Russian Sergei Silkin named “Father of the Year” in Finland

A former resident of Karelia, and now a resident of the Finnish capital, Sergei Silkin, was named “Father of the Year” in Finland, the Ministry of Social Health of Finland reported on Wednesday.
The award is presented annually on the eve of Father’s Day, which is celebrated in Finland on November 14th. In addition to Silkin, the title was also awarded to Marko Oikarainen from Kouvola and Dan Vikholm from Sipoo.
“Father of the Year laureates have exemplarily promoted gender equality in family life, for example by taking family leave or otherwise taking time to care for their children. They found ways to support their children in exceptional situations, and also raised issues related to paternity in the course of their lives or their activities, ”the ministry said in a statement.
The award was presented to the laureates on Wednesday by the Minister of Basic Social Services Christa Kiuru.
“Everyone — father, child, marital relations and the work collective — receives a reward from father’s maternity leave. Fathers play their most valuable role at home and their work tasks can be changed during maternity leave. Supporting fathers on family leave is also an investment in the future for employers because employees returning from family leave are happier and more committed than before, ”Minister Kiuru said in the ministry’s statement.
The ministry has clarified the criteria for selecting the winners.
“Sergei Silkin from Helsinki has promoted gender equality and the well-being of children and families in his own family, as well as in multilingual and multicultural children’s clubs in eastern Helsinki. Silkin received a pedagogical education (graduated from the Karelian Pedagogical Academy in Russia). In his work, he is in constant dialogue with different types of families about parenting, fatherhood and the importance of being present. Silkin openly shares his own experience of parenting in the Russian-speaking community and serves as an example for many parents of a well-functioning joint custody when the relationship between the parents has ended. Silkin is actively working to ensure that children from low-income families can engage in outdoor activities. He is also exploring opportunities for support and ensuring, for example, that children with special needs in Russia have the opportunity to lead a dignified life, ”the Finnish ministry said in a statement.