Finland – Youth Centre Villa Elba

Details of the member organisation / center
Name: Youth Centre Villa elba
Street address: Sannanrannantie 60
Postcode: 67200
City: Kokkola
Region: Keski-Pohjanmaa
Country: Finland
Telephone: +358 6 8313400

Contact person
Ms Kati Paasila
Position/function: Project planner/instructor
Contact Email:
Contact Telephone: +358 445325160

Profile of the member organisation/center
Type of organisation: NPC Youth Centre
Status of organisation: governmental/public
Activity level of organisation national

Short description of organisation / center:
Villa Elba is a Youth Centre supported and observed by the Ministry of Education. We are specialized in youth work and our function is to develop the methods used in the field of youth work, to act as a centre for furthering the skills of the youth, and enable young people’s travelling domestically and abroad. The centers are run under the Finnish law covering youth work and by the Ministry of Education. In international work our goal is to offer youngsters the possibilities of learning in multicultural environment and finding their own strengths and abilities through international activity. Our work consists of international camps and programs, educational activities, practical training and voluntary work for young people, information and guidance about international programmes, projects and coordination of volunteering projects.

How the organization/center integrate the intercultural learning, human rights education and education for active citizenship in its activities?
Youth Centre Villa Elba is in daily use for children and young people. Main activities are adventure and environmental education programs, international programmes, social youth work programmes and also trainings for people working with youth.
Staff consists of professionals who are specialized at youth work. In our environmental programmes we implement global education from the point of view of sustainable development. At our international department we support young people to gain multicultural experiences trough international activities. We also coordinate development projects about young people participation and active citizenship. At our work we want to raise young people’s awareness about global responsibilities and to support young people in their growth into global citizens. Intercultural learning, global- and Human Rights education as well as education for active citizenship have an important and active part at our programmes offered to young people and youth workers.

Please describe your experience in organization of international youth activities and the training of youth workers in multinational and multicultural context?
Youth Centre Villa Elba is specialized for international work and has been working on this field 20 years. We organise exchange programs, camps, trainings, seminars, job shadow programs, study visits and volunteering projects.
We are members of:
Platform network for Youth mobility
Reves Network
Anna Lindh Foundation

What are the mechanisms you use in your organization / center in terms of ensuring the participation of young people in preparation and realization of your activities?
We work together with municipal youth work, schools and youth organisations. Proposals for activities and services come directly from youth, youth clubs, school classes etc. Our main task is to support young people planning, implementing and evaluating activities. This is also part of our training for people who work with them.
As a tool for supporting youth groups, we use International Club method. It is a process, where young people can actively plan, join and manage international projects by themselves, for example, youth exchange. They own the project and they are active members, not only participants or consumers.

Where you see the role of your organization / center in promotion and implementation of the youth policies of Council of Europe in your country, region and internationally?
Finland is a member of Council of Europe. Ministry of Education support National Youth Centres as well as set the priorities for our work. Finnish National youth Centres have their role and goal in Youth Act of Finland. Finnish Youth Act follows the youth policy of Council of Europe. Our main task is to be a tool for Ministry and for Finnish youth work to develop services for young people in international, national, regional and local level.

Please describe in a few words the facilities of your organization / center (accommodation, educational facilities, training staff, specific methodologies etc.).
Number of rooms for accommodation:
6 cabins with kitchen, toilet and shower
Old Villa
Number of beds: 74
Number of meeting rooms and their capacities:
1 room for 170 persons
1 meeting room for 30 persons
2 rooms x 15 persons
3 rooms x 10 persons

Other facilities (sport facilities, outdoor sport area, adventure trail with low rope trail, hiking paths, free internet connection for clients + wireless internet access. Swimming beach about 50 m from main building and 2 saunas on the beach. Please see more information
Permanent staff of the Youth work specialized team in Youth Centre Villa Elba:
Development Manager, Head of the Pedagogical team
Coordinator of international affairs, dealing with development of international activities and networks of Youth Centre Villa Elba.
Project planner, dealing with development, implementation and evaluation of international projects and trainings.
Nature school teachers and instructors, run educational nature school programmes and adventure- and leisure programmes both for children and adults.
Coordinator of social youth work, supporting the strengthening of young people’s everyday life, social skills and healthy lifestyles.

What are your priorities / fields of interest for cooperation with other members of the Network in the sphere of intercultural learning?
Non-formal education camps, trainings, seminars, EVS and other voluntary programs, exchanging good practices. We are hoping to develop common European projects (call for proposals, large scale programs of EU level) on these fields.