ry, The Society for Children Displaced by War
Evakkolapset ry, The Society for Children Displaced by War, is a peer
support society founded by individuals who, along with their families,
were forced to leave their homes and homesteads in their childhood during
the wars in Finland between 1939 and 1944. Its membership also includes
second and third generation descendants of such displaced people. The
society welcomes anyone to join who is concerned about the effect of wartime
conditions on a childs development.
More than half a million Finns had to flee from their homes during the
Winter and Continuation Wars more than sixty years ago. Only a small number
of the displaced families, principally from Lapland and the Porkkala region
on the south coast, were able to return to their homesteads after the
wars. As many as 420,000 individuals, mainly displaced from the region
of Karelia in the southeast, and Salla and Petsamo in the north, lost
their homes and domiciles for good. A great number of them were children.
Moreover, a large number of babies were born to displaced parents before
they were able to resettle permanently on new homesteads.
The society aims at increasing both common and research-derived knowledge
as to how the Winter War (1939-1940) and the Continuation War (1941-1944)
have affected the development and adult life of the individuals who experienced
these conflicts when they were children.
Local Activities All over Finland
In the spirit of a peer support society, local activities are offered
all over Finland. These help to compile and record information relating
to wartime experiences. With the help of narrative techniques and various
forms of expression, the society focuses on highlighting what wartime
An annual gathering takes place towards the end of the summer. On this
occasion, through group work and various workshop activities, participants
share a sense of belonging. In addition, the annual gathering enables
and enhances communication between and support from different generations.
The Trail of the Displaced
In June 2006, The Society for Children Displaced by War pioneered an event
with the title Evakkovaellus, The Trail of the Displaced, to commemorate
all people who are displaced through war. In future, the event is to take
place annually in order to obtain experience how it must have felt emotionally
to be compelled to leave ones home at short notice and to flee unprepared
from the war zone without any knowledge whatsoever about the next nights
shelter let alone the next meal (details of the Trail are available at