Born in Somalia, lived years in Egypt and Kenya in her youth, studied medicine the Soviet Union but had to discard goal to complete the studies of gyneacology when Soviet Union disappeared from the map. A citizen of Finland since 1998.
Mother, midwife, precarious worker, previous 4th term member of Helsinki City Council, now vice-member. A mother of three, living in Northern Helsinki. Speak fluently Finnish, Somali, English, Arabic and Russian.
Most voted immigrant in 2003 and 2007 parliamentary elections. A Refugee Woman of the Year 2003 by Suomen Pakolaisapu
An active member in many associations and official committees on racism, immigrant and multicultral issues, health, and equality. Among hobbies I have had theatre (acting in Raivoisat Ruusut -Theatre production Kassandra in 2001), cooking and outdooring with my teenage daughter. I am also a caregiver for her.
Finland has fared well in international arenas thanks to its’ high level of education. However, inequality is growing also in education and at schools. I come from an underdeveloped country and know where it can lead: deep social problems and even bloody conflicts. Education brings hope and is one of the basic pillars of a secure and functioning society.
Size of classes in kindergartens and schools should be small enough. Prevailing student benefits must allow decent student living. Education based on basic education is very important for the immigrants’ children.
Basic social services
Health care sector has been a target of funding cuts. Helsinki has suffered unfairly. As a result, e.g. psychiatric and old people’s care has been left adrift. The chronic shortage of medical personnel is aggravating the situation.
Desire of old people living at home must be supported. In decades to come, dementia-cases will be a big challenge for the health and social sector in Helsinki. Keeping this in mind, the ethical aspects and quality of care must be maintained.
Money does not pour in form the skies. Well directed taxes are a basis for functioning and legitimate welfare state. The weak should be taken care of by the strong, but instead rich get richer and poor get poorer.
A through going debate on and of values must be conducted before making political decision.
More and more people are left to fare for themselves. More and more children are in acute need of official protection. With high quality social services and early intervention the phenomena can be fought and vanquished.
We need to prevent social casting aside of people, regardless sex, age, colour of skin, religion or social-economic standing
Collective traffic must be enhanced. Rising prices of tickets and travel cards affect negatively in respect of improving the collective traffic. More private traffic lead to more pollution, rush hours and aggravate climate change.
We must put more emphasis and clear and concrete goals on cutting environmentally harmful emissions and at the same time advance protection of environment.
The primary importance in maintaining basic services is keeping them as local and accessible on personal level as possible. At the same time it is important to improve the quality of these services over the communal boundaries.
Daily services, such as kindergarten, school, health centres and public transportation, must be provided with the near-by principle and with high quality. Families and the elderly have a right to equal and easily accessible basic services within the municipality. This does not exclude over-the-boundaries, regional co-operation when it is evidently reasonable.
Immigrants have same needs as native people. Everyone must have an access to equal basic services. It is important and sensible to provide immigrants with services in their native language. There are good results of this in at least health and child care.
For their identity, it is important that children can speak and keep their native language. It helps them to learn also Finnish. Teachers giving classes in respective native languages must be supported.
Adult immigrants must be provided with proper chances to learn Finnish well enough, to get educated and to find work, and to make lifelong Finnish friends.
Immigrants with their versatile abilites, know-how and knowledge are beneficial for Finland. Let’s not waste this great opportunity. They must be given decent possibility to find and work according to their skills, just like Finns do. Positive examples encourage other immigrants and lower the mental barrier of Finns toward immigrants as workers and human beings.
Immigrant families must be supported, helped and encouraged on equal level. They don’t need extra pampering, but equal tools for living, from kindergartens and schools to work places and leisures.
Mutual tolerance begins with and in everyday encounters, not in special flowery orations.
There are still world leaders and other people who want to settle conflicts with weapons. Fortunately, Finland has an honorable tradition in promoting peace. At the moment there is no need to join military alliances, such as Nato.
Wars drain resources: human, financial, environmental, scientifical, social. They don’t help in fighting against famines, climate change, poverty, inequality and other scourges that are solvable if the were political will. Giving children all over the globe a chance to read and write is best bulwark against conflicts and best promoter for peace