Honoured guests from Belgium, Greece, Portugal and Romania

I warmly welcome you to Finland, to Oulu and to Laanila High School. Laanila School was founded 55 years ago and today there are about 300 students and 25 teachers working in the High School. In the same school community works also Laanila secondary school with over 300 pupils.

The motto of our school is: Firm, Warm and Trustworthy. Luja, lämmin ja luotettava in Finnish. What do these words or these ideas mean in everyday school life?

Firstly Firm (in Finnish luja). If we work, study or teach the best of our ability day after day, it requires firmness. Lessons, homeworks, exams and courses as well as school meals, cleanliness, safety and welfare are not possible without the dedicated efforts of each of us.

Also the success of this Comenius project has required plenty of firmness of many students and teachers. The two-year project has included a lot of common planning, negotiations and purposeful work. We have heard many interesting stories about common meetings in your homelands and today we are happy when we have you as our guests here in Oulu.

Secondly Warm (in Finnish lämmin). In May and in August we have sometimes too high temperature in our classrooms. However, I suppose that the warmth of which our motto speaks means something else. It means humanity, love and empathy. This kind of warmth we need at school every day and every project in which we want to be successful.

I hope that you enjoy your time with us. We have been waiting for you and I hope you will have warm memories after this week.

Thirdly Trustworthy (in Finnish luotettava). How can a school be trustworthy? I think that committed and hard work towards the cognitive and ethical aims makes the school trustworthy. Nowadays being trustworthy includes also seeking for sustainable development and understanding that each of us is responsible for the future of our planet.

I believe that, for all of us, our Comenius project “Eco-responsible? – Yes, we can!” has been an important step when building a sustainable future together. The words firm, warm and trustworthy tell us something about what we are ourselves. Even more they tell us where we are going to. “Yes, we can!” All difficulties can be won as we strive together.

Firmly and Warmly welcome! Accueil! Kaloosorisma! Boas-vindas! Bun venit!

Timo Kärkkäinen


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