“Youth is on the move – so is the Wauto!”
• The Walkers Car, or the Wauto, is a motor caravan that functions as a low-threshold meeting place for young people. Its activities are aimed at 13 to 17-year-olds.
• The objective is to provide young people with safe adult contacts, support and guidance in life and let them know about the services in the area. The Wauto always works in collaboration with local partners.
• The Wauto supports and complements regional youth services. Its movements are focused on areas where municipal mergers, for example, have caused challenges for local youth work.
• The activity improves the participation of young people in developing their neighbourhood and conveys their opinion to local employees and officials. Young people’s views are observed in casual conversations and through surveys.
• The advantage of the Wauto is its mobility. It reaches more young people in a wide area, which is important because the young are more mobile than ever before. The car can be moved from place to place and Walkers employees may continue their work on foot.
• The main idea behind the operation is that encountering young people is equally important all around Finland.
“The best thing about the Wauto is that there are adults present”
a young person from Salo
The Walkers Car aims at discovering new ways of reaching out to young people and responding to their needs in various environments. Young people are encountered in places where they usually hang out.
The car is always manned by safe adults: youth and social sector professionals, local partners and trained Walkers volunteers. In addition, the car provides games, free coffee and affordable coffee shop services without the obligation to buy anything. Its services are modified according to the wishes and needs of young people. You can come and hang out by yourself or with friends.
The Walkers Car project was piloted in the autumn of 2015 in Salo and the results showed that there is a need for the services it provides. The number of visitors during the pilot project was a positive surprise: during a total of 21 activity evenings there were close to 1,200 encounters with young people. Feedback collected from them showed that the Wauto was seen as a welcome addition to local youth work.
The Wauto starts its operations in particular areas where there is a need for it. Arrival in the area requires that local partners engage and participate in the activities. For example, the need may be something which people working with youth have observed in the field, or services that are missing from the area. Networking with local partners occurs before the Wauto enters the area. If necessary, new partners can be sought for work involving, for example, immigrants, street violence or substance abuse cases.
Activity evenings are held at least 2–4 times a week. The schedules are determined by local needs. During an activity evening, the Wauto can move around in one or several areas and respond quickly to inquiries by, for example, Walkers partners, young people, police and parents.
Before its arrival, young people will get the chance to get acquainted with the Wauto during its school visits. As the car enters the area, they will get information about its whereabouts through social media, youth workers and by word of mouth.
Follow Wauto on social media!
The Walkers Car was purchased with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture. However, its resources will always be local. The goal of the operational model is to pinpoint the situation in and safety of the target area and to support networking efforts.
Account: FI19 8000 1301 0103 03
We are thankful for every donation!
Walkers Operation Managers
Minna Lahtela, tel. +358 40 777 8683
Mauri Mujunen, tel. +358 40 522 6747
firstname.lastname [at] asemanlapset.fi
ASEMAN LAPSET RY
Simonkatu 3 A, 00100 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 654 740
info [at] asemanlapset.fi