"LAPSEN ÄÄNI RY"
"Lapsen Ääni" ("Child's Voice" in English as compared to our current name "Children's Voice" in multitude) was our predecessor organization in Finland, which was founded in 1989 by late General Aimo Pajunen. Thanks to the influential work by "Lapsen Ääni" in 1990'ies in Finland we have today the functioning positions of "Ombudsman for Children" (Lapsivaltuutettu) and "Family Minister" (Perheministeri).
"Lapsen Ääni" worked towards the universal voting right - to grant voting rights to all Finnish citizen, including children. General Pajunen wanted, thus, to improve children's and families' with children position and life quality in Finland, and in the longer run - the overall societal dynamics by giving the young better development possibilities. General Pajunen saw the decreasing birth rates in Finland as an alarming sign at the same time when the average age of decision-makers was getting older.
"Lapsen Ääni" operated on a very high level in Finnish society, reaching out to the Parliament and various Ministries. The association had support across the political spectrum, from different parties - while the association refrained from any direct political activity. In certain issues, "Lapsen Ääni" took Norway as a role model, which at that time was more advanced than Finland in certain children -related issues.
One of the biggest projects which "Lapsen Ääni" accomplished was called "Lasten Suomi" (Children's Finland). It was announced by Prime Minister Esko Aho on 12.12.1991 and took place during the whole year of 1992 in commemoration of Finland's 75th birthday. This was one of the biggest - if not the biggest - campaigns ever done for the benefit of children in Finland. The slogan of the project was "Lasten Suomi - Hyvä Suomi" (Children's Finland - Good Finland). Central children -related and many other organisations and companies took part in the project and well-known people were chosen as ambassadors of the cause. As part of the project considerable funds' collection took place and donations to children's hospitals in Helsinki, Oulu and Turku were made to buy heart examination equipment. As part of the campaign a big Children's Party took place in Turku on 3.10.1992, which was led by Prime Minister Esko Aho and attended by other government members and thousands of children. Children's Parliament session took place on 24.10.1992 with 200 primary school children from around Finland convening to present to the government members the important children -related issues, and to vote on the issues. The event ended with a reception of the Speaker of the Parliament. Please see below pictures of our archive document, relating to this campaign.