During the past few decades, SYL’s themes for development cooperation have been education, supporting students and increasing the awareness of development cooperation in Finland. The development cooperation work has promoted the principles which we value also in other activities: sustainability, fairness and education. SYL’s development cooperation activities also involve volunteers in Finland, for instance through SYL’s Development Cooperation Advisory Board (KENKKU).


KENKKU consists of a group of volunteers who represent different student unions. The advisory board is in charge of managing SYL’s development cooperation projects together with the SYL board member in charge of development cooperation and the development cooperation coordinator. Members of KENKKU are elected for an academic year and the recruitment takes place in spring via JYY. If you are interested in applying, follow JYY’s communication channels such as the weekly Student News JYYTISET, JYY website and Facebook.

During the academic year 2019-2020, Jawaria Khan and Anna Zumegen represent JYY in KENKKU.

Current project

From 2019 to 2022, SYL is supporting the education of disabled students in three publicly funded universities in Ethiopia. The project aims to provide disabled students with high-quality education on an accessible basis and on level terms with other university students.

The project is supporting the participation of disabled students in the universities in question, by establishing or reinforcing the institutions’ services for the disabled. The aim is for the universities to continue providing such services and assistive devices after the project. This has worked well in previous, similar projects. The project also aims to reduce gender inequality, by ensuring that both women and men participate in the education arranged through the project.

The project is in receipt of project funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Because the project is assisting disabled people, the Ministry’s funding covers 92.5% of its costs, the remaining 7.5% being covered by donations.

Read more about the project, KENKKU and SYL’s development cooperation on SYL’s website.


Would you like to support SYL’s development cooperation activities? You can do that by transferring a sum of your choice to SYL’s fundraising account. 85% of SYL’s international projects are funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the remaining 15% are funded by SYL. 7.5% of SYL’s contribution is made up of voluntary work, which consists of the work carried out by the Development Cooperation Advisory Board (KENKKU). KENKKU’s members are students representing different student unions. The remaining 7.5% of the budget is made up of funding from SYL, which is collected through voluntary donations from students. That is why it is important for you to donate to SYL’s development cooperation projects!

LICENCE GRANTED TO: National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) ry
REFERENCE: Donation for development cooperation

DURATION: 01.01.2019–31.12.2020
AREA: all parts of Finland, with the exception of Åland
LICENCE GRANTED BY: The National Police Board
LICENCE NUMBER: RA/2018/1133, granted 26.11.2018

The donated funds will be used for development cooperation activities of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) during 2019–2021 Specifically, the funds will be used as follows:

  • To cover SYL’s share of the funding of development cooperation projects funded primarily by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In 2019–2022, SYL, ECDD and Threshold implement a project in Ethiopia to support students with disabilities in Ethiopian Universities (EMPOWER).
  • For costs of communication and global education events
  • The salary of the development cooperation coordinator as it relates to planning new projects
  • Advocacy work on development cooperation

In addition, the funds can be used for direct monitoring, planning and meeting costs in Finland which are caused by the project work and other development cooperation activities.