REGI Reacting to Growing Immigration
By the end of year 2014 more than 48 000 Estonian citizens were living permanently in Finland. Adding unregistered and weekly work-migrants, the number of Estonians living in Finland might rise to 100 000. This is almost as much as in Estonia’s second largest town Tartu.
Mostly Estonians move to Finland for work-related reasons. This tendency grew eminently after Estonia joined the European Union in 2004, which enabled free movement of work force. Rapid changes have caused difficult challenges for people and social systems both in Finland and in Estonia.
One or both parents of the family moving to another country is a major change. In order to cope and adapt with a change of this scale, one needs an effective support network. Our experience from the past 5-10 years has shown, that people lack proper support in both of the countries.
The goal of the REGI-project is to give a contribution in solving problems and challenges related to work migration. During the project social work professionals, students and volunteers together with the main target group will develop solutions best suitable in supporting families of Estonian work migrants in Finland and ways to solve related problems.
These solutions will be implemented and complemented together with members of target groups. Also social work professionals and volunteers will be trained to notice challenges related to work migration before they grow to be problems.
REGI-project can thus be called a pilot-project, because if the goals are achieved, the same solutions can be used on more general basis. The end result is better and healthier communities both in Estonia and in Finland.