Blog

The Hotel Helka is owned by one of the oldest women’s organizations in Finland, the YWCA of Finland*. YWCA’s goal is to empower girls and women and promote gender equality and ecumenism, so that human rights, welfare, safety, freedom, justice and peace could be guaranteed to all. And that is why Helka wants to tell what YWCA is all about.

The profits of Hotel Helka is directed to YWCA’s work for girls and women. Through YWCA there’s for example extracurricular activities and camps as well support for ladies in the middle of a crisis. You can do good by using the Hotel Helka.

* Young Women’s Christian Association of Finland

31 July, 2017

Feminism is a beautiful word

” I’m not a feminist, but…” is an utterance you have probably heard before. It made us at Helka wonder; what is it that makes people so afraid of feminism even though their thoughts and ideas are clearly feminist. Is it because the stereotypical image of a feminist pushes people away? Feminists are seen as […]
26 June, 2017

Why Pride?

Pride Festivals gather people from around the world to celebrate the diversity and equality of sexuality and gender. Pride is currently ongoing here in Helsinki, and you can catch up with the festivities later in the summer in other cities, including Turku and Stockholm. From time to time, the significance of Pride has been questioned. […]
1 June, 2017

Would you touch a co-worker?

It’s early in the morning. I’ve skipped my coffee, as I’m heading to a meeting that includes breakfast. I’m tired, and I don’t feel like I’m at the top of my game. As I arrive at the meeting, a co-worker puts his hand on my shoulder and tells me coffee is now being served. This […]
29 May, 2017

Helka’s Graduation Speech – Don’t get a cat just for the summer

Dear graduates! You have your career, life and the summer ahead of you. Today, people are going to give you plenty of advice regarding the time you’re going to spend from now on. No matter what you decide to do, we have one request for you: please don’t get a cat just for the summer. […]
18 May, 2017

The Internet can provide help and support 24/7

Challenging life situation in health and life management may become hard to handle. It is important to take care of your own well-being and mental health. Participating in the net environment one can seek services such as peer support groups and online therapy. – Network support allows access to support regardless of time and place. […]
27 April, 2017

Anger in social media – hate and love, no holds barred

Approximately a year ago, we made the decision to share Helka’s values in social media, as we had been praising Helka’s atmosphere amongst ourselves for a long while. In addition to Helka’s history bringing its own values to the table, the people of Helka are also tolerant and socially aware individuals. Despite all this, these […]
29 March, 2017

A Finnish man is already equal enough

Our General Manager Jukka and our Hotel Manager Thomas recently took part in a seminar about equality. Upon entering the seminar, they noticed there were, besides some of the staff and themselves, only a few men attending. The seminar was good and insightful, but the homogeneous nature of the audience made us wonder: Where do […]
28 February, 2017

Art is a bunch of elitist nonsense

Our visitors know that we love Finnish art. Our walls are filled with gorgeous works, and we use plenty of Finnish design furniture. Helka is a sight to behold, and it’s all thanks to Finnish art. Unfortunately, art is often associated with images of the rich and the famous, and it is believed that an […]
25 January, 2017

In Helka transgender people can blend in

In December we were visited by Tiia, who is currently going through a gender reassignment process. We had asked her to visit and tell us what it means to be transgender. Understanding the lives of minorities is a part of our equality plan that started in December. The aim of the plan is to make […]
20 January, 2017

A womb is not a career breaker at Helka

We have noticed here at Helka that work life can be ruthless towards young women. Temporary employment among young women has increased, and the reason for that is not hard to decipher: employers are afraid of young women who might stay at home for parental leave soon after employment. According to Finnish law the sex […]

We have room for the whole world

Albania, Angola, American Samoa, Armenia, Antigua, Aotearoan, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada… A huge long list of names of the countries in alphabetical order, but do you know what they have in common? In the YWCA we are not telling […]

Does a hotel need to care about being ecological?

