Thursday, August 27, 2015

Breaking the silence

Even though nothing has been published here for a while, it doesn't mean that nothing has happened. Quite the contrary. Our school is still a very active UNESCO-school. The cooperation with our partner schools on other continents has not been active, however. Personal contacts still exist and we keep each other posted on a regular basis. Friends in Tanzania and the USA are highly valued! Hopefully the cooperation between schools will blossom in the future too.

Recently the emphasis in our school has been more on national and European cooperation. We are partners in a POLARIS - network that consists of several UNESCO schools in Northern Finland. This year we are starting yet another joint project under the heading "Rauha kasvaa" (i.e. peace grows / peace to grow). Our previous POLARIS project published pictures and posts e.g. in Facebook ( and in a Wikispaces site (

Another matter that made me very happy was a message from our former student that travelled to Tanzania with our internationality group in 2012. She is going to travel to Gambia, Africa, later this year to do a training period as part of her studies at the university. They will mostly work with pre-schoolers in Gambia. She asked me if she could come to our school to talk about the work Apu-Paku - organisation is doing there and how we could help. Donations, such as school supplies and material for arts and crafts, are already being gathered. We are happy to help! Ida will come to visit our school later this autumn.


Monday, May 6, 2013

UNESCO-info in Haukipudas

On April 25th 2013 two second-year students from our Internationality Course, Laura-Elina Matela and Antti Hyytinen, introduced UNESCO to all our first-year students. We believe all our students need to know the basic principles of UNESCO, what it means to be an UNESCO-school (an ASP-school) and what sort of activities we have related to these principles.

After this information our lovely Italian exchange student Giorgia Infantino told us about her memorable year in Finland. By the way, Gio used perfect Finnish throughout her presentation! Hooray for learning languages!

- by AMO, pictures taken by Aleksi

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Polaris network getting active again!

I'm happy to announce that the ASP-schools (UNESCO schools) in northern Finland have joined forces again after a few years' break. In the winter we had the first meeting in Oulu. We decided that it's time we had a follow-up for our previous Polaris-project and started to toss ideas. In April we had a wonderful and productive meeting in Haapajärvi. Now we have big plans for the next school year!

Our school will host the next meeting in October but before that some basic UNESCO themes (global understanding, environmental education, equality) will be dealt with on a special theme day. All northern ASP-schools will celebrate on the same day.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Compositions from Tanzania

It wasn't possible for our friends in Tanzania to post their compositions themselves. Good Mr Bosco, their teacher, scanned their texts. Here they are (click the text and the link opens).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is good life?

The concept of good life cannot be defined, or can it? Is my idea of good life different from yours? Are there differences not only between individuals but also cultures?

To study the matter we launched an international writing project. Students in Finland, Tanzania and the US are writing essays on What is good life. Within the following weeks their ideas will be published here. You're welcome to comment on them!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

FACE TO FACE WITH AN ELEPHANT, Haukipudas students in Tanzania

The group of 21 students, four teachers and two parents left for Tanzania on June 3. 2012. It was so exciting! We would finally meet our friends in Dar es Salaam, get to see Zanzibar and do a safari in the north.

In Dar es Salaam we were greeted by some pupils from our partner school, their teacher Mr John Bosco, Ms Modester Mwinula from the UNESCO and our guides Peter and Jonathan Mbise. We spent the first day at Jangwani Secondary School. What a great day it was! All students mingled and were very eager to talk and share information. I wonder if they had ever studied languages with such an interest. Jangwani students and teachers had arranged great shows and presentations for us. Later that day students played basketball together.
photo by Esa Posio
 We naturally took along some gifts for the school. A digital video camera, a laptop computer and some school supplies were received with great interest. But giving and receiving gifts was not as important as bonding. All people at Jangwani made us feel very welcome and I am sure we built friendships that will last.

The next day we spent a few hours at school again and met a local school authority. Later we were taken to Bogomayo to see the Kaole Ruins. At the same time a couple of students and teachers visited another school, Mtakuja Secondary School, and a day care. Both visits were certainly memorable.

Photo by Eveliina Nurro
Next on our agenda was to take a morning ferry to Zanzibar, a paradise island. At our destination we swam in the hotel pool, which was true luxury compared to our previous hostel. In the afternoon we were taken to the Stone Town, a famous World Heritage Site. We saw beautiful doors, mosques, market places and a slave market place. “Zanzibar was a bit scruffy but interesting. The noices, scents and colours literally took us to a different world.”

