Together Association started working in Runosmäki from next to nothing in March 2020 when active locals cleaned, renovated and decorated the venue on Piiparintori square together with staff members from the association. Activities strated with Womens´day celebrations on March 8th. 2020 in collaboration with the Runosmäki Association. 150 people took part in the first event and 50 visited the new Intercultural Center itself.
The official opening and starting of the croup activities had to be postponed due to Covid-19 but the association put together activities for local residents. Collect the Letter-contest was particularly popular. In the contest people came daily to the door of the Intercultural Center and and collected letters posted on the window to form a sentence. When it was safe to gather outdoors again we started cultivating vegetables in cultivation boxes and took nature walks together. We also put together a group for outdoor activities.
In June we were able to arrange small-scale group activities once a week. New volunteers joined the association and we made many plans for the future. We also went on outings near Runosmäki both with visitors from the new Intercultural Center and together with Varissuo Center. We put together the Summer Cafe when ever possible and got to know the resindents of Runosmäki.
After the summer holidays in August we went on more outings. Many people came along to the island of Seili, Naantali and the old cemetery of Turku. In the end of August we started the group activities for the autumn 2020. Door to the Center was kept open every week day. In autumn 2020 there were 10 different groups in Runosmäki. Friday became the Info Day just like in Varissuo Center.
The Intercultural Center in Runosmäki was finally officially opened on August 28th. 82 people attended the opening festivities. What a success!
During its first year the Intercultural Center in Runosmäki has collaborated with the Henrikki congregation, the Runosmäki Association and different authorities of the city of Turku, among others. Different immigrant associations may gather in the Runosmäki Center free of charge. In the future we hope to be able to work together with these associations as well.
The start of Runosmäki Center could not have been more difficult but now when a new spring has arrived, we can hope that an active summer will be followed by an active autumn.