Community Organisations Promoting Democracy and Peace in Europe

10 / 02 / 2021 | Conference, Event

Event Description

The Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses and the IFS Helsinki Office will be hosting the “Community Organisations Promoting Democracy and Peace” virtual meeting sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Justice. During this meeting, guest speakers and European Settlement Houses representatives will exchange about peace issues in Europe and Settlement work efforts to promote peace, social justice, and democracy in Europe.

The peace meeting will have a particular focus on the following questions that the meeting’s panellists will answer:

  • How can community organisations strengthen the voice of civil society in Europe?
  • What are the current threats to civil society?
  • How do recent events in the US and the rise of populism in Europe threaten democratic structures?
  • How can the European Union strengthen social justice and peace in Europe?

Date and time

Thursday 18 March 2021, 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm EET.

Online Event

Event is held over Zoom/Teams; connection details will be emailed. RSVP HERE

Event Moderator

Junias Kanyinda, IFS and Setlementtiliitto ry Communications.

Welcome message by Claudie Miller, IFS/UN Main representative in UN Geneva.


In this meeting, our guest presenters are Sirpa Pietikäinen, a European Parliament member from Finland. She is a member of the National Coalition Party, part of the European People’s Party. She has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2008.

Ms Pietikäinen values the Settlement movement’s work and has a broad knowledge of the Movement’s impacts in communities.

European Parliament Member Pietikäinen will be joined by Franco Uda, IFS Board member and the Secretary-General of ARCI in Sardinia Italy. Franco Uda is engaged in coordinating community-based associations’ overall activities and organizing youth projects that deal with memory and Civil Service.

At the national level, he’s a member of the ARCI National Board, in charge of human rights, peace, volunteering and international solidarity. Since 2016 I have also been working in ARCS – the NGO of ARCI – as Vice President, involved in projects and training for young people who deal with peace and global issues.

The next presenter is Zsuzsanna Elek, a PhD student part-time research fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences – Child Opportunities Research Group in Hungary.

Zsuzsi was one of the leaders and volunteered at ‘I will Shine’ Association that organises summer children camps and monthly weekend programs for disadvantaged Roma children and youngsters living in a small village (120 km far from Budapest) called Kerecsend. She was part of the 4-month-long fellowship program by Community Solutions Program (CSP) IREX 2019 at Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association in New York.

The IFS board member and Locality CEO, Tony Armstrong will represent the United Kingdom. Locality is the national membership network for community organisations in the UK and home to the European Office of the International Federation of Settlements and Neighbourhood Centers (IFS).


  • Christopher Hanway, Executive Director, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, NYC, USA.
  • Peter Giczey, ÉLETFA Segítő Szolgálat Egyesület, Hungary.
  • Renate Wilkening, CEO Neighbourhood Center ufafabrik, Germany.
  • Theo den Hertog, Lister, Netherlands.

Other presenters and speakers, we will feature will be announced soon.

Please feel free to contact if you have any further questions.