After leaving conflict-riddled Afghanistan behind 20 years ago, Hamed Shafae has gone on to embrace human rights from a Finnish perspective.

Currently working as a planning officer for the City of Helsinki’s Human Resources Centre, Immigration Division. Hamed Shafae’s passion for human rights was born while growing up in war-ravaged Kabul. Continuing his involvement for the past two decades while living in Finland, the key ingredient that facilitated a smooth integration for Shafae here was his extensive training in kung fu.

Author Joel Willans is never short of a sentence, neither on paper nor in person.

SITTING with Joel Willans is somewhat of an exercise in keeping up with the pace of conversation. Moving swiftly from topic to topic, pausing midway through a thought to embellish something he was saying a moment earlier, Willans remains engaging company, with heavy dollops of humour and self-deprecation punctuating his flow.

Dividing his time between Helsinki and Dublin, Gavan Titley’s shares his views on multicultural Finland.

DUBLINER Gavan Titley works as a Lecturer in Media Studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He has also lectured at the University of Helsinki, where he worked as a researcher for the Renvall Institute (currently the Institute for World Cultures). Having first lived in Helsinki in 2001, Titley now divides his time between Dublin and Finland’s capital. Aside from his academic pursuits, he also writes for a range of publications, including The Guardian.

Ahmed Hassan is the face of a new generation – a generation whose cultural and ethnic diversity is pointing towards a more inclusive, progressive future for Finland’s immigrant population.

Growing up as a Somali immigrant and living in a Swedish-speaking community in Helsinki during the 1990s, the multilingual Ahmed Hassan has experienced first-hand the difficulties that can accompany adapting to a new culture and environment and has overcome these obstacles to emerge as a promising, industrious figure within the areas of politics and business in Helsinki.

Sports for all is the name of the game for Christian Thibault.

As the executive director of Liikkukaa!, the organisation working for championing multiculturalism in sports here in Finland, German Christian Thibault is actively bringing about change on the sporting field. Acting as an umbrella organisation for some 60 smaller organisations around the country concerned with sports, migration and a multicultural society Liikkukaa! oversees a number of projects aimed at monitoring and enhancing multicultural involvement in sports and campaigning for better attitudes.