Reach Out 3 project in Finland

Key Facts:
Budget: 127 695 € (75% EU funding, 25% FCA co-funding)
Start date: 1/2/2020
End date: 31/5/2021

Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (NETW) have carried out several projects focusing on prevention of violent extremism since 2014. In February 2020, support from the European Union’s International Security Fund enabled the launch of the most recent of these initiatives, the Reach Out 3 project.

The Reach Out 3 project is part of Finland’s national action plan for the prevention of violent radicalization and extremism in 2019–2023. In addition to the Ministry of the Interior, the co-operation includes local networks for the prevention of violent radicalism in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and Oulu, the Erätauko Foundation, the University of Helsinki, Save the Children and the Helsinki Deaconess Foundation.

The Reach Out 3 project supports the development and networking of cooperation between authorities, different religious communities and organizations. The overall aim of the project is to build cooperation, improve the flow of information (regarding service guidance) and trust between public authorities, civil society and communities to prevent violent extremism and radicalization. By developing policies and cooperation, young people affected by the phenomenon and their immediate community and family can be reached and supported. Reach Out 3 targets families and young people affected by violent radicalization and extremism, as well as public authorities (police, social workers and other municipal workers), religious communities and organizations working to prevent national extremism.

The work of the Reach Out 3 project is based on the experience gained during the Reach Out (2016-2017) and Reach Out 2 (2017-2019) projects and the increased knowledge on how the work should be taken forward in cooperation with partners and national responsible authorities. Furthermore, the project activities include a comparative study focusing on the experiences of families and young people affected by violent extremism in Finland and five other EU countries. The study will serve as a guideline for the later project activities providing essential information on the ways in which an individual’s radicalization affects those close to them and how local support models and community-based activities reach families and young people. The study will be published during the project and information will be disseminated in support of local cooperation for the use of Reach Out 3 project partners and stakeholders. Based on the experience and knowledge base of previous projects as well as research, the other three activities of the project will also be planned and implemented: Training package to strengthen the capacity of religious communities and authorities; City visits, and Community dialogue trainings and events.

The project’s duration is 1 February 2020 – 31 May 2021. It is funded by EU Home Affairs Fund (Internal Security Fund ISF). The total project budget is 127 695 €, of which 75% is EU funding and 25% FCA co-funding.