The Finnish 4H Organisation
The 4H organization is a youth development organisation, which aims its activities at young people aged between 6 and 28 years old living in both rural and urban areas. The youth work carried out by the 4H organization has an educational purpose with long-term goals to endorse entrepreneurship, employability and active citizenship in young people. The 4H organization’s values lie in our four Hs: Head, Hands, Heart and Heath. Our values are based on the John Dewey’s practical ‘learning by doing’ method and D.A. Kolb’s experimental learning model.Our ‘Three Steps to Employment’ model corresponds to the 4H organization’s long term goals to endorse entrepreneurship, employability and active citizenship in young people. In the 4H clubs children learn practical skills by doing fun TOP- task bank activities led by a trained club leader. The Hands-on courses are designed to give a young person the basic skills and knowledge to be employed to do babysitting, dogsitting, housekeeping, gardening and forestry tasks. The Passport to work –courses help a young people make the transition from education to employment by improving the their employability skills and knowledge of the rules of the working world. A keen young person also has the opportunity to start their own 4H Enterprise, with help and guidance from their personal business mentor.
The 4H organization aims to promote enlightened and responsible citizenry in young people. Internationalism in young people is encouraged by the work of the 4H organisation. 4H offers internationalism courses, youth exchange programs and field trips abroad. Participants have the opportunity to get to know young people from other countries at various events such as seminars and camps.
The forests of Finland and the wellbeing of our natural heritage have always been important for the 4H organisation. The 4H organisation runs Forest Education, which aims to develop in young people; an appreciation for the importance of conserving forestland as a source of products, benefits, and services necessary for quality living Forest education encompasses nature clubs, Forest Day at school, hands-on forestry courses, bush craft competitions and other events. Forest Education work helps young people develop a familiarity with our natural enviromment and gives them an opportunity for employment in forest sector.
The 4H is the biggest youth organisation in Finland with about 70,000 members, with an average age of 13 years. Local activities are organised by the 235 4H associations around Finland. Activities in Swedish are provided by Finlands svenska 4H, which has over 4,000 members.