May there be more of your kind!

23.04.2018

Dear Annika, I did not have the opportunity to know you as closely as I would have wished to, considering the few hundred kilometers between Oulu and Helsinki. But nevertheless, you have had an impact on me.

I remember the first time I met you; it was in Ely-keskus in Oulu. I had just started my first job, very unsure of myself and my language skills. You took me seriously without evaluating my experience, my perspective or my knowledge. I felt, I matter, as a person with a certain amount of knowledge. You made me feel that I have a role to play in this immigrant discourse and in the professional community.You were a beam of hope to people like us who are doing the most thankless job in Finland these days i.e. working on immigrant issues. You inspired, guided and encouraged us.You were the rock. But at the same time warm and kind, you made it a point to hug, smile and show a genuine interest in people.

Just a week ago, we talked about my one year old son Veikko, and, you remembered when your children were small and how you stored only pots and pans in the lower drawers.Its not just your friends and family who have suffered a loss, there is a vacuum in the professional community which I doubt anyone can fill at least in the next 100 years.I will miss you, not just as a mentor and guide but as one of the most good hearted persons I have ever met.

I guess there is going to be a big gig up in the skies, Avicii also decided to go with you. Enjoy the music and that place is a better place wherever you are. Much love to you, Annika.

May there be more of your kind!

Priyanka Sood
Monikulttuurisen työn koordinaattori
Monikulttuurikeskus Villa Victor, /Oulun kaupunki