Jenni Kallionsivu returned to Finland after living in Estonia for five years. Tampere became her hometown not only for family reasons, but also because of the city's relaxed and straightforward atmosphere. Jenni is now a self-employed producer and project designer, and is also an active participant in a Tampere-based returnees' co-operative.
From a young age, Jenni Kallionsivu felt that it would be great to live abroad for a while. Since then, she has travelled the world, worked as an au pair in Germany, volunteered in Estonia, and studied in Italy. After graduation, she went to work at the Finnish Institute in Estonia.
"Tallinn is a wonderfully dynamic place to live, and my work in the institute's cultural programme was very interesting," Jenni says.
When it came time to return to Finland, Tampere was the city of her choice. Both Jenni and her husband had studied in Tampere, so they both had long-term friends living in the area. She also says that Tampere is a good sized city to live and raise her child in – and not least because one set of grandparents live nearby. They strategically chose the location of their own home to be near Tampere Railway Station.
"Because of my work, I often travel to Helsinki back, and this makes the distance easy to handle," Jenni explains.
She is a founding member of the Osuuskunta Paluu co-operative, which was created to serve Finns returning home from abroad. Its goal is to make Tampere the capital of Finnish returnees, where the returnees' experience and skills are appreciated.
"One of my roles within the co-operative is to create projects, in other words, to help the great ideas of others take flight. Of course, I do wish that one day the co-operative will also help me gain entry into Tampere working life," she says.