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Information for Ukrainians and the residents of Porvoo helping them

The City of Porvoo and volunteer residents offer various forms of help and support to refugees arriving from Ukraine. This page also provides information on how you can personally prepare for potential disruptions caused by the current global situation.

Every resident of Porvoo can contribute to making Ukrainians feel welcome in the city.

The work with Ukrainian refugees in Porvoo is coordinated by an immigration coordinator and a service coordinator. Their tasks include ascertaining refugees’ circumstances, organising accommodation, supporting employment and promoting integration in collaboration with the reception centre, the City, organisations, associations and parishes.

There are a variety of activities and meeting places available for refugees in different parts of the city. The aim is to help Ukrainians and encourage them to become a part of Porvoo. Ukrainians can also participate in the planning and organisation of these activities and meeting places themselves.

Contact

Niklas Grönroos

Palvelukoordinaattori

Information in Ukrainian and Russian – Moi service

Porvoo Adult Education Centre’s Moi services offer advice at Ohjaamo, Mannerheiminkatu 20 E, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 15:00–18:00 in Russian and on Thursdays at 15:00–18:00 in Ukrainian. The Moi service provides everyday advice on things like emergency health services, early childhood education and care, school, recreation, Kela services, employment and residence permit matters.

All refugees are eligible for a library card. With a library card, you can use a computer and read e-materials available in Ukrainian and Russian, such as newspapers.

Information in Ukrainian:

Arriving in Finland

Ukrainian citizens arriving in Finland because of Russia’s invasion can currently stay in the country visa-free for 90 days. Ukrainian citizens can apply for temporary protection or asylum from the police or border authorities. After this, they are instructed to contact the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). The Finnish Immigration Service will provide information on further measures and reception services.

The Finnish Immigration Service’s Ukraine pages provide information for both Ukrainians in Ukrainian and the people helping them.

Housing and providing accommodation for Ukrainians in Porvoo

Refugees arriving in Finland are accommodated primarily at reception centres. Many refugees also live in private accommodation, like in Porvoo. By applying for temporary protection and asylum, refugees gain the right to use reception centre services regardless of their accommodation. Refugees must report their current address to the reception centre to be eligible for reception services.

We encourage all those offering home accommodation and interested in doing so to join their closest local group of the Home Accommodation Network, read the materials produced by the network and participate in home accommodation training.

If you wish to provide accommodation to Ukrainians at your home, please prepare for the agreed upon home accommodation by reading the home accommodation guide available in several different languages (including Ukrainian). You can prepare an accommodation agreement using the Home Accommodation Network’s agreement template, for example.

You can also find important information on the Finnish Immigration Service’s and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s (THL) websites.

Those living with refugees from Ukraine should get vaccinated against polio. To do so, please contact your local health centre.

If you are providing accommodation to refugees from Ukraine, you can request food, clothing and goods donations from the following parties:

Pets

Under the current exceptional circumstances, refugees from Ukraine and Russia are allowed to bring pets with them that have not been vaccinated against rabies. These countries also have other zoonotic diseases that are currently not found in Finland.

It is very important for refugee pet owners arriving from Ukraine and Russia to be directed to see the municipal veterinarian. The veterinarian will take care of vaccinations, deworming and microchipping. It is important to keep pets brought from Ukraine and Russia isolated from other animals for 30 days.

For more information, please visit the Finnish Food Authority’s website:

Health care

Ukrainians arriving in Porvoo are provided with health services primarily through the reception centre and secondarily via Näsi Health Centre, maternity and child health clinics and school health care or in a coordinated manner via emergency accommodation. The first step is to go over the person’s vaccinations and other health issues.

Refugees over the age of 17 who arrived independently or the residents of Porvoo helping them can contact the health station’s appointment booking service, tel. +358 19 520 4351. The point of contact for pregnant refugees and children between the ages of 0 and 6 is public health nurse Minna Nousiainen, tel. +358 40 766 1803. The point of contact for school-aged refugees under the age of 17 is public health nurse Pia Luoto, tel. +358 40 091 2628.

Education and early childhood education and care

Children arriving from Ukraine can participate in instruction preparing for basic education and preparatory pre-primary education. A child under school age is entitled to early childhood education and care placement. The application for this can be submitted by filling out a paper form at Service Centre Kompassi.

