Bloom ry is an association dedicated to building a community where both internationals and locals can thrive together. This Tampere-based association can be found in Kehräsaari, right in the center of the city.
But what does this Bloom actually do? We asked some questions from the founder, Kelly Keodara.
What gave you the idea for the Bloom ry association?
“The idea from Bloom came from my own challenges as an international studying, working and living in Finland”, says Bloom founder Kelly Keodara.
“The good certainly outweighs the bad; however, I have found that many similarly face precarious struggles when integrating into Finnish society. I asked locals and internationals about their opinions on what is missing here in Tampere. Internationals are looking for ways to connect with their own culture or other cultures away from their home country. Locals want to open their minds, experience different cultures and practice languages. The consensus is the feeling of community and a place of belonging. This is how Bloom started to grow.”
What are Bloom’s visions & goals when it comes to our community here in Tampere?
“Bloom’s mission is to empower people and enhance the overall well-being of our community. Our vision is to be the go-to space of empowerment where one can thrive and feel connected, for both internationals and Finns alike. Our goal is to bridge the gap between internationals and locals, through educational workshops, networking opportunities and social events. Bloom provides this safe space and relevant services for all who wish to feel welcomed and united.”
Who can benefit from being a member at Bloom?
“Bloom is open to everyone, both internationals and Finns, who want to be part of a community that supports our encompassing values: equality, diversity and unity. The community serves to assist people into integration, whether that be into Finnish society and workplace, a new career path or social circle. The membership information can be found at our website: www.bloomtogether.fi/membership”
How can a member benefit? What can a day, for a member at Bloom, look like?
“A Bloom member has many benefits! As a member, you have access to our cosy common space right in the heart of Tampere in Kehräsaari, with a quiet room where you can work, study or meditate in peace. The location is a true hidden gem next to Tammerkoski rapids.”
“If you love books, there is Bloom Book Exchange with an array of empowering titles in various languages to help you thrive, personally and professionally. Starting in May, there will be a comfortable meeting room available with a piano should you need to practice some new tunes.
Bloom offers integration services that include empowerment workshops, powerful networking opportunities and fun social events with priority given to members. There are discounts available, in our cafe as well as with local vendors. This is just the beginning. Whatever challenge you are experiencing, our Bloom team will work with you to find solutions.
So what can a day at Bloom look like? A member registers on our website which time they would like to come to Bloom — this is important as we abide by the COVID-19 regulations of the region. Face masks are mandatory. You walk to beautiful, historical Kehräsaari and enter Bloom to be greeted by a friendly staff member. You take off your shoes, order a cup of fresh coffee and sit down with your laptop next to the large windows that overlook the rapids. Nice ambiance music surrounds the space and you feel at home away from home.”
What are the next ‘’big steps’’ for Bloom?
“The next big step for Bloom is to lead the dialogue surrounding the importance of international attraction and retention in the region — and in the nation. In order for Finland to maintain its competitive advantage, we all must thrive. And in order to do that, we must focus on social inclusion. There have been many requests already to take Bloom to other regions of Finland. Who knows? We may Bloom in a city near you soon.”