Milla Leppänen
Class of 2013


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Milla Leppänen is from Finland. She has remained in contact with IFWEA since her first immersion, and was recently back in South Africa for an internship.

What are you currently doing?

I currently work at the Trade Union Solidary Centre of Finland, in short SASK Finland, based in Helsinki. My title is currently Project Worker and I lead Programme Management Development Projects.

When did you take part in YGAP?

I participated in YGAP in 2013. However, as I did my Bachelor degree internship with IFWEA in 2019, I had the privilege of participating in YGAP for a second time!

Why were you interested to take part?

I had been a trade union activist locally in Finland for some time already. YGAP, having just being started in 2012, sounded like a really exceptional opportunity to learn more and engage in a global context.

What would you say were highlights of the experience for you?

It was such an intensive two weeks, with Nordic colleagues talking about solidarity and the global world. There were different methods of learning, and we had internships with local NGOs.

What did you learn?

A lot from the South Africa and Fair Trade Movement (as I attended that NGO as an intern), but the main focus was, of course, in the challenges the global labour movement is facing and finding solutions and solidarity.

What made this experience different from other programmes?

It was a really carefully considered programme with many group learning methods and activities. A big part of it is the intensity and the exposure to environments facing the challenges YGAP is addressing.

Are you still in contact with people you met on YGAP?

Mainly as Facebook friends, sometimes commenting each other’s posts or so. At some point there were discussions on meeting up together again but that of course needs someone to lead the way… maybe some day!

Has being a part of YGAP played a part in where you are now?

I believe that all my international experience, YGAP included, has had an effect on where I am now. When I was looking for a place to complete my Bachelor’s degree and do my internship, I contacted IFWEA as a former YGAP participant. And it got me back to IFWEA! Since then I have graduated and I am a Community Educator in Finland.

To find out more about YGAP click here