WHO WE ARE
FinZam (The Finnish-Zambian Association – Suomi-Sambia seura) was founded in 1977. The aim of the association is to bring together Finnish people and other nationals interested in Zambia, Zambians living in Finland and Finnish-Zambian families in order to enhance the friendly relations and cultural understanding between each other.
FinZam aims to uphold the interests of community development in Zambia, Zambian cultural activity in Finland, and bi-lateral relations between Zambia and Finland. FinZam welcomes everybody, without looking at nationality, as equal partners in cultural exchange and community development.
We also wish to cater to the cultural and social needs of children born in Finland, for example through activities like the Language Nest project where we teach basics of the Zambian languages of Bemba and Nyanja as well as songs and games. The Language Nest is also designed for Finnish students and development workers, and indeed tourists who wish to learn some basic language before they venture to Zambia.
The purpose of the association is to increase knowledge about Zambia in Finland. We invite anyone who has lived or visited Zambia as well as those who wish to go there to join us in our activities! We organise social gatherings for our members as well as events to a wider audience in Finland.
We are members of Moniheli and Fingo and co-operate with organisations such as Zambian Vocal Collection Suomen yhdistys, and we are open to various co-operation possibilities, so please do not hesitate to contact us!
Mr Benjamin Musuku is a Process Engineer with over 15yrs of experience in Mining Industry and currently pursuing doctoral studies in Chemical Engineering at Aalto University. He is based in Lapland, Sodankylä.
Benjamin has served as Vice President of UNZAMETS, Secretary General of UNZAMS and UNZASU Hall representative. He currently sits on different boards for some private companies in Zambia. He is avid for charitable works and currently working with churches in Zambia to identify the needy and render or source for assistance where possible.
Petronella Kanga Chewe
Petronella is a Vaasa based Zambian working as a Practical Nurse. She is currently studying Swedish language to upgrade her Nursing studies.
She currently works with people with disabilities. Petronella is also a professional chef with a work experience in various restaurants within Vaasa. She is a fashion designer, a skill obtained as a hobby. In Zambia she worked for Kawambwa Tea Company as a Supervisor.
Jenna Kirkkari is a student at the University of Helsinki with a nearly completed MA degree in English philology and language teaching. Currently, she lives in Helsinki.
Jenna was an exchange student at the University of Zambia in 2017-2018. Afterwards, she interned at the International office of UNZA and compiled her master’s research in Lusaka. She is involved in an ongoing Finland-Zambia Alumni project between UNZA and the Embassy of Finland for Zambia. She has also created an independent fundraising initiative for a group of school kids in Lusaka and run it for nearly two years. Her passion is in multiculturalism, international relations and education.
Mr Ahti Tenhunen is a sign language interpreter based in Vantaa. In 2014, he did a variety of projects in Zambia with the local sign language community. In cooperation with Zambia National Association of the Deaf (ZNAD), he organized a course for people interested in communication with deaf-blind people. Inspired by Mr Tenhunen’s course, a local special teacher has continued working with the sign language community in Zambia.
Mr Tenhunen is also a musician: in cooperation with a Zambian-Zimbabwean rap artist, he has created a music video called “Chimbilimbili cha buka” which tells the story of a deaf-blind girl in a positive way. Mr Tenhunen believes that expression through art can help bringing awareness of difficult subjects to the public.
Mrs. Aura Mwiinga is a Master Student in Human Geography at University of Helsinki. Her studies are focused on research ethics and human dimensions of nature conservation.
She did exchange studies at UNZA in Development Studies in 2016-2017. She worked as an intern in a Zambian NGO Green Living Movement in a project that promoted climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of rural small-scale farmers in Monze, Mumbwa and Luanshya. She has continued to volunteer for GLM Finland which is supporting GLM Zambia on fundraising and project planning.
Mr. Slade Syakango has a background in the social and development sector with over 15 years experience. He has been involved with several organisations at different levels. He is currently based in Kirkkonummi, southern Finland.
Clement Kasongo is an International Economist and Entrepreneur by profession. Previously worked at Laurea UAS as Project Assistant for a year and served as Member of the Board of FinZam for close to two years.
Clement has held various leadership roles in positions of trust including Treasurer and Member of the Board of the Youth Ministry of Bread of Life Church International, Lusaka, Zambia. He received a BBA from Laurea UAS, master’s in international business from University of Vaasa, and master’s in Information and Knowledge Management from Åbo Akademi University.
Ms Ireen Alanen is an accountant and a nurse with a lot of experience in health care. She is currently residing in Vaasa and writing her bachelor’s thesis.
Ms Ireen is involved in a few charitable Cancer organizations that work with Children in Zambia. She is passionate about children and is willing to give her best to help in any way possible, not only with children but also in giving back to the community.
Cynthia Phiri Valasmo
Mrs. Cynthia Phiri Valasmo has BSN in Health care and MSc in Health promotion. She is currently working as a nurse in Mehiläinen.
She was currently promoted to be a Team leader, in her work she is promoting good team work. She is based in Vantaa.
Jenni Hopeela is currently studying for B.A. Degree in social sciences and sustainable development at Hämeenlinna University of Applied Sciences. She has a vocational qualification in Art, and she works as an artist as a hobby.Her previous studies include IT support and travel industry.
Jenni has worked in Zambia in a development project in Malambanyama where former street children and otherwise vulnerable children go to school and learn skills. Another time she was helping to set up a hostel in Livingstone.
The Finnish-Zambia Association’s constitution was written in 1977. Given the changes in membership and the objectives for which the association was formed the board has been working on a new constitution that will include all the issues facing the composition of the new membership and changing demand and challenge.