn (mx) and Pärnu (mx), 3 in Latvia: Cesis (f), Riga (f) and Livani (mx) and 2 in Lithuania: Vilnius (mx) and Vievis (mx). One club in Latvian town Liepaja is under progress

    The Y´s Men Movement landed in Europe 1928 and the very First Club was Tallinn, Estonia. This club was growing to the largest in Europe and one of the largest of all, but was prohibited by the Soviets 1940. Tallin Y´s Men´s Club was re-chartered 1991 and so we got the Caltic Y´s Men´s Movement on its foot again.

    The first two clubs in Finland year 1966 were Helsingfors (Swedish speaking) in Helsinki and Oulu in the northern part of the country. In Latvia the first club was in Jelgava 1995, but the club died only few years later. In Lithuania the first club in Vilnius was chartered 1999

    Y´s Men Club is a group of people willing help the local youth work mainly via YMCA and to support the social work done on their own community. Y´s Men Movement is having world wide programmes the clubs are taking part after their own decision. The most successful of these are TOF and ASF programmes. More information will be founded www.ysmen.org.


    To be international and to think globally are a vital part of Y´s Men Movement and the memberhip. The logo (emblem) of the Movement is consisting elements of YMCA and Christianity. The red triangle is telling about the three dimensions of a human being: body, soul and the spirit and the well balanced development of these three parts of person.
    In the middle there is a large Y letter telling the connection to the YMCA and creating at the same time a “Game of Wordings” by being pronounced together with the words Men Club similar as “Wise Men” . This is giving us a picture of those three Wise Men coming to Jesus Baby with their presents following the Bethlehem Star situated in the middle of our emblem between the open arms of letter Y.

    Every two year (odd years) will be arranged large International Convention, which is the best forum of the Internationality of the Movement. Next one will take place in Denmark, City of Herning end of July 2008. The previous IC:s were held in Helsinki 1998, HongKong 2000, Sydney 2002, Kochin (India) 2004 and Pusan (South Korea) 2006 There are 1711 Clubs in 74 Countries with together 31.208 members regarding last official statistics 2007.

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