About the campaign
The youth are especially vulnerable, because youth is characterized by various uncertainties and self-discovery. The young people who have grown amidst a conflict or have, for example, lost members of their families need special support. The sense of solidarity offered by extremist groups can be tempting even for young people who have grown under normal circumstances, if they feel excluded.
The key to preventing violent radicalization of young people is to tackle the reasons causing it, such as lack of education, limited income opportunities and experiences of discrimination and exclusion. Regrettably often the young people in conflict areas are also the target of security operations and feel their religions threatened. Close cooperation with religious communities, together with tackling the reasons causing radicalization, is important. At the same time, young people should be informed of the violence carried out by extremist groups and the weakness of religious justifications. This work can best be done alongside youth organizations and religious groups.
An educated young person is capable of making independent decisions, having a critical attitude towards extremist propaganda and seizing positive opportunities. If a young person can earn a sufficient income, he has no need for the financial security offered by extremist groups.
In conflict areas, Finn Church Aid promotes the peace work of communities and the opportunities for young people to grow in peace. In Finland, we advance dialogue between religious communities and government officials on preventing violent radicalization.