Is ecological thinking important to you? We at Helka think that being ecological is everyone’s responsibility. We, as a company, must also think about the effects our daily choices have on our beloved environment, as nature is already at its limits. That’s why here at Helka we have integrated environmentally friendly practices as a part […]

From us to us – Peer is the best expert

In these days it can be a little difficult to be a “Power Sister” (Voimasiskot in Finnish). Darkness outside can pull the mood down, if you’re not careful. All kinds of small inconveniences piss off more than would be appropriate, and outdoor exercise is more dangerous due the combined effect of darkness and slipperiness. Managing […]
31 October, 2016

Team Helka against workplace bullying

We at Helka are tolerant people. There are, however, some things that we do not tolerate, one of them being workplace bullying. Bullying at the workplace can stem from many issues, but none of them are ever justified in our work community. We feel that valuing diversity, respecting others and being able to listen are […]
12 October, 2016

The Good-Enough Mother

One rainy day a few women were having coffee at YWCA of Oulu. They all chatted comfortably until one of them shared her concern: “My daughter ran away and I don’t even know where to start look for her. This is hard!” The other women had teenage children also and they knew how life can […]
29 September, 2016

Good service is a combination of values and dedication

A situation in customer service is an instance where people meet, and a one that can leave behind either a good or a bad experience. This experience is what customers utilize in making a decision in the future; it determines whether they will use the services of a company again, or if they will move […]
3 August, 2016

Discrimination-free zone

I stand in the front of a beautiful and solid stone house which is built almost 90 years ago. The red granite stone foundation and firm walls gave once support and protection for young women who moved to the city alone. Now the same house offers a discrimination-free zone and a safe space for hotel […]
30 June, 2016

Summer is here!

Thousands of cars crawl on the highway. It doesn’t bother me or the others in the traffic jam, because soon we´ll relax at the summer cottages. The sky is clear and evening is balmy, I wonder what the cottage yard will look like? And will the Highland cattle in the village raise their heads up […]
19 May, 2016

Multiply Good with Crafts and Arts

They say knitting make you feel less stressed, but when you knit something for charity, you feel even better. – For decades YWCA women have made all kinds of crafts and arts. Here in Oulu we have made for example Mother Teresa -blankets and UNICEF dolls for charity. We have also knitted mittens for asylum […]
15 April, 2016

When Pregnancy Turns Your Life Upside-down

 An unplanned pregnancy may cause fear and confusion, and abortion may have surprisingly long-term effects. – I had an abortion in my twenties. No one warned me about the pain abortion causes. I wanted to just forget about the issue, but could not. It affected all areas of my life. After few years I came […]
15 March, 2016

A Discrimination Free Welcome

120 years ago Louise af Forselles, one of the founders of the YWCA of Finland, pointed out there should be room for different kind of views – a sisterhood that emphasizes the uniting things. It would be the only way to achieve something significant. If you talk with the YWCA women, you probably hear the […]
16 February, 2016

Grow Up with the Scouts

The well-known motto “be prepared” has been known in YWCA of Finland more than 100 years, for YWCA of Finland was one of those who brought scouting to Finland. It was 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell held a camp in Brownsea Island in England. That with his book Scouting for Boys started the world known Scout […]
18 January, 2016

The Gospel Latin Dance Teaches to be Merciful towards Yourself

In January women’s magazines tell us how to lose some weight and all gyms are packed. It might make you feel it’s all about pursuing the perfect body; counting calories, steps and so on. Maybe not be the most stress free thing to do, so you may want to give up before you even start. […]
11 December, 2015

The Dream of a Safer Future

Once again it’s the time for Christmas gifts and New Year’s resolutions. The YWCA of Finland wishes a safer world and promise to work for it. During the year of 2015 we have read reports about violence. Reports have painted a grim picture of women’s lives in Finland. For example the amount of women who […]
16 November, 2015

Life As a Horrible Mother

What a day! Did my daughter talk to me at all – or was she just yelling at me? What happened to the child who used to adore me? Life as a mother of teenager, it sure can be a rocky road to walk on. Especially nowadays when there’s so many expectations for both teenagers […]
23 October, 2015

Part of Something Bigger

Just imagine: hundreds of women from around the world in the same venue. What a ripple of conversation, for the whole week – from early morning till late night. But there was so much to talk about! These women were there for the World YWCA Council* to represent 25 million people from 120 different countries. […]
10 August, 2015

Camping – They Say It’s In Fashion

Oh, all those memories and friends we got during our summer camps as kids! But did you know that in the early 1900s YWCA of Finland was one of those who brought scouting into Finland? Ever since camps have been part of YWCA’s activity, way or another. But camps aren’t just for the kids! Actually, […]
1 July, 2015

Women behind the Hotel Helka

There’s a Finnish song that says there’s a woman behind everything. Maybe not quite, but there wouldn’t be Hotel Helka without the women of YWCA. And that is why Helka wants to tell what YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) is all about; what has happened during almost 120 years and what YWCA of Finland is […]