Monday, October 07, 2013

Restart of CHAFF

Chamber for Assistance of Finns and Foreigners (CHAFF) 

The Chamber for Assistance of Finns and Foreigners was set up in 2005 in Oulu to help persons living in Oulu and north Finland with many types of problems including legal matters, getting affordable housing, protection from domestic violence, providing transport facilities, help in moving house, overcoming short term financial difficulties, obtaining temporary jobs (especially for foreign students during summer). 

It was a private group with no hierarchy, and it was run by Jacob Matthan and a group of international youngsters dedicated to help people in distress. (Please go through the CHAFF blog to see what fun we had together!)

CEOs of several international companies operating out of Oulu took part in the activities of CHAFF so that they and their employees could be part of this historic organisation. Fulbright-Professor Kenneth Koleson participated and addressed the CHAFF Group in 2007.

Isaac Sundarajan, CEO of Codenimicon Oy, at his CHAFF farewell 
from Oulu. He now heads multinational LnT Infotech out of California, USA.

Ashesh Kumar, CEO (centre) of (now) Paras Biopharmaceuticals 
Finland Oy, at a CHAFF weekly get together in 2007.

Members of the Oulu Administration leant their helping hand whenever approached for assistance. They brought their foreign guests to take part in the weekly CHAFF get-togethers.

Amongst the many visitors was a Nobel Laureate!

Amongst the many visitors to CHAFF Oulu was a Nobel Laureate, 
Arpad Hamós and his wife, Juliana!

The CHAFF Group helped many persons who were stranded outside the Finnish system including ladies in distress, foreigners stranded due to no fault of their own, reunification of immigrant families, and many others. It helped many organisations to find their feet. A cooperative started during the tenure of CHAFF is a successful running organisation in Oulu.

For 4 years the Group met every Sunday for a very low cost buffet lunch and to discuss and help those who needed it most. 

The CHAFF blog records the very happy times with participants from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Venezuela, Vietnam, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Zambia, etc. (Alphabetical order!)

Culture Shock, Authors, Inscription, Cover
Culture Shock! An introductory  book about Finland in German by two 
CHAFF members, Hungarian, Ildiko, and husband Finn, Ilari Sohlo, now in Laos!

Our Sponsored musicians cut their FIRST CD in 2007


Thanks to Ilmi Dubrani of Walda, the Thai Boys sponsored by CHAFF, Yut, Khim and Soda, were able to cut their FIRST CD at the Multi Purpose Youth Centre in Maikkula.

One of the most successful projects was the CHAFF HELP FUND which started in 2006. Those who took part in this fund were responsible for helping people in distress while at the same time earning a good return on their small investment and also using the fund whenever they, themselves, had personal financial short term problems. It was real proof that it is drops that make an ocean!

The fund accepted contributions from €10 to €5000. The CHAFF HELP FUND paid an interest of 12% per annum on deposits, which was paid quarterly. It made short term emergency loans to its investors of up to a maximum of 5 times their investment at 2% per month, but for periods of not more than 3 months. A follow-up loan could only be availed 3 months after the previous loan had been closed.

This was of great help to students in distress, small company start ups, emergency trace needs, house shifting, and many other situations which required emergency financial inputs. The CHAFF HELP FUND provided timely assistance for many small firms with short term cash flow problems.

The CHAFF HELP FUND was closed in 2009 as the Finnish economy was buoyant and the CHAFF Group felt there was not any need for such an operation. All money was returned to the investors as soon as all loans were repaid. 

There was not a single default over the 3 years and some 400 persons and organisations benefited from this fund.

It appears that with the rise of the fundamentalists in Finland, there is need for a National CHAFF movement and also the re-emergence of the CHAFF HELP FUND to help those in financial distress. The intention is hold regular meetings at various locations around Finland. Organisers for each locality will be appointed. Espoo, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Kusamo, Lahti, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Savonlinna, Tampere, Turku,  Vantaa, Vaasa

The new CHAFF HELP FUND will be administered by Jacob. Investments, Interest Payments, Loan Applications, Loan Disbursements, Loan Repayments, and all Administrative Services will be carried out by the Economic Services Division of his Organisation.

If you are interested to be part of this new revitalised national CHAFF Group and/or participate in the CHAFF HELP FUND, you can request for the application papers from Jacob Matthan ( or text message to 044 365 4526) to be sent to you to add your name to our mailing list and/or for making your small investment to help others and yourself at their and your time of need.

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