Ville Elonheimo is s civil society activist from late 1980’s till today in the fields of migration and multicultural communities, employment, education policy, and city planning and rural development.
Today, Ville’s task-list in the work includes advicing immigrants towards civil society, coordinating networks of non-governmental organizations in multicultural activities, assisting people and civil society organizations to assist undocumented migrants, anti-racism and non-discrimination counselling, helping local associations to involve more immigrants in their activities, and keeping up-to-date of immigration policies and legislation both national and European level.
In his career Ville has been involved in numerous local, regional, national, and European networks and non-governmental organizations.
As a school student activist his path was from own schools chair of student-council, founding local student-council-network in Jyväskylä, and region, to chairperson of The Union of Upper Secondary School Students in Finland (SLL) in 1989, and eventually to OBESSU – Organizing Bureau of European School Student Unions. He also worked twice in coordinating national fund-raising campaign of more than one million euros for development cooperation.
In 1990’s Ville was involved in national NGOs as an active, open-minded, forward-looking board member: National Union of Students (SYL), Coalition of NGOs on Development Cooperation (KEPA), even Finnish Refugee Advice Center. Ville was also one of the activists in founding Friend of Earth Finland in 1996.
Beside of NGOs, Ville has acted in politics in Green League of Finland. He was a 2-year term in the board of the party, and three terms in the council of the Greens. He has lead regional party organizations in Jyväskylä and Joensuu, up to campaigning first chair of Greens from outside of big cities, and later first green MP from the North Karelia constituency.
The best person for development of communities has not big mouth but big ears – that’s Ville. As regional village coordinator in 2000’s he facilitated people of dozens of North Karelian villages to make their village-plan or development project plan. In that work he was also well known in municipalities’ houses.
Now in 2010s Ville’s focus has been in building a multicultural society out in Joensuu and North Karelia region, which is located by EU’s eastern border with Russia. Ville has been establishing counselling for immigrants, anti-racism committee, NGOs’ and city’s joint service for immigrants, and Joensuu Global Clinic (volunteer-based health care for undocumented migrants). His coordination, communicative, and diplomatic skills are highly appreciated, besides of being a skilled project-manager.
Ville’s employer North Karelian Society on Social Security has gradually been growing a nationally recognized NGO in employment, immigration, and specially inclusion of vulnerable people. Ville was a founding member of NGO Multicultural Centers in Finland, and chairs it since 2015.
Ville graduated MA from Jyväskylä University from Political Sciences. Starting a PhD research on Global Civil Society, the river of life got him to leave further studies, and concentrate to make the future, not just study it. Ville works daily in Finnish and English, could coomunicate in French, German and Swedish as well, and is not a total zero in Russian and Arabic either. In social media, you’ll find him as @ville_e in Twitter.
One more point: If you give Ville a sword, he can teach you how to fight with it. Ville began fencing epee in 1985, and masters now as the coach of local fencing club Karjalan Kalpa.