Novia University of Applied Sciences
Novia University of Applied Sciences / © Novia University of Applied Sciences
Who we are
Novia University of Applied Sciences is located along the Swedish speaking coast line of Finland, serving mainly rural areas. The UAS has approximately 4000 students and 350 members of personnel. Campus Vasa and Campus Turku both offer degree studies within health care and social services and hold a particular interest in groups at risk of marginalization and social exclusion. Research and development activities at Novia UAS/ Health and social services focus primarily (but not exclusively) on health and living conditions of older adults.
Why we are involved in SEMPRE
SEMPRE – Social Empowerment in Rural Europe is a partnership including both international actors, local stakeholders, professionals and different groups of end users. The aim is to develop strategies to empower and strengthen marginalized persons’ ability to control one’s own life, and have access to those channels that enhance an individual’s sense of efficacy. We believe that the SEMPRE partnership will enhance and benefit all partners’ competence, taking its starting point in end user driven interests and needs assessment. In a longer perspective, the tools that are developed provide alternatives and strategies for improving the living conditions of marginalized end users and persons at risk of marginalization and social exclusion.
What will be the most important result of SEMPRE?
As a result of the project, new methods and processes will be in place to enhance empowerment of people at risk of marginalization and social exclusion in rural areas, focusing on older adults in particular.
Whom we are working with
Within the framework of SEMPRE, a Local Empowerment Network (LEN) focusing primarily on older adults has been established. Here, the focus / end user group is primarily those older adults (above 65 years of age) who do not feel strong and influential in society today. The lack of a sense of influence and control may be due to different life circumstances including, for instance, loneliness, poor health, difficulty making ends meet, lack of meaningful activities etc.
To date, the LEN consists of, among others, the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, the Diocese of Porvoo/Domkapitlet i Borgå Stift, the Municipality of Korsholm/Mustasaari, the NGO Umbrella Organization in the Vaasa Region, the town of Parainen/Pargas
Ostrobothnia Crisis Center/Mieli, Finlands svenska socialförbund and Novia UAS.
Needs assessment of older adults is conducted in cooperation with the Gerontological Regional Database GERDA, consisting of data collected in 2005 and 2010 among older people in Ostrobothnia and the Västerbotten region in Sweden. Partners upholding the Database are Novia UAS, Umeå University and Åbo Akademi University. The Database has been financed by the Interreg-programmes Kvarken-Mittskandia and Botnia-Atlantica; The Regional Council of Ostrobothnia; the Municipality of Umeå and project partners. A third wave of data collection is planned in 2016.