Young People in Remote Villages and Municipal Welfare Services

Young People in Remote Villages and Municipal Welfare Services (SYRHY, 1 September 2015 – 31 October 2016) is a part of the research project continuum Young People's Life in the Sparsely Populated Periphery of Finland, which has been interested in the different aspects of the lives of young people living in remote areas. The SYRHY project aims to analyse the position of young people from 14 to 17 years of age, living far away from growth and habitation centres, as clients of municipal welfare services.

The project studies the realisation of rights of young people in remote villages as clients, when the rights are defined in accordance with the obligations of the Government’s Child and Youth Policy Programme 2012–2015 – among other things, as rights to high quality education nearby, cultural and leisure time services, transport and physical exercise services, and social welfare and health care services. At its core, the project involves an analysis of the realisation of everyday well-being of young people in remote villages, but its broader youth policy perspective is linked to the critical issues of regional inequality.

The research project’s primary material consists of the interviews of 33 young people from remote villages. The material has been collected from eastern Finland: North Karelia, South Karelia, South Savo and Kainuu, with an emphasis on North Karelia. In the research project, remote communities are defined as population centres or villages that usually are located at a distance of several dozens of kilometres from many of the services directed at young people. Often the research locations are also characterised by the scarcity or complete lack of public transport services. The report discussing the research results is published in September 2016 in the publication series of the Foundation for Municipal Development.

The project is funded by the Foundation for Municipal Development, and it is implemented by way of a cooperation of the University of Eastern Finland and the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences. The researcher responsible for the University of Eastern Finland is Päivi Armila, D.Soc.Sc., and Ville Pöysä, M.Soc.Sc., acts as the Early-stage Researcher.