October 30, 2020

Expertise in international development

Yoga classes online and in Karisjärvi

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Solution focused discussion and coaching

“Navigating among many interests in life…”

East Africa is an integral part of Eija’s identity and life. Her history with East Africa goes back to 1970s when she was seven and her family moved to Kenya and she spent most of her childhood between ages 7 and 15 in Kenya. Her long work experience in East Africa (since 1998 in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia) comes from the World Agroforestry Centre, NGOs (especially Liana of which she is a founder member), consultancy companies specializing in international development and different voluntary work.

Eija has multiple interests in interdisciplinary research for development, initiating and managing community development projects, doing rapid appraisals and assessments for project planning and evaluation, facilitation of participatory situations for investigation and awareness raising, teaching and capacity building. She especially enjoys fieldwork in rural East Africa, the direct interaction with people – which is made possible by her conversational Swahili skills. And she enjoys spending time in quiet natural places admiring vast pristine landscapes, birds, plants and wildlife.

Eija loves studying and she constantly acquires new knowledge and develops her skills. In 2014 – after moving to Finland – she completed TESOL qualification to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages. In 2016 she acquired teacher qualification in adult education and environmental education. In 2018 she completed RYT200 yoga teacher qualification in Mysore, India. Now in 2020 she has just completed her coursework in solution focused approaches and is currently doing her customer practicals in coaching. Her current big interests are healthy nutrition for holistic well-being and philosophy of happiness and well-being – which she is trying to understand by taking courses and reading relevant literature.

She has been volunteering for various purposes since late 90’s. Currently she volunteers for Liana to help schools in Northern Tanzania to acquire rainwater harvesting tanks, improved stoves, hand washing places and to start school tree nurseries by recycled water. She is also the Chair of Liana Board. Under the Red Cross in Finland she leads two support groups.

With one foot in research and another in practical interventions, Eija is a strong advocate of evidence based approaches in whatever she does. Knowledge is like a compass – an absolute necessity to help one steer by (the logo represents many things…). With one foot in Africa and another in Finland, and a marriage with an Englishman, it is easy to feel at home in many places.