”I chose what felt good. You see: I love music!”
Our Inclusion Hero of May has many talents: Not only is he a gifted musician who represented his country in the Eurovision song contest, he also is active in politics. Sami Helle from Finland is a self-advocate, a bassist, a singer, a Jazz and Blues Lover – and a talkshow guest! Read our interview:
How did you become a bassist and part of the punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät?
Pertti Kurikka, the band leader, asked me to join the band – and I was very happy to do so!
What was it like to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest?
Of course I was nervous, but it was an interesting and fun time! Unfortunately, we did not make it to the finals, but I enjoyed it a lot!
How did it feel coming back to Finland?
Seeing the crowd who celebrated us was just awesome!
You are now also playing the trumpet and sing, and you set up the Jazz band “Sami Helle Quintet”. What made you choose Jazz? It is quite different from punkrock, after all.
Jazz was one of the first musics I played – I chose what felt good! Sami Helle Quintet did one record, but now I have a blues band called ”Sam Heat & His Blue Kings”, and I am also doing a solo record under the name Sam Heat. You see: I love music!
You are also active in politics and ran for the municipal elections in Helsinki in 2017. What did you learn from this experience?
I got more familiar with how election work, met new people, and I learned how the political system works. I will stay in politics!
In 2017, you were not elected – but will you run again?
Yes, I am running for the provincial elections!
Recently, you were interviewed in the Finnish TV Show Kehitysvammaiset. What did you talk about in the show?
I spoke about public procurement. Tukilitto has launched a citizens’ initiative together with other disability organizations. At the moment, when it comes to tendering for services for people with disabilities, the cheapest price wins. This is a threat to human rights, because in this situation people’s individual needs are often bypassed.
Our Inclusion Hero of April was Gerhard Furtner, the managing director of a company that employs people with learning disabilities:
”This type of inclusion should catch on everywhere in Europe”
Our Inclusion Heroine of March was Dana Migaliova, a mother of a son with intellectual disabilities and President of our Lithuanian member Viltis:
“Parents no longer have to hide their Children”
Our Inclusion Heroine of February was Irish actress & musician Aimée Richardson:
”More roles must be written for people with intellectual disabilities!”
Our Inclusion Heroine of January was self-advocate Elisabeta Moldovan from Romania. Read more:
“I experienced a lot of abuse in institutions. I wanted to change this situation for others.”
Flavours of European inclusion: celebrating 30 years of learning, working and achieving together
At Inclusion International’s World Congress, Inclusion Europe will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special event.
Inclusion Europe members will present not only their country’s food, culture and customs, but also their inclusion achievements during the last 30 years at tables spread across the room.
Participants are invited to discover stories, pictures and objects illustrating how the inclusion movement has moved forward during the last three decades, while tasting delicious national specialties and making new connections.
They will learn about successful practices of European collaboration for inclusion and about partnerships national members have formed with companies, government agencies and donors.
We will end the anniversary event in style: with a toast and a little surprise.
Afterwards, participants can join the World Congress party.
Are you a participant at the World Congress?
Then join us on Thursday 31 May, at 14.30h in Hall 4!
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