The Karelia ENPI CBC programme organized European Cooperation Day events in three cities this year. The events in Kajaani and Joensuu took place on September 13th, and the event in Oulu was held on Sept. 20th. In addition to this, we organized a project fair in Petrozavodsk on Sept. 26th. We also took part in the Student Organisation Fair at the University of Oulu on Sept. 10th.
At the Student Organisation Fair at the University of Oulu, the students could get information on the programme, the projects, and visit the virtual Kizhi Island in 3D. Our stand was a passport stand where the students could receive a stamp on their Vulcanalia passport after performing a task. On our stand the students had to use their imagination and guess what the abbreviation ENPI CBC stands for. I listed some of the suggestions below:
Europe National Practice Inventio - Central Bank Centrum
European New People International – Continental Business Club
Economic National Practis Inbetween – Collaboration Between Contrys
European Nature Promote Increasing – Cross-border Cooperation
European National Partnership Industry – Carelian-Bothnian Cooperation
European National Prosessing Institution – Country Before Cash
The European Cooperation Day in Kajaani was an outdoor event. It was held at the market square Raatihuoneentori. The projects organized public exercise sessions, a small obstacle course for children, and health examinations, such as blood pressure and blood sugar measurement. After filling in a quiz, people could taste season’s berries, fruits and vegetables. In addition to this, free coffee, tea and buns were served. Henna-Mari and Jarkko attended the event while I was in Joensuu.
In Joensuu, the event took place at the Shopping Centre Iso Myy. The public could try forest machine simulators and experience for themselves how the slope of the wheel chair ramp affects its use. Approximately 400 people were reached both in Kajaani and Joensuu.
Oulu’s main event was organized at the Cultural Centre Valve where the projects organized competitions and activities for children and collected ideas on how to improve the school system in order to prevent social exclusion of children and youth. The ecocity game developed by one of the projects was played as well. The local improvisational theatre group Uniikki Unikorni also told and acted out improvised stories on cooperation for children at Valvenäyttämö stage.
National Theatre of Karelia. About 150 people visited the event in Oulu and the fair in Petrozavodsk. The 32 participating projects presented their work and results in a PowerPoint presentation. Some projects had also prepared activities, such as competitions, new musical instruments, and a smart screen. In addition to these, one project organized two dance performances at the fair.
The people we encountered in the events seemed openly interested in the programme. We were prepared to receive harsh critic on the programme since the main Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat had written about the ENPI programmes in a negative and misleading way only two days before the events in Kajaani and Joensuu. Nevertheless, only very few people mentioned the tabloid article, and those who did, regarded it as propaganda. It was nice to notice that people are critical about tabloid articles and do not take them seriously.
All in all, the events were successful and organizing them taught me a lot. Public events are a good way to promote the programme and its projects. Some improvements can be made next year. The most important issue is to market the events intensely. Though, even efficient marketing cannot replace activities that attract people to participate in the events.
Communications Assistant/Karelia ENPI CBC