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All Points North Podcast #11: Dr. Faith Mkwesha and Eva Anttila discuss a controversial NGO campaign and making food aid conditional

All Points North closes the month of April with a look at an aid organisation's controversial but award-winning ad campaign featuring a pregnant 12 year-old girl. We also consider a proposal to replace bread queues with sit-down meals.

Audio: Yle News

This week’s episode of All Points North jumps head-first into a controversial campaign run by aid agency Plan International Finland. Special guests researcher Dr. Faith Mkwesha and Eva Anttila of Plan Finland untangle the issues surrounding the campaign that sought to increase awareness of child pregnancy by using a pregnant 12-year old girl from Zambia to model a mock line of children's maternity wear.

Zimbabwean activist and researcher Dr. Faith Mkwesha has strongly criticised the advert, which she says perpetuates negative stereotypes about black women and girls. Plan's Eva Anttila has pointed to the campaign's success in mobilising support for the NGO's work to safeguard children's rights -- and noted that the ad had the full support of the young model Fridah and her family. We also hear reflections from Children's Ombudsman Tuomas Kurttila over the ethical minefields inherent in such campaigns.

In this week’s episode we also take a look at the defection of Blue Reform MP Kaj Turunen to the NCP, sexual harassment charges against Finns Party MP Hakkarainen over an incident at a Finns Party Christmas celebration last year, the government’s hopes that a new startup residence permit to lure growth companies to set up shop in Finland, as well as Väyrynen’s departure from the Centre Party in preparation for a parliamentary run next spring as a candidate of the Citizen’s Party.

And we explore Finland's slippage in the annual Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, a 3.2-percent salary boost for MPs, a court's decision to deny ex-Finns Party member Olli Sademies leave to appeal a conviction for ethnic agitation and finally the refugee man and woman of the year, nominated by the Finnish Refugee Council.

This week, our audience gives feedback on plans to reform to the food aid programme in the Helsinki region by replacing bread lines with sit-down meals. The reform would add an element of conditionality to free meals and rid the cityscape of lengthy food queues.

If you would like to pose a question or share something on your mind just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook page or Twitter account, or at

This week's podcast was presented by Denise Wall and Egan Richardson with guests Dr. Faith Mkwesha and Eva Anttila. Our field reporter was Lydia Taylerson, and our sound technician was Pasi Ilkka, with Mark Odom holding the fort as producer.

The All Points North podcast is a weekly look at what's going on in Finland. Subscribe via iTunes (and leave a review!), listen on Spotify and Yle Areena or find it on your favourite podcatching app or via our RSS feed.

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