The ‘About Finland’ service delivers official information and develops skills and attitude that the migrants can apply immediately.

Right learning in the right place at the right time

Espoo has fostered the implementation of a solution that accelerates the integration of asylum seekers with the surrounding society while giving new meaning to their lives. 

The ‘About Finland’ service delivers official information and develops skills and attitude that the migrants can apply immediately. 

Education and learning have always been important to Finns. Because of the rugged weather, our geographical position and lack of resources we have had to build our success on new innovations created with no outside help. 

The concepts of lifelong learning, co-creation, and living labs were all born here. 

Learning for migrants 

The current asylum seeker crisis came as a surprise to everyone. When Said Aden, Head of Employment Affairs at the City of Espoo, migrated to Finland from Somalia 25 years ago, there were no service providers like Funzi. 

”I was confused with the society I had joined. I knew next to nothing about Finland. I didn’t speak the language and nobody would hire me to even pick strawberries. Things would have been easier if there had been a service such as About Finland.” 

‘About Finland’ is a service for asylum seekers that delivers reliable information from official sources to mobile phone users. The users also have access to other courses that are verified to have a life-changing impact. 

”Education is critical in order for asylum seekers to attain jobs,” tells Said. 

Today Said works for the City of Espoo as Manager of Employment, focusing especially on challenges relating to the unemployment of young people, immigrants and highly educated professionals, all areas in which Espoo puts strong focus on. 

‘About Finland’ service is easy to use, free for the user and applies to all immigrants. It is developed by Funzi, an Espoo Innovation Garden startup and it contains trustworthy information from official sources. 


Expanding into EU and the countries of origin 

Though developed initially in Espoo, the About Finland service has big plans. It launched the first entrepreneurial education course in Arabic in November 2015 and after nationwide implementation in Finland localised versions of the service was launched in most important EU markets including Germany during 2015. 

The mobile learning courses was also implemented in refugee camps in Jordan in collaboration with Finn Church Aid and various UN organizations, starting with the Zaatari camp in November 2015.  

Funzi—giving access to learning to everyone 

Funzi is a unique mobile learning service with initial focus on emerging markets. This pioneering Espoo startup was founded in February 2014 by a group of professionals who wanted to use their expertise on mobile business and education to create something globally impactful. Funzi makes learning accessible to everyone—for free. 

The minimum viable product version of Funzi was launched in May 2015, and during summer 2015 it proved to be successful in reaching, keeping, and teaching mobile users in multiple markets. 

After success with the first services, the company saw that Funzi could provide a solution to the information and knowledge needs among asylum seekers in Europe. 

The intent is to enable easy access to information for newcomers and to ease the integration process. The first course packages are tailored for asylum seekers and contain information on communications, everyday life and the asylum process. They are delivered in multiple languages. 

Funzi takes its name from funza, meaning learning in Swahili, and is inspired by Africa—the continent of growth. 

Funzi provides services that result in immediate impact, allowing users to develop new skills and empowering collaboration between individuals and experts. All Funzi services combine the development of knowledge and new skills with the social component of sharing.