”Another early morning. We got on a bus and headed for the Dolphin Bay Resort. The scenery was breathtaking: white sand, palm trees and clear water! We took small boats out to the ocean. After some cruising back and forth our friends appeared, first one, then small groups and finally swarms of 20 dolphins.” With snorkels and flippers we jumped repeatedly to the ocean to swim with the magnificent creatures. “After the lunch there was still some time to swim and lie on the beach. In the evening we had plenty of free time and so we went shopping. Truly a memorable day.”

”The alarm went off at 4.45 am. Tired faces. After getting back to Dar es Salaam we drove to an orphanage. There were over 100 children aged from two to 20 years living there. We played and talked with the children. Our students with blond hair were “reserved” instantly.” Some of the younger children were a bit of afraid of us first but most of them glued themselves to our sides. We heard touching stories of their life and future plans. Kurasini Orphanage takes good care of the children but needs help desperately in order to manage with their obligations. School fees need to be paid and there is no medication. The children’s clothing is washed by hand and many of them have no shoes. Of all the items we brought with us, football shoes were the biggest hit. Haukipudas Upper Secondary school will continue assisting the orphanage with our partners in Finland.

”Later after the dinner there was little time for anything but for packing our backpacks. In the morning we got up early again and started our way towards Mount Kilimanjaro! It was a long but beautiful drive. When we woke up in the north, the weather was beautiful and birds were singing. Still sleepy we crawled out from our rooms at the Ndoro Hunters Lodge to have breakfast.  There was a cheerful shout in the lobby: Good morning, Mr. Lauri! That really cheered up the sleepy boy. We got onto several jeeps and started our safari to Serengeti and Ngorongoro, which everybody had already been looking forward to. Already on the way to the park we saw baboons running over the road, zebras and giraffes standing and eating a few metres from our vehicles. We saw ostriches, gazelles and jackals. The highlight of our first safari day was to see three lions in a tree and elephants next to our car. Awesome! After reaching the camp we put up our tents on the savannah, sat at a camp fire and listened to a hyena howling right next to us. At night there was a lion roaring close to our camp and baboons took a trip between our tents.”

The whole group

Photo by Esa Posio
”The safari continued and we saw more animals than we had dared to hope for: hyenas, wart hogs, buffaloes, wildebeests. In the evening one of us was going to the toiled at the camp and came face to face with an elephant. At night it was very cold and damp in the mountains. After the morning safari we started our journey back but on the way to the Lodge we stopped to buy souvenirs and gifts.  When this fabulous day was ending we had to say good bye to our wonderful safari staff. We missed them right away.” We were very lucky with the animals and came across also some species that are more difficult to spot. With our binoculars we managed to see a leopard in a tree and a rhino with her baby in the grass. We saw a crocodile and hippos, not to mention a huge number of different birds. On the safari we had the best meals of the whole trip, which is an accomplishment in primitive conditions.

“On the last day we visited Nkoaranga village on Mount Meru. We took some backpacks and baby clothes with us. We could easily have spent another week or two in Tanzania! “

The trip was even better than we had hoped for. We saw varying nature and old cultures. We watched a lion right into the eyes, we took part in celebrations, dance and singing. The warmth of Tanzanian people and the way they care for each other and visitors was touching. The country is one of the poorest in the world and other people create their social security. Our own abundant life style started to make us sick while so many Tanzanians get by with so little. We also learned a lot of ourselves. We were on an emotional roller coaster. We learned patience and respect for other cultures and people. Now we truly appreciate our comfortable life but learned to adapt to prevailing conditions as well. Everybody got more courage to use foreign languages, too. The group felt really good under the warmth of the African sun and amongst themselves. Our hearts were left on the savannah.

We are looking forward to our next adventure in Tanzania!
Olivia Greus   
Vilma Haapala  
Niilo Heinonen  
Salla Kolehmainen   
Ilari Kujala  
Ida Latvakoski 
Eetu Laukka  
Marko Moilanen 
Nadja Mortti    
Lauri Nisula 
Eveliina Nurro   
Salla Ojala     
Essi Pohjonen          
Jenni Posio 
Eveliina Satomaa  
Eeva Savilaakso   
Elina Savilaakso 
Pirita Väinämö   
Eetu Väänänen   
Laura Ylipahkala   
Juho-Pekka Ylisirniö        

Anja Moilanen
Tiina Fredriksson
Anna Metsävainio
Marja Iskanius

Esa Posio
Rauno Moilanen    

-       by AMO, based on the journals written by the students

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On June 3rd 2012 our group of 21 students, four teachers and two parents will head for Tanzania. HOORAY!