The idea of the programme is to offer every child the opportunity of having a new backpack before they go to school.
Hope, a country-wide charity organisation, and the Pohjolan Osuuspankki of OP Financial Group are almost finished with implementing a programme of donating new backpacks to children of Rovaniemi along with the country’s low-income families.
The programme, launched in the beginning of July at 18 branches of Osuuspankki bank across the country, is slated to be completed at the end of the month.
“To every child, the moment of having the very first backpack before going to school is very important. I still remember my first backpack,” said Anu Huhanantti, a marketing assistant at Osuuspankki bank’s Rovaniemi branch while talking about the idea behind the intervention.
Well-off families provide their children new backpacks happily before they go to school. However, the case usually is different for the kids in the low-income families, where they inherit old backpacks from their elder sisters or brothers. Hence, the programme is expected to create an equal opportunity for the children in Finland.
Anyone can support the initiative by donating a new backpack to any of the Osuuspankki bank branches concerned. After the programme ends, Hope will collect the donated backpacks and distribute them to the targeted families and children in its network. Families in need can also contact the organisation directly for help.
Like any other bank branches under the programme, a marketing campaign is being run with leaflets and posters at the customer service spots in Osuuspankki bank’s Rovaniemi branch.
“Until now, we have received a lot of backpacks and you can see our success written in people’s happy faces. They feel that it is a good thing to do”, remarked Huhanantti.
The programme has also been promoted on the local newspaper Uusi Rovaniemi and on social media platforms like Facebook, Huhanantti said, adding that in nearly a month of its implementation, the initiative has received a lot of positive feedback and support from the local people.
Hope, founded in 2009, is a politically and religiously unregulated association. Its core mission is to support the wellbeing of disadvantaged families and children in the country and to give them a more equal opportunity in everyday life. Some of the prominent activities of Hope are providing children with clothes and recycled gifts, supporting their hobbies with interesting activities, and bringing them joy-generating experiences.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report