Finland

June 2019

Q&A with Pekka Lund, Executive Manager of Finish Blue Ribbon

Pekka LundExecutive Manager at Finish Blue Ribbon

1. Why is the work of the Blue Cross important to you?

The Blue Cross is a source of hope, mercy and justice and I find it utmost important to be part of that work. As the polarization of our society seems to be growing we as the Blue Cross need both to bring hope to marginalized individuals and critical but constructive voices to societal discussions.

2. Are you convinced of the impact of your work – if so, which aspects?

I am convinced that the organization I am honoured to lead and our more than one hundred member organizations around the country are doing every day miracles in the lives of many – providing housing, food, life skills, communities, peer groups etc. If I may somehow positively contribute to that work, yes, I am convinced of the impact.

3. What was your happiest moment during your time with Blue Cross?

Of course, there is much to rejoice but to point to an exact moment: I had an encounter with a volunteer worker in one of our member organizations; he told about his everyday habit of helping hungry people. His passion, faith, and desire to help still makes me cry when I recall the small discussion we had. That is the strength of our movement.

4. What is/was your biggest challenge in your work for Blue Cross?

We are living in uncertainty about the future of the role of NGO's and FBO's in our social security systems: how are housing units, day centres etc. financed in the future and what kind of a competition between enterprises and NGO's there possibly is waiting - this all remains obscure at the moment. Therefore we, as an umbrella organization, share this uncertainty of our member organizations.

5. Blue Cross in your country: What do you consider your most important project?

We are running several great projects and it is impossible to choose one over the other. Therefore, I pick the latest, a project we have just started, one, where we develop and provide first aid for family, both parents and siblings, and if needed, grandparents as well, where a child has started using drugs: we provide, for instance, information, individual and group counselling, and family camps.