Sunday, December 22, 2019
It’s Wednesday morning, so toddlers in the Tammi nursery in Helsinki, Finland, are excited—their communal grandparent, or “kylämummi,” is here.
This classroom’s “kylämummi” is Marjatta Ahonen, a 71-year old retired psychotherapist. She volunteers for the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL), Finland’s largest organization dedicated to child and family welfare. From 2006, MLL has run a program encouraging older people to volunteer as communal grandparents. They meet their communal “grandchildren” in schools, libraries, and other family-friendly spaces. The idea is to give lonely pensioners a purpose, and to give children who may live far away from their own grandparents a chance to forge a meaningful bond with an older person. There are 830 communal grandparents across Finland.
Read more here.