Ukrainians arriving in Porvoo can participate in family cafés intended for parents and their children.

Language studies

Porvoo Adult Education Centre’s Meeting Point courses are open to all immigrants and cover a variety of subjects, including the Finnish language. Porvoo Adult Education Centre’s Finnish summer courses will continue until Midsummer. For more information on available courses, please visit Porvoo Adult Education Centre’s website.

Employment

Employment plays an important role in integration. Immigrants can start working in Finland as soon as the police or border authorities have registered their application for temporary protection.

The City of Porvoo supports employment. The City of Porvoo, TE Services and Posintra provide support to Ukrainians in finding employment and to Porvoo-based companies looking to employ Ukrainians.

Leisure time activities and meeting places

The culture and leisure time services of Porvoo include a variety of services that make everyday life more enjoyable and help refugees adapt to their new living environment.

All refugees are eligible for a library card. With a library card, you can use a computer and read e-materials available in Ukrainian and Russian, such as newspapers. The library also has Russian-language literature. The library is currently in the process of procuring Ukrainian-language literature for children and young people. The library also offers an online film service and board games and sports equipment for loan.

Everyone is welcome to join the Sports Services’ exercise groups, as long as there is room in the groups. Groups and events suitable for families with children include Lasten liikuntamaa (general exercise for children) and Koko perheen palloilumaa (ball games for families). The City’s sports areas are also open to everyone.

The Cultural Services of Porvoo offer event tickets, museum tours and workshops. The Music Institute offers free-of-charge group activities, personal instructions and music instruments for loan.

Porvoo Art School offers free-of-charge group instruction in visual arts for children and young people.

Participation in the City’s youth activities is free of charge and open to all young people. The card used in the City’s open youth activities is available to everyone in the age group. The City’s Outreach Youth Work can help find meaningful things to do. Guidance centre Ohjaamo provides services to young people under the age of 30 in English as well as other languages under the Moi project.

Volunteer work

Residents of Porvoo interested in volunteer work can contact the following parties:

The Multicultural Forum brings together a wide range of immigration and integration experts in Porvoo, such as organisations, associations and parishes. The Forum has established Ukraina Extra for the express purpose of helping Ukrainian refugees. Ukraina Extra helps coordinate the organisation of aid and activities so that they correspond to Ukrainians’ needs. The convener is the Immigration Services of the City of Porvoo.

Donations

The City of Porvoo is currently not accepting clothing and good donations for Ukrainians living in Porvoo. The City has already been provided with plenty of clothes and supplies by volunteers.

If you wish to make a donation, we recommend doing so via reliable organisations, such as the Finnish Red Cross, Finn Church Aid, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders or the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

Organisations are primarily looking for monetary support, which will be allocated directly to those in need or used for supplies that are running low in different parts of Ukraine.

The City of Porvoo has donated care supplies to Ukraine and made a monetary donation to the Finnish Red Cross for crisis work in Ukraine. The Eastern Uusimaa Emergency Services Department has also sent first aid equipment and an ambulance to Ukraine.

Preparedness in Porvoo

In Porvoo, different authorities engage in extensive cooperation to ensure that residents can be quickly provided with instructions in the event of emergencies and that there are plans in place for ensuring their health and safety.

Ensuring the everyday safety of residents is one of the statutory duties of the City of Porvoo. As such, the City has been preparing instructions and procedures for handling various types of emergencies for decades now as part of its everyday operations. Examples of such emergencies include extensive power and water outages, major accidents, natural disasters, cyber attacks, pandemics and regional threats.

The City’s level of preparedness is good and its plans are reviewed regularly to ensure that the level of preparedness is maintained and that changing situations can be handled proactively.

Conscription and reservists

If you have any questions about your military service or reserve status, please contact the Uusimaa Regional Office of the Finnish Defence Forces.

Civil defence shelters in Porvoo

The party responsible for protecting the civilian population in Porvoo is the Eastern Uusimaa Emergency Services Department in collaboration with other parties defined in the Rescue Act. In the event that civil defence shelters were needed to be put into use in Porvoo, the order to do so would be issued by the Emergency Services Department. The Emergency Services Department would also organise the evacuation of residents who do not have access to a civil defence shelter.

