Mantsinen Group and Neste joined forces to tackle a difficult challenge in society – social exclusion of young people – by starting the Zero Exclusion campaign on December 3, 2019. The challenge is a global one, and according to statistics* i.e. in Finland there are over 60,000 young people surviving on the margins of society. The goal of Neste and Mantsinen has been to bring forth the voices of young people by the means of art, and to raise €50,000 to Hope ry’s work against social exclusion.

The campaign has been actively adopted by companies, and the initial goal was reached in just one week’s time. The campaign aims to assist young people ahead in life: the funds raised in the campaign will be used to support the primary and upper secondary level education of children and youngsters, and the starting of studies.

- It has been a pleasure to notice, how companies have joined us in cooperation for a matter of great importance. In less than a week, we were in a situation, where the target was almost reached. We want to help the young people in concrete ways, and it is exciting to see what kind of a result we will reach with our cooperatives. We hope to double the objective, and raise no less than €100,000 for the work against social exclusion, Heidi Peltonen, responsible for sustainable cooperation at Neste tells.

Many of the part-taking companies have become aware of the fact, that everybody can fight social exclusion. This is an important point-of-view for also the owner family of Mantsinen Group.

- The founders of our family business come from modest backgrounds, and we are aware, that the journey can be a difficult one, and you may need some help along the way. We feel that we have the responsibility for supporting young people, Mia Mantsinen, CEO of Mantsinen Group states.

The campaign has activated many companies and organizations in Mantsinen’s home region of North Karelia. Among others, two universities of applied sciences, Riveria and Karelia, decided to join the campaign. The presidents of both institutes, Esa Karvinen of Riveria and Petri Raivo of Karelia share the view, that it is important, that the aim of the campaign is specifically to facilitate the young people’s education by reducing the financial worries in the students’ lives.

- This is a great example of how we can together aid the wellbeing of young people in our region. This campaign allows young people, who otherwise would be left outside, to get involved in education and hobbies. As a provider of vocational education in North Karelia, Riveria wants to be a part of this kind of activity, without exception, Esa Karvinen says.

Additionally, some of the buyers of the auctioned artwork want to donate the piece of art forward. Mia Mantsinen of Mantsinen Group tells, that some of the artworks will be placed in youth centers in Joensuu, and the aim hereby is to communicate the possibility seek help directly from Hope ry for those in need.

Books, laptops and other appliances for up to 100 young people

According to Hope ry, there are 120,000 children living in families affected by poverty. Half of the funds raised by the campaign will be directed to North Karelia, and half nationally.

- With €50,000 it is possible to help approximately one hundred excluded young people. With the aid of collected funds, we are able to support the vocational education of the youngsters by providing books and laptops needed in schools, among other things, Eveliina Hostila, Executive Director of Hope ry says.

More information on the artwork and the campaign: www.zeroexclusion.com

*) A study conducted by Me-Säätiö: There are 65 941 excluded young people in Finland.

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