Finland – Markus


Markus Vähälä is the coordinator for Citizen Network Finland.

Markus has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in Finland for 20 years in a non-profit NGO called Lyhty (Lantern). Lyhty is an innovative service provider for over 100 people and an active member of society. On top of providing housing services, Lyhty runs workshops which actively co-operate with the best professionals, using the best tools and using best practices for support and education.

The Lyhty music workshop was the birthplace for an internationally known punk band called Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN) which represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015. An acclaimed documentary called The Punk Syndrome tells the story of PKN and has won several international awards. Markus also works as a manager in a media project called Radio Valo that supports and educates people with intellectual disabilities around Finland. Radio Valo has friends around the world in countries such as Taiwan, Tanzania, Malta, Norway and Germany. And, Markus is also a trained work supervisor and ReDoMe-coach in a company called New Beat, where people with intellectual disabilities work together with other professionals in coaching companies.

In his free time Markus is organizing Citizen Network Finland through Synerga, which is a non-profit NGO that aims to bring people together to make the world a better place. Synerga is campaigning against the public procurement of services for people with disabilities and promoting individualized models for service provision, like personal budgeting and individual service design. Synerga works with the Centre for Welfare Reform to spread information about international best practices and the work of the Centre’s fellows.

Markus thinks that real improvements for disadvantaged groups come from creating shared goals, bringing people together locally and internationally and creating co-operation, which creates advances in policies and also in real life. Communicating and working together creates trust between people in the society. Political pressure must be strong and being individually involved together with others creates citizen skills, feelings of togetherness and competence. We can do it!

telephone: +358 50 3461011

Our focus for 2019

  • Creating Citizen Network Finland, promoting the network and bringing people together.
  • Creating a model for Synerga, by using the fluctual philosophy from Finnish social psychologist Ms. Jaana Venkula to ensure that it improves personal and group intellectual potential, creates an environment for reflection and development, and supports the development of citizen skills thereby creating a change in society.

What we can share

The best practices for disability support from Finland and from our international partners. We can also help you in finding partners for international co-operation.

Connect with us

The Citizen Network Finland wants to create co-operation, where people can join forces freely individually and through organizations and companies. Let’s support each other by co-operating and spreading the news about what is happening in this world, right here, right now.

Our Strategic Partner(s)

Synerga is our strategic partner in Finland.

Nieriäisentie 15
01480 Vantaa