Every child is entitled to a good and happy childhood. The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare works to make this possible together with many other organizations, both public and private.
The Mannerheim League is an NGO and membership is open to everyone. It promotes the wellbeing of children and of families with children, increases respect for childhood and seeks to make it more visible, and sees that children’s views are taken into account in public decision-making.
The Mannerheim League is the largest child welfare organization in Finland. It has 86 000 members and 547 local associations throughout the country. The work of these local associations is supported by the League’s 10 district organizations.
The Mannerheim League relies on partnerships. It works with numerous organizations, businesses and networks in Finland and abroad. The League’s Central Office in Helsinki cooperates closely with ministries, officials and other organizations while the district organizations and local associations operate on the regional level.
The league aims to ensure that
- children are equal members of society.
- every child enjoys good and happy surroundings.
- parenting and education are respected and supported.
- volunteer work, helping, caring and joint responsibility increase
A healthy, secure childhood
The Mannerheim League supports parenting and links between generations and works to promote health and a good environment for children. It arranges afternoon programmes for school children and educates them about substance abuse. Peer students – older pupils – work to increase the feeling of belonging, congeniality and security at schools.
Families need services
The Mannerheim League produces diverse services; home-help provides families with short-term child-care services and longer-term special services such as home care for disabled and chronically ill children. Telephone counseling provides children, young people and parents with empathy, assistance and advice. Rehabilitation and child welfare services support families in which there are sick or disabled children or mental and social problems.
Local associations are close to people
The League offers families an opportunity to get acquainted and take part in volunteer work, to have a say in public affairs and to participate in a diverse range of activities. Local associations arrange clubs, groups for parents, excursions, training and special events. The associations keep the needs of children and families to the fore and seek to influence local decisions affecting families. Most of the activity of the local associations is based on volunteer work.
For the good of children across borders
The Mannerheim League cooperates with child welfare organizations in Estonia and Russian Karelia to enhance the wellbeing of children there. In some of the poorest countries of Africa, the League has contributed to the development of basic health care in rural areas, with the emphasis on promoting the health of mothers and children.
A civic organization for the 21th century
Affection, care and wellbeing are the cornerstones of a good childhood. The Mannerheim League is now concentrating on the following challenges:
- guaranteeing the right of children to childhood.
- promoting responsible parenting
- increasing interest in volunteer work
- developing partnerships across traditional boundaries to cooperation advancing a global approach to the problems of children and families with children.
The League’s organization
Decision-making in the League is ultimately the responsibility of the League Assembly, which meets every three years. The Assembly elects the League Council (38 members) and a chairperson for it, and chooses the chairperson of the League Board (12 members). The League’s Central Office has approximately fifty employees and is located in Helsinki.
Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA) supports the work of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and the League organizes annual fund-raising campaigns through which the local associations collect funds to finance their activities. An example of cooperation with businesses is the campaign to ensure children a good start in school. Many local governments also purchase services offered by the Mannerheim League.
The Mannerheim League’s patrons are Sauli Niinistö, the President of Finland, and his wife Mrs Jenni Haukio.
For further information
The Central Office
Toinen linja 17
FIN-00530 Helsinki, Finland
tel. +358 75 324 51