The refugee tent by the Parliament brings thoughts to Syria

Tatu Blomqvist
Tatu Blomqvist

The members of parliament and the Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen received the Red Cross’ petition calling for immediate action concerning acceptance of Syrian refugees and increasing the refugee quota. The Minister of the Interior promised that the refugee quota would be raised.

According to those members of parliament that received the appeal, the situation in Syria is an extremely serious humanitarian crisis, the scope of which is hard grasp. Increase knowledge about the situation in Syria, as well as about the situation with the refugees and their need of help was regarded as very important.

The petition was received by the following members of parliament: Outi Mäkelä (NCP), Tarja Filatov (SDP), Annika Lapintie (Left Al., chair), Päivi Storgårds (SFP), Pirkko Mattila (True Finns), Oras Tynkkynen (Green) and the Minister of Interior Päivi Räsänen (Chr. Dem.)

This year Finland receives 1 050 quota refugees, approximately half of them being from Syria. During the event, Minister Räsänen held a speech in which she promised that the refugee quota for Finland would be raised. According to Räsänen, the quota system is a good way of helping those in need. She pointed out that helping people in distress is essential even in economically though times.

Take part of the everyday lives of refugees during the Refugee tent tour

As a consequence of the three-year conflict in Syria, approximately 2,5 million people are living as refugees in camps. During the event for the delivery of the petition, the Finnish Red Cross launched its Refugee tent tour, starting in Helsinki, which demonstrates life in refugee camps. During the event, the members of parliament and other participants were able to take part in everyday refugee life by entering a tent filled with sounds, smells and objects from real refugee tents.

– We hope that this visit will make people think about how they themselves would survive living in a refugee tent and how they would think about the future. Even small personal experiences such as this can bring the situation closer and make the crisis more concrete, says Johanna Martikainen, who is the Chief of development for the Red Cross immigrant programme.

Positive experiences from integration in Finland

At the end of the launch event for the Refugee tent tour, the actor and representative for the network For human values, Tobias Zilliacus interviewed Syrian Baraa Eisha. Eisha left Syria as a political refugee and has now managed to integrate very well into Finnish society and has good experiences of her arrival.

– An immigrant who is active and learns the Finnish language has every chance of succeeding in this country, Eisha says.

Author: Enni Kari