If you are wondering about civil defence, the first thing to do is to look at your own environment and determine whether your housing company has any civil defence shelters. Many large housing companies and workplaces have their own civil defence shelters for residents and employees, respectively. Civil defence shelters can also be found at public facilities, such as schools and day care centres. These types of properties must also have their own rescue plans.

Smaller housing companies and private homes do not usually have their own civil defence shelters. There are no public civil defence shelters in Eastern Uusimaa. This is no cause for concern, however. If there was a need to take shelter, the Emergency Services Department would see to it that the population is protected by e.g. moving (evacuating) residents to safe areas or by designating shelters in nearby areas.

Information on safety for private individuals, housing companies and organisations:

Self-preparedness and home emergency food supply

You can prepare for various emergency situations by maintaining an emergency food supply at home. An emergency food supply will help keep you safe in the event of disruptions, such as water and power outages or illness.

The recommended emergency food supply consists of three days’ worth of food, liquids and containers with lids for storing water. Remember to include food for any pets, too. Additionally, you should make sure to have necessary medication, cash and other everyday supplies at home.

The Rescue Services’ website provides information on how to prepare for various emergencies and what to do in case of emergency:

Iodine tablets

There is no need to procure iodine tablets because of the situation in Ukraine. The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority recommends keeping iodine tablets at home as part of emergency supplies.

Iodine tablets should never be taken ‘just in case,’ as taking them too early or too late weakens their protection. If the need to take iodine tablets were to arise in Finland, the authorities would quickly issue a separate order about taking them.

There are iodine tablet stockpiles for residents and pupils in Porvoo at social services and elderly services housing units, the wards of Näsi Rehabilitation Centre and schools and day care centres. In the event of an emergency, the City would make sure to distribute iodine tablets according to issued orders to those most in need of them.

Psychological support

Although following the news and online discussion about the current global situation can make you think of all kinds of threat scenarios, you should keep in mind that Finland is not currently under any military threat. As such, you can continue your everyday life as normal while protecting children and young people in particular from the flood of information and image material depicting the Russian invasion.

Take care of your own well-being. Following everyday routines and maintaining a daily rhythm help keep your thoughts in order in an uncertain life situation.

There is a great deal of information floating around on social media that is not based on facts. Be careful of where you look for information. Focusing too much on the news can leave you feeling anxious and hopeless and thus force your body and mind to maintain a constant state of alertness, straining them.

Ease your mind by listening to music or audio books, taking relaxing walks or doing breathing exercises, for example. Getting enough rest and eating regular meals also help you balance your mind and body.

If you need help with coping, the City of Porvoo’s mental health and substance abuse services can help. Our services include open groups for learning stress relief and everyday life management.

If you wish, you can use the Terapianavigaattori service (available in Finnish and Swedish) on our website to assess your need for mental health services and then call our helpline, tel. +358 19 520 4527. The Terapianavigaattori service helps us find the right form of support and care for you faster.

In the event of an emergency outside of office hours, advice and guidance is available via Eastern Uusimaa Social and Crisis Emergency Services, tel. +358 40 517 41 94.

The parishes of Porvoo also offer various forms of help and support.

Check these as well:

Children and young people

Children need adult help to identify difficult emotions and put them into words. At present, children are being exposed to a great deal of content on social media and adult discussions that is inappropriate for their age and development.

The ways in which children naturally process things include drawing and playing. As such, children should be encouraged to engage in these activities.

A child’s feeling of safety is based on regular everyday life. It is a good idea to tell a child “I see that you are scared” and emphasise that “you have nothing to worry about, you are safe.” Parents should protect children from disturbing images on the news and adult concerns. Any discussions between parents about the global situation should be conducted out of the earshot of children.

The Low threshold for young people (Nuorten matala kynnys) service offers mental health and substance abuse services for residents of Porvoo aged 13–21 free of charge and without referral. Support and guidance are also offered to the parents of young people. We also have a walk-in clinic at Ohjaamo, Mannerheiminkatu 20 E, Wednesdays at 12:30–16:00.

Other useful links for young people: