Apply to become a member of SYL’s development cooperation advisory board!

Are you inspired by global development and promoting education internationally? Are you concerned about climate change? Are you a persistent communicator, good at forming networks, or know a lot about funding? Do you want to put some of your knowledge to the use of the rest of the world or get to know students from other universities?

We are looking for people with lots of ideas who are committed and motivated to join the Development Cooperation Advisory Board (KENKKU) of SYL. The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) represents 15 member organisations and 135,000 university students. The development cooperation advisory board advises SYL’s executive board on development cooperation, and administers SYL’s development cooperation projects together with the Development Policy Adviser.

However, we don’t expect you to be a development policy professional – it’s enough if you have motivation and the desire to learn about development cooperation, global education and human rights. We expect KENKKU members to commit to their tasks and be motivated but KENKKU is also meant for developing your personal expertise. KENKKU members are expected to participate actively in the meetings during their term. Meetings are held once a month and can also be attended remotely.

KENKKU members are involved in the management of the Ethiopia and Zambia project, in fundraising development in particular. The term of office will begin in August 2023 and end in July 2024. A maximum of 15 members will be selected for the Advisory Board, some of whom will continue from the previous term. The Advisory Board meets around about once a month in Helsinki, aside from in the summer months, and engages in remote work as required. Lunch is provided as part of meetings held in Helsinki and the travel expenses of attendees are reimbursed in accordance with SYL’s travel rules.

The KENKKU members of SYL are divided into small groups, each of which elects a chairperson to ensure that the team works smoothly. For the 2023–2024 period, there is a particular need for members who are interested in fundraising.

1. Communications and advocacy team

The communications team will ensure that our development cooperation work is visible on social media, create content and come up with ideas for developing our communication. The team will assist with development policy advocacy, for example by participating in public discussions of topical issues.

2. Ethiopian project administration team

The team is responsible for managing a development cooperation project in Ethiopia to support university students with disabilities, including compiling annual reports and plans, and working with local partners. The role requires an interest in project management, the ability to work independently, project management skills, and the ability to work in English.

3. Zambia project management team

The team will be responsible for managing a development project in Zambia to support university students with disabilities. The team members will familiarise themselves with example annual reports and plans and work with local partners. The role requires an interest in project management, the ability to work independently, project management skills, and the ability to work in English.

4. Partnerships and fundraising team

Members of this team will participate in the search for new partnerships and the planning of fundraising. For example, team members will be able to plan how to carry out fundraising in practice and cooperation on sustainable development.

However, not all KENKKU work has to be done within the teams. Everyone can participate in social media communications, for example, and individual members can take responsibility for our stand at the World Village festival. Teams also need members who would be interested in coordinating the work of the team, that is, acting as team chairs.

In addition, we are looking for a chairperson for KENKKU to lead the activities and meetings of the advisory board. The chairperson also reports on the activities to SYL’s Board.

SYL asks the student unions to submit proposals of a maximum of three candidates for KENKKU. We do not require student unions to have local development cooperation activities and welcome applicants from various backgrounds. Applications should include a CV and a cover letter. Applicants are also requested to state what they would like to learn during their term on KENKKU and how they would contact development cooperation actors within their student union. Applicants are invited to express their interest in teams and in acting as chairperson of the teams. Similarly, we ask applicants to mention plans that could prevent them from attending several meetings (e.g. studying abroad).

Student unions should nominate members and email their nominees’ applications by 14 May 2023 to Board Member Sonja Naalisvaara (, who is in charge of SYL’s development cooperation.

In our operations, we emphasize diversity and equal opportunities. We hope to receive applications from persons from diverse backgrounds and genders. The selection takes into account the applicant’s motivation, experience and the fact that the advisory board has representatives from different student unions.

Further information:

Sonja Naalisvaara
044 906 5003

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