The Nordic-Baltic region is known for its digital nature, welfare system and values such as inclusion, openness, trust, equality and democratic rights. These factors have been key to the Nordic-Baltic regions’ way of tackling the Covid-19 crisis in an effective yet humane manner. It also shows that digital solutions can play a role in almost every part of society.    

The first digital #BLM protest 

The Nordic-Baltic region’s citizens have come together to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Alongside physical protests, Sweden went digital to support the movement to bridge the challenge of standing up for your democratic right to protest, but do it in a Covid-19 safe manner. Activist and artist Aysha Jones organised an online demonstration at the US Embassy in Stockholm last Tuesday together with the organisation Stop Afrophobia, Afro-Swedes Forum for Justice and the Afro-Swedes Association. The digital protest which may have been the first of its kind, reached up to 60,000-70,000 attendees.   

Covid-19 startup guide in Arabic, Farsi, Somali and English

Finnish Startup Refugees support newcomers to Finland by helping them start a business or entering the Finnish labour market. In the times of Covid-19, they recognised the need for Covid-19 related business material in other languages, so they created this guide to immigrant entrepreneurs in Arabic, Farsi, Somali and English. Besides the guides there are videos and a helpline in Arabic, English and Finnish.   

E-information day for disabled people

The Estonian Chamber of Disabled People is addressing the difficulties of being disabled and adapting to the Covid-19 situation by inviting disabled, caretakers, family and more to a live information session today on June 10th from 12.45-15.30 EEST with the title “Coping in the Corona period”. Sign up here (in Estonian).   

Online mentor programmes to support newcomers

Swedish startup, Mitt Liv (My Life), has created an inclusion programme to foster an inclusive society and a diverse job market. They have adapted their mentor programme for people with a foreign background with a post-secondary education to include digital sessions during the time of Covid-19. In Denmark, Foreningen Nydansker (The association Nydansker) focus on the potential of diversity, and helps newcomers to Denmark integrate with the Danish workforce. The association has moved their mentor programme online to continue educating volunteers to help support newcomers to Denmark.   

Awards to promote equality and diversity

The Lithuanian National Equality and Diversity Awards presented on May 21st winners of eight categories: gender equality, overcoming barriers, LGBT*, open society, age, dialogue between nations, diversity of religions and beliefs, and the breakthrough of the year. See the list of winners here. The event was hosted by the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman office.   

Including children across the region 

Covid-19 is a very complex matter, and it may be hard to convey these complex informations to children. These initiatives are meeting the needs of children in region: Norwegian local resource centre, RVTS Vest, has made this short animated video to address Covid-19 concerns that children might have. The video is made in Arabic and Norwegian  

Latvian NGO, Center for Education Initiatives, helps and supports Romani and traveller families through the Romani early years network. They have changed their TOY play center-libraries to online activities like puzzles, games and story time. Additionally the staff is providing 1-1 telephone counselling to support Roma families.    

Danish founded NGO, GAME, an international basketball community meets online to maintain the good relations built by the organisation through their extensive work with kids and young people internationally through the game of basketball. The volunteers at GAME reach many spheres of the affiliated kids’ and young people’s lives, such as school, family, friends and jobs. This relation has remained during Covid-19 lockdowns to support kids and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.      

Previously, we have shared this list of EdTech startups across the Nordic-Baltic region that all aim to support and include children during Covid-19 by providing them different educational options in their home.