SOS Children's Villages has been active in Finland since the 1960s.The SOS Children's Villages idea was well received in Finland and the organisation's activities have continued in recent decades. At present, SOS Children's Villages supports children, young people and families in six locations in Finland.
There are six SOS Children's Villages, one SOS Youth Facility and 13 SOS Social Centres in Finland.
The third Finnish SOS Children's Village was inaugurated in 1979 at Ylitornio, in the province of Lapland. The municipality of Ylitornio, with its 4,500 inhabitants, is located on the Polar Circle, about 700 kilometers north of Helsinki and 100 kilometers west of Rovaniemi. Sweden is just across the border.
The SOS Children's Village Lappi is situated on a slope, on the edge of Ylitornio and is surrounded by a forest. Autumn is a beautiful season in Lapland, when the "Ruska"-season turns the leaves bright red and orange. During the long winters, the sun shines only for a few hours, but in the summer there is light day and night. The SOS Children's Village Lappi in Ylitornio has six family houses and a Community House with administrative and leisure facilities. Music, natural science and sports are very popular.
Adjoining to the SOS Children's Village is a holiday camp called "Oravanpesä" which is a renovated old school building. It offers great opportunities for families from all SOS Children's Villages in Finland to spend their summer and skiing holidays in natural surroundings.
Walking in nature and camping are also essential parts of the goal-oriented educational work. In the Children's Village children and youngsters are encouraged to find activities of their own interest which help them to experience the joy of succeeding in life.