Click to find out more. Text: Maria Kozlovskaya Pictures: Maria Kozlovskaya for Finland Today A group of students is sitting in a glass room, facing a projection screen. They are a team sharing findings and ideas with each other, trying to find innovative solutions. The team members are young, ambitious and creative. What gathered them, simple homework? No, they are not there to do their assignments, get better grades or more credits, or get ready for the upcoming exams. This group is there because they believe in making a difference. With the full support of Kaija Lindroth, the programme director, Haaga-Helia Porvoo campus is implementing an inspiring approach – empowering students. The method does not teach students subjects, instead it gives them useful experience. None of these students work simply for grades for participation, yet they invest their skills and passion into launching one project: Bobonto. Bobonto is a new platform that was designed specifically to connect non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with their stakeholders. This tool will provide all the necessary information about NGOs of a certain region and all the volunteer, trainee, work placement and donation opportunities. Thus all the residents of the area are given a great opportunity to be useful for the society. “I see a real need behind the idea of Bobonto. It gives me motivation to dedicate all my heart and effort to create this meaningful network between NGOs and people. I tend to believe that trying and doing are two different things: when you try, you hope, but when you do, you succeed, therefore I fully enjoy being part of Bobonto team,” says Elīza Barkāne, a Latvian member of the launching team. “It’s great to be a part of a business idea designed to make a positive impact on society,” says Elja-Ilari Suhonen, another participant in the project. “Moreover, Karim has been my friend already before Bobonto, so I want to support him and I know that he has good intentions.” Any person can find a way to be useful to the society of the place he or she lives in. Throughout my life I came to an understanding that a lot of people actually want to be involved in charity and give back to society. At the same time, a lot of campaigns are designed so that you could only donate to the cause. On the other hand, some people do not possess the means to donate – students are among them. Karim Ali, the charismatic young man leading the project, is confident, positive and energetic. His passion made all these people supporting the cause believe in him. Coming originally from Egypt, Karim assembled a truly international team. This kind of approach just might be a forerunner of a step-up advanced collaboration – all the different backgrounds, experiences, knowledge, ideas, approaches and whatnot, brought to Finland by foreigners are developed and implemented with the locals to co-create a well-adjusted framework for the mutual benefit. Two hours of volunteer work might change someone else’s life. A picked up plastic cap won’t be swallowed by a bird. And a helping hand given to a person in need or just a kind word might lower the suicidal rates. Any person can find a way to be useful to the society of the place he or she lives in. Throughout my life I came to an understanding that a lot of people actually want to be involved in charity and give back to society. At the same time, a lot of campaigns are designed so that you could only donate to the cause. On the other hand, some people do not possess the means to donate – students are among them. The truth is, even a small deed makes a difference. Two hours of volunteer work might change someone else’s life. A picked up plastic cap won’t be swallowed by a bird. And a helping hand given to a person in need or just a kind word might lower the suicidal rates. “Charity was always one of the things I would like to do in my life and Bobonto sheds light on it in another way,” says the smiling Anna Alferova, a member of the launching team, and a talented singer from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Bobonto official launching party – The Impact Day – is due on April 20 in Haaga-Helia Porvoo Campus. The program offers a few speakers who will share their insights on NGOs working processes and frameworks. But ‘The Daily Impact’ campaign has already started on Facebook. Join the movement; tell what your daily impact is, nominate your friends to join you in this chain of good deeds. The most inspiring posts will be shared on The Impact Day in just a couple of weeks. “I have never worked for a startup, I believe I can learn a lot from the experience,” a few members in the launching team pointed out. “Being involved in a startup expands your mindset, opens new opportunities and makes you understand that you can push forward.” To me it seems like we might be looking at the next generation of entrepreneurs. These young people have passion, skills, creativity and positive thinking. No doubt, they will go far. Comments comments GET NOTIFICATIONS OF NEW ARTICLES NameEmailThank you!