About Us

WaterFinns ry

WaterFinns started its activities in 2001 and membership is open to everyone interested in water related issues. We work on a voluntary basis to implement development cooperation projects in developing countries and countries in transition. All projects are related to water and we operate for example in the fields of water resources, water environments, agriculture & irrigation, water supply & sanitation and waste water treatment. However, you do not have to work or be a professional in water sector to become a member - we are interested in having members from various areas of expertise. See below for our Action plan for 2021 (in Finnish).

Our Goals

  • We want to promote professional know-how in the water sector in developing countries and transition economies.
  • We want to help young Finnish professionals to get experience in international projects.
  • We want to transfer professional knowledge and experience of Finnish senior experts to junior members.

Operating Principle

In WaterFinns, project planning is undertaken by the more experienced senior members together with junior members. The junior member takes part in the project planning and will be the responsible person during the implementation phase of the project. The projects are also planned together with local partner NGO’s, who will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the project. Project management and follow-up take place mainly in Finland. About once a year the project group visits the project location to monitor the on-site development of the project.


WaterFinns works on a voluntary basis. This includes all operations, such as project planning and management. The main part of the project funding comes from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The MFA’s development cooperation funding makes up 85% of the total expenses of projects. The remaining 15% is covered by volunteer work (7.5%) and by co-funding (7.5%). To cover the share of co-funding WaterFinns needs external support and is constantly seeking for cooperation partners. If you think that your company can help us, see collaboration.

Activities for Members in Finland

  • Every member is welcome to join board meetings that take place about once a month (please write us waterfinns(at)gmail.com!).
  • The projects have support groups that anyone interested is welcome to attend. Contact the project coordinator for more details.
  • We attend the World Village Festival every year in May. You can help us plan and build our stand and come with us to the event to tell people about WaterFinns. It’s fun and everyone can do it!
  • Every fall WaterFinns organizes a fund raising party somewhere in Helsinki. Here you can meet junior and senior members and have a nice dinner with us.
  • We also organize small events such as soap making and frisbee golf. If you know something fun you want to do with us, let us know!

Project Preparation in Finland

WaterFinns runs approximately three projects simultaneously. Because funding comes mainly  from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, it is crucial to start planning new projects early to keep three projects going at any given time. The project preparation group is a place for active members of WaterFinns who want to influence the future projects. The group reads the proposals that are sent to us and decides which ones are taken into further preparation and finally to the WaterFinns board. For the selected projects we choose the juniors and seniors who take over the project preparation and implementation with their support groups. Contact us if you feel like operating in our project preparation group. This is also a chance to actively seek and develop suitable projects!

For those looking to gain experience in project management, this is a good way to get in. You will learn to assess the feasibility of projects, develop them further and eventually you may apply to be the project manager. You will also get to work together with incredible experts!