Best Buddies Finland
Best Buddies Finland was launched in the city of Tampere in the autumn of 2007. There are currently 62 active Buddy Pairs in 25 different cities across the country! Best Buddies Finland demonstrates that anyone can benefit from a one-to-one friendship because it offers new experiences, and promotes equality and tolerance in society.
Siiri is a Peer Buddy from the city of Jyväskylä and she has been participating in Best Buddies Finland since the spring of 2009. Siiri tells how the story of how her friendship with her Buddy, Pricella, began:
“At first I was wondering what exactly this organization, Best Buddies, is. A friend of mine had told me about it and I thought it would be too challenging for me. The idea of matching people for friendship although they haven’t ever seen each other felt absurd. I kept on thinking about it and the concept clearly puzzled me. I applied anyway, received training, and was matched with my buddy in the spring. The day I was matched was really exciting for me, but at the same time I was having a hard time thinking of what I would discuss with my Buddy.
Since first being matched, little by little we have started to get to know each other. We have talked on Messenger, sent text messages, gone shopping and eaten in restaurants. One day when we were chatting, I realized that I was telling her things that I have only told to a couple of people, we were chatting so easily – like friends.
When I’m with Pricella I feel that I don’t need to be anything more than what I already am. It is such a relief that just my company is good enough for our friendship. It is so nice to have someone to hang out with and talk to while gorging ourselves with candies! Pricella also gives a great second opinion when trying on new clothes and shopping!
After participating in the program, I find the idea of Best Buddies really great! I am glad that I joined Best Buddies Finland. I have noticed that nowadays I am less biased against new and different things! I know that if Pricella and I had not been matched together I would have never met her and I would have missed all these happy moments. For this reason, I am thankful for Best Buddies Finland and hope that more people will find good friends through Best Buddies.”
Best Buddies Finland is an energetic community and many activities are organized around the country. In group meetings Buddy Pairs have had a great time together during activities such as bowling and visiting an amusement park. They have also practiced clown performance and African dance! The Best Buddies mission of friendship is spreading throughout Finland by the many Buddy Pair interviews that are being published in national magazines and newspapers across the country. The touching stories and happy faces inspire people to join Best Buddies which is evidenced by the new applications received every week!