The National Union of University Students in Finland’s (SYL’s) Development Cooperation Advisory Board (KENKKU) is a voluntary group of students representing different student unions from Finland. KENKKU is responsible for managing SYL’s development cooperation projects with professionals from the field and participates in advocacy work and fundraising. KENKKU has two teams, the project management team and the communication and fundraising team, which work closely together and help each other whenever needed.
The project management team is responsible for example for monitoring the progress of the project, applying for project funding and for communication with local partners. The communication and fundraising team on the hand prepares social media material for project communication, plans blog posts, participates in events on the field such as the World Village Festival and does fundraising in cooperation with student unions.
SYL has coordinated different development cooperation projects for decades. The current project supports disabled students in three different public universities in Ethiopia by conducting trainings, increasing awareness of issues relating to disability and providing aids for studying.
LYY is represented in KENKKU at the moment by the writers of this blog post, Iikka and Mariam. Mariam is in the project management team and has so far gotten to review and comment the quarterly report which monitors the progress of the project. She will also get to prepare a new project funding application soon with the team. Iikka, who is responsible for fundraising, has met with representatives of different student unions with other members of KENKKU. In the meetings they have presented KENKKU’s work and made plans on different kinds of communication and fundraising cooperation, like the writing of this blog post.
We both applied for KENKKU because we found development cooperation important to us and because we wanted to offer our help to achieve a more equal world. Mariam wanted to gain experience on project management, whereas Iikka wanted to do fundraising at a larger scale than in his previous student association work.
So far, our experience in KENKKU has been extremely interesting and rewarding, and we want to encourage everyone interested in the subject to follow our work for example on Instagram and of course to apply for KENKKU next year!