This year, the TASSU prize for work communities within the City of Espoo was given to the joint project of the Espoo City Library and the Riilahti activity centre, supporting the social inclusion of adults with intellectual disabilities. The Neighbourhood Mothers project by Nicehearts won the TASSU prize in the category of outsourced services and other Espoo-based non-profit organisations.
The prize is granted by the Espoo Equality Committee. According to the jury, the joint project of the Espoo City Library and the Riilahti activity centre promotes the opportunities of adults with intellectual disabilities to find jobs in regular workplaces where diversity is valued.
A dream of working at a library
According to Essi Lahtinen, a work activity instructor at Riilahti, their clients are very interested in working at a library.
“This idea of collaboration was born out of a client’s dream to work at a library. It is fantastic that different libraries in the Espoonlahti area have warmly welcomed our clients into their work communities,” Essi Lahtinen says.
The Riilahti activity centre’s clients have an important role in the libraries as their duties include cleaning CDs, DVDs, computer keyboards and screens and shelving children’s books and magazines.
Hannu Heikkinen, Chairman of the Equality Committee, distributed the TASSU prize to the employees of the Espoo City Library and to the work activity instructors and clients of the Riilahti activity center.
Empowerment through the Neighbourhood Mothers project
This year, Espoo residents also had a chance to nominate acts that the city’s outsourced services and other Espoo-based non-profit organisations such as sports clubs have taken to promote equality and non-discrimination. The winner of the category was the Neighbourhood Mothers project by Nicehearts. The project promotes the well-being of immigrant women and encourages them to be actively involved in their community and in society.
“The aim of the project is to empower immigrant women to serve as volunteer ‘neighbourhood mothers’ and build networks. Our training provides them with peer support as well as tools for both organising activities in their area and for helping others. Each of the 40–50 volunteers is a neighbourhood mother in their own way. They offer support for daily life and organise activities based on their own skills and interests, for example yoga classes or fire safety events,” say Project Manager Liisa Kulta and Area Coordinator Analyn Wagas-Hyvönen from Nicehearts.
The Neighbourhood Mothers project by Nicehearts won the TASSU prize in the category of outsourced services and other Espoo-based non-profit organisations. The award was presented by Hannu Heikkinen, Chairman of the Equality Committee.
The TASSU prize is awarded to a concrete act that promotes equality
The Espoo Equality Committee launched the TASSU prize to highlight acts that promote equality and non-discrimination in Espoo. The prize is given once a year and Mayor Jukka Mäkelä serves as the patron.
Last year, the TASSU prize was awarded to Espoo Youth Services’ project against hate speech and the partner category winner was Dementia Home Villa Tapiola Oy’s digital story that tells a resident’s life story and strengthens their identity. In 2017, the prize was given to the Entresse Library children’s team for encouraging children to read as well as for its other activities.