Governor’s monthly letter – April

Rotary International - Southwest Finland and Åland Islands - District 1410

Governor’s monthly letter – April

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** Governor's monthly letter - April

Spring is on its way and soon we get to celebrate the first of May! Although a bit differently than before. As coronavirus has taken over all the news, there are good news from the clubs as quite a many has successful online meetings done and they have been able to continue the Rotary work despite of the challenges. There are interesting projects going on so hopefully we get back to normal soon.
While waiting that - happy first of May to everyone!
Main photo: LikaOlika project/Mary Juusela

** Update on LikaOlika project

I hope that you are doing well, despite the many challenges we all are facing from
these days. Remember though, around the corner, something better awaits!

My name is Mary Juusela and I live in Sweden and I’m a member of the Stockholm Strand RC since many years. As the daughter to two Finns with roots from Urjala and Pori and with my “suku” spread out over Finland, I am also very proud of my Finnish background (and I even speak decent Finnish).

Professionally, I’m the Founder of the social educational company Lika Olika (Equally different) with the mission to increase empathy and social skills among children and youths. The work is about teaching our next generations to tolerate, respect and accept each other - because our coexistence in the local societies must work for us to move together in a sustainable way.

Since its inception, Lika Olika has trained 55,000 individuals in Sweden and in Åland on behalf of companies, schools, municipalities, authorities and also the Åland Landscape Government. 200 elementary and secondary schools work with us today and we have several Rotary clubs that are involved in various local support efforts for local schools.

But is the need for increased tolerance and empathy really important? Yes!

Finland, like the rest of the Nordic countries, are facing great challenges in schools today, with a widespread problem of cyber bullying, increasing racism and a low tolerance for differences. Around 50% of adults in Finland are at one point in life suffering from mental unhealth (Finnish Association of Mental Health, 2019.) And following the trend of other Nordic countries, the mental unhealth is increasing among children. Studies from 2013 show that around 90 000 Finnish children under the age of 13 are suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental challenges (Finnish Association of Mental Health, 2013). The levels of empathy in the Western world has decreased with 40% during the last 30 years (University of Michigan.)

Although the challenges are many, the positive is that we can increase the feeling of being raised by increasing humanity, empathy and tolerance through education in psychology, self-leadership and civilian curation.

Together with two fantastic Rotary clubs, Sepänhaka in Forssa, and Uskelan in Salo, we have started work to strengthen Finnish children and young people locally in each city in two primary schools. This means thousands of children, young people and adults who together receive the work through the Lika Olika concept thanks to the Rotary clubs. At the same time as this important local support effort is underway, the sponsoring clubs will have the opportunity to positively market themselves to everyone involved in the project and showcase Rotary to the new generations as the open, vibrant and dynamic network that Rotary is.

I now hope that more Finnish clubs will be curious to roll up their sleeves and help our children and youth locally feel better. Each club is paired with a local school and the work takes place 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the wishes of the school and the club. Schools in Helsinki, Turku, Kyrkslätt and Hanko have already heard from and are interested. In April, I was also invited to the Helsinki Parliament to lecture to the officials, but Corona stopped this. However, Corona will not stop the work ahead and in the aftermath of the crisis, the need to strengthen empathy will only increase.


Bring your club to strengthen your the next generation in your local community.

Please, contact me for further information and references:

Mary Juusela

+46-70 36 39 831 (

** Rotary district 1410 Golf champion ship games
Traditional district golf championship games will be held in Alastaro Golf Virttaankankaa course on 22nd August 2020 starting at 10.00. More information/organiser Turku Sirkkala Rotaryclub

** Save the Baltic Sea
Our District participates in the Global Grant ”Save the Baltic Sea”. The Project invites Rotarians from the Baltic Sea countries to work together for cleaner Baltic Sea. Fist we concentrate to activate Rotarians in Finland. The Project is prepared jointly with D-1420 and all Rotary Districts in Finland are participating. International partner is from Sweden. The Proposal has been submitted to The Rotary Foundation and we are waiting approval. In the Project we cooperate with Syke and in June Rotarians will start blue algae follow-up. Another important activity is to provide water backpacks for environmental education in the schools. More info Baltic Sea Forum chairman Matti Hakoila, (

** Rotary Institute in Oulu in September (with GETS and GoNTS)
Despite of corona, we are planning the autumn and Rotary Institute is taken place in Oulu 8.- 13.9.2020. Here is the link to the site + extra info Rotary Institute (

A year ago in PETS we looked the district strategy plan and the budget. One part in the budget was the club's
voluntary PolioPlus support by 100 euros/club. If a club is committed to support PolioPlus with that 100 euros, please use the same account number in payment as the per capita invoice you'll get in March.
DID YOU KNOW that you can order monthly letter straight to your own email?

Go to the district webpages, on the home page quite down the page you'll see ORDER YOUR MONTHLY LETTER section, where by filling all the necessary data you'll get this monthly letter delivered straight to your own email.