Finland rewards three fathers for upbringing effort


HELSINKI, Nov. 5 — With Father’s Day coming in less than a week, Finnish government on Tuesday granted the 2013 Father of the Year award to three men for their contributions to the reconciliation of work and family life.
Among them is Markus Forsell, a 33-year-old project manager with three children, who has availed himself of the right to family leaves.
He was also awarded for his effort to raise awareness of the father’s family leave entitlement, the significance of the father-child relationship and the creation and enhancement of father-friendly practices at workplaces.
Antti Siukonen is also a 33-year-old father of three, and he was reported to have taken care of his children at home in turns with his spouse. He attaches great value to staying at home with the children and the family’s overall wellbeing.
The third rewarded man is Tom Bjorkfors, a 46-year-old single father of two teenage sons suffering from severe autism. In order to take better care of his sons, he takes up a telecommuting job. With his positive and energetic nature, Bjorkfors makes his everyday life manageable.
Unlike other countries in the world, Finland celebrates Father’s Day on the second Sunday of November. This year’s Father’s Day is Nov. 10.
Since 2006, Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has been awarding “Father of the Year” to encourage fathers to take a more active role in family life and in bringing up children.
The candidates for the award are nominated by a special working group made up of civil servants and NGOs, and the decision is made by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health together with the Council for Gender Equality and several relevant NGOs.[db:内容2]