Interview with Liisa Metsola (LIVE)

In every issue our newsletter we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. In this edition, we head to Finland to talk to Liisa Metsola, development director At LIVE Foundation and recently elected in the Board of ARFIE.

ARFIE: How would you describe your organisation?

Liisa: I would describe Live Foundation in a few words as a multifaceted organization with various kind of services including vocational education, employment services, rehabilitation services, training and coaching services to students and clients in vulnerable situation. Our key objective is to support people with special needs to achieve their educational and career goals.  To act as an advocate for people in vulnerable situations. To have a positive impact on the lives of the people that participate in our education or services.

ARFIE: Why did you join ARFIE and how would you describe it to a stranger?

Liisa: We joined ARFIE  because  we wanted to expand our European networks and work with and learn from similar kind of organisations. I would describe ARFIE to a stranger as being an active and forward-looking European association that tries to improve the situation of vulnerable people and speak for people whose voices are not heard.

ARFIE: What about Finland? How is disability perceived in your Country?  

Liisa: Finnish law states that a disabled person must not be discriminated because of his or her disability. A disabled person has the right to live a normal life, for example, to study, work and start a family. Finland is also committed to the UN treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities.

ARFIE: Who are your key partners?

Liisa: Our key partners in the country are   

  • employers
  • education providers
  • disability associations
  • various ngos
  • government and regional offices
  • wellbeing services counties

ARFIE: What are the main challenges for Finland today?

Liisa: The major challenges for Finland today and especially in the future is that we will lack labour force and we need to be able to provide opportunities for people with special needs to be able to get employed in a job that will match their skills and abilities. Employers need to learn more about people with special needs and how to integrate them into their companies as a valuable part of staff.

ARFIE: To conclude tell us something about you?  Do you have any hobby?

Liisa: My hobbies are:

  • cooking and baking – I like to try out new recipes and also have dinners with my friends
  • I enjoy traveling – especially in the South-East Asia
  • I also exercise – in the summer especially water jogging; in the winter walking and gym; occasional yoga class
  • movies – there is an excellent, small movie theatre near my home
  • music – great friend of Spotify

I also like reading detective and crime stories – I lack suspense in my life 😊 nowadays I mainly listen to books though.

In my free time I like to chill out and relax.  I also like to study and I am an avid supporter of lifelong learning.

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