The Youth Centre Marttinen in Virrat is youth center supervised and supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In its 30 years of operation, the Youth Center has developed into a high-level and competent center serving the youth industry in a variety of ways, taking on a role as a regional, national and international player in the youth work field.
At its meeting on 23 October 2023, the Steering Group of the Council of Europe's Youth Unit (CDEJ) has granted an extension for five years (2022–2026) to the Quality Label for Youth Centres that Marttinen received in 2018, recognizing that Marttinen has maintained and developed the criteria set by the Council of Europe in his operations and structures. Marttinen is one of the fourteen youth centres in Europe that meet the criteria of the quality label.
The youth unit that awarded the quality label is part of the Council of Europe's Directorate-General for Democratic Participation, which is part of the Council of Europe's Directorate-General for Democracy and Human Rights ("DGII"). The unit prepares guidelines, programs and legal instruments for the development of coherent and effective youth programs at the local, national and European level.
It provides funding and educational support to international youth activities whose aim is to promote youth citizenship, youth mobility and the values of human rights, democracy and cultural diversity. The goal is to bring together and spread expertise and information about the life situations, wishes and means of expression of young Europeans.
The further evaluation of the quality mark was carried out in April of the current year, when the quality mark evaluation team visited Marttisen, meeting the staff and discussing the realization of the development targets previously assigned to the quality mark. The 15 criteria related to the quality label have several subsections, so there were a total of 44 issues to be examined. During the evaluation, e.g. what, how and why youth work is done in Marttinen, what kind of values the activity is based on and what kind of pedagogical work methods are used and how Marttinen cooperates with other actors in the youth industry.
Young people's participation and influence: Marttinen offers young people the opportunity to participate and influence the center's operations and decision-making.
Safety and well-being: Marttinen guarantees young people a safe and supportive environment in which they can grow and develop.
Staff qualifications and training: Marttinen's staff has the necessary skills and training in the field of youth work.
Cooperation with other youth workers: Marttinen cooperates closely with other youth workers' organizations so that young people can benefit from versatile services and opportunities.
High-quality programs and services: Marttinen offers versatile and high-quality programs and services that meet the needs and interests of young people.
Supporting inclusion: Marttinen promotes the inclusion of young people in society and offers opportunities to participate in various projects and activities.
Cultural diversity and equality: Marttinen respects and supports the diversity of different cultures and strives to promote equality and inclusiveness.
Continuous development: Marttinen commits to continuous self-development and improving the quality of operations.
The evaluation group prepares a report on the visit, on the basis of which the development work continues. In their oral feedback, the evaluation group highlighted Marttinen's strengths, which are, for example, its versatile operation, functional and wonderful framework, pedagogical expertise and stakeholder cooperation, which help to develop youth work and strategic development, good management and motivated staff. Of course, targets for development were also found in connection with e.g. for documenting educational material. The group also hopes to continue to take an active approach to cooperation with youth organizations. Internationalizing the center's operations and highlighting the values of the Council of Europe is a key issue of the quality label work, for which the Council has received help and support, e.g. in the form of study visits and materials.
Marttinen is proud of his achievement and continues his commitment to offering high-quality youth work to young people and to the development of youth work. This recognition strengthens Marttinen's position as a significant player in the international field of youth work.
Marttinen Youth Center wants above all to openly invite young people and other actors to participate in our development, now and in the future. Young people know best what should be done and what kind of things should be developed in our region in the future - this is what Nuorisokeskus Marttinen believes in and does its work with this idea.
Youth work coordinator Sami Sorjonen
p. 044 715 1953
Youth work coordinator Antti Korhonen
p. 044 715 1917
Youth services manager Sanna Järvensivu
p. 044 715 51926
CEO Katariina Sallomy
p. 044 715 1922
Marttinen is one of the nine centres supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.