Evangelical Folk High School of Kitee
Evangelical Folk High School of Kitee (KEKO) is located in the Eastern Finland, about 60 km south of Joensuu and about 80 km east of Savonlinna. Our school was founded in 1947 and is owned by a private NGO foundation. KEKO is recognized by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and abides by its regulations. As residential school, folk high school fosters a sense of community and wants to offer a viable alternative to help individuals fulfill their potential.
The important principles in the learning process include promoting sustainable development, international and cultural awareness, equal rights with equal respect and open interaction. We respect Christian values, but our school has international students and staff with many cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. As we have a dormitory, it is possible for our student to live at the school during their studies.
Our school offers a broad range of education for adults. We have Finnish language courses for immigrants, basic school and vocational education for adults as well as summer camps for children and elderly people. We have about 200 students attending the long courses each year and about 2500 students attending the short courses. Most of the short courses are held in summertime, so our school has activities year-round. The contents of the short courses are e.g. language, sports, well-being and handicrafts.
The school offers especially the following study programmes for international students and immigrants:
Kitee International Music and Art Festival
One day in 2012 in Kitee, Finland, a Bulgarian music teacher, with full of unbelievable imagination, got this funny little idea.
“My Facebook friendlist is full of talented young people from all over the world and one thing is in common to them – the love for Nightwish. So why won’t I invite some of them to this little North-Karelian town and see what we could do together in one week?”
And so, in July 2013, 14 artists from 5 different European countries, Russia and Israel came to Kitee to perform Nightwish’s music and to do art inspired by the band’s music. This event went viral among Nightwish fans on Facebook. Suddenly many other talented fans realized the inspiring spirit of this event through videos and photos, and wanted to be a part of it.
Now 9 years later, the event has changed it’s name from “The Nightwish-weeks” to “Kitee International Music and Art Festival” and many talented people around the world have attended this event. This big group of colorful and lovely people bring life to this little town’s summer. They are forming a unique tradition that we hope isn’t ending any time soon.
Family Foster Care Training Center
The folk high school serves as a center for the elderly related education and support in the Siun sote area. We train foster carers for older people and people with intellectual disabilities. We work as a developer of professional family foster care and organize vocational family foster care training, where it is also possible to complete entrepreneurship training in family foster care.
In addition to training, we implement a strong support model for family foster carers, in which the folk high school provides additional training, peer meetings, work supervision, and well-being-maintaining activities for family foster carers.