A new national association, SOSTE, Finnish Society for Social and Health, will unite Finland’s social and health sectors
On 24 January 2011, the Association of Voluntary Health, Social and Welfare Organisations (YTY), the Finnish Federation for Social Welfare and Health (STKL), and the Finnish Centre for Health Promotion (Tekry) established a new national central organisation: SOSTE Finnish Society for Social and Health.
All of the founding associations are significant forces in their sector. Their combined membership includes more than 500 national and regional organisations, communities, and municipalities.
STKL, Tekry, and YTY will transfer their separate operations to SOSTE on 1 January 2012.
SOSTE combines the many activities and areas of expertise of the social and health sectors. Thus, as an influential operator and expert on issues related to social and health policy it can work both better and more extensively than was previously possible; improve the conditions in which the social and health organisations operate; support the development of civil activities; and improve the cooperation of its member organisations with other parties.
The central tasks of the new association include bringing about equality and justice in Finnish society and improving the potential for people to participate in decision-making. SOSTE promotes social well-being and enhances the ability of social and health organisations to operate in the best interests of the people.
SOSTE aims to be a strong operator at both national and regional levels in the extensive networks of state, municipalities and business life. It also conducts international operations. Social and health organisations are an important resource and help to create a communal spirit within society. More than 9,000 social and health organisations operate in Finland, with approximately 36,000 personnel, and nearly a million people participating as voluntary workers, peer supporters and as active members of the organisations. The work contribution of volunteer staff working in social and health organisations corresponds to the work of 21,000 full-time employees.
Tor Jungman, Secretary General of the Finnish Heart Association, has been elected chairperson of the Finnish Society for Social and Health. Leena Rosenberg-Ryhänen, executive director of the Association for Finnish Cancer Patients, was elected vice-chairperson.
Vertti Kiukas, executive director of the SOSTE Finnish Society for Social and Health,
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