Doing good: Kummit. Paula and Levent with guitars and ukuleles.

Doing Good: The Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals (Lastenklinikoiden Kummit)

Musopia has the honor of supporting an extraordinary organization, the Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals (Kummit), in its important work. Founded in 1993, this organization has been an important ally to the five Finnish university children’s hospitals, supporting pediatric healthcare, research, and the well-being of young patients.

Specialized healthcare is supported by society’s funds. Still, with the donations from the Association of Friends, even more can be achieved: by investing in better equipment, development, and research, as well as focusing on mental health and patient comfort, the best possible care can be provided to young patients.  Musopia has recently donated guitars and ukuleles to all five children’s hospitals around Finland.

Supporting the Healing Journey Through Joy

Kummit channels its efforts into four essential programs: innovation and equipment acquisitions, pediatric research, patient comfort (known as “Kummitassut”), and children’s and adolescents’ mental health (“Mielen tila” program). Each program is equally important to fulfill the association’s mission.

Jaana and Teemu the teddy bear outside on a golf course.

For us it’s important that we can create an environment where children can be children again. The hope is to give the family a more positive experience of hospital visits so that the child remembers something pleasant happening at the hospital. As a result, the following visits become easier.

explains Jaana Roos, Project Manager of The Association of Friends of the University Children’s Hospitals.

This sentiment lies at the heart of the association’s mission—to support children’s health and ensure the best possible care. Enhancing patient comfort is one aspect of this mission. Given that many young patients spend more time in the hospital than at home, often for extended periods, providing various stimuli, from games to books, can significantly improve their experience.

Enhancing Patient Comfort and Well-being

Kummit endeavors to create a nurturing and comforting space for children undergoing treatment. This is done through arranging visits from volunteers and providing comforting things to do.

As hobbies are difficult to carry out in the hospital, I would rather speak about the role of comfort. The well-being of patients and families in the hospital plays a significant role in the patient’s recovery and the family’s coping.

The Power of Comfort in Healing

The importance of comfort should not be understated in pediatric healthcare. By facilitating activities that allow children to be children—whether through playing, gaming, or engaging in creative endeavors—the association aims to uplift spirits and foster resilience in young patients. Among other things, music has been a source of joy and comfort for many pediatric patients. Now they have an opportunity to get familiar with playing music as hospitals can offer instruments and supporting apps for those who are interested in playing.

All actions that momentarily take the mind off illness are a great help in recovery. Music visits and hospital clowns, in particular, are highly desired and enjoyable. In some hospitals, musicians regularly visit neonatal intensive care units. Music also helps calm small premature babies.

explains Jaana Roos.

Creating Lasting Memories

Photo: Atte Mäläskä

Music plays a big role in one of the association’s flagship initiatives, the “Elämä Lapselle” concert, which represents the power of music and uniting for a shared mission. Through this renowned charity event, which brings together performers from various fields, including entertainment and culture, the association raises important funds and creates unforgettable experiences for children and families.

We can invite patients from various university children’s hospitals to the Elämä Lapselle concerts. For the past few years, they have had the opportunity to meet the performing artists personally before the concert. Many happy and surprised faces have remained in memory when they have interacted with their idols.

Pediatric patients have appeared in concerts mainly as interviewees but sometimes even performed with an artist. The concerts are the most important campaign entities of the operating year in terms of both fundraising and visibility.

How You Can Help Make Miracles Happen

An individual can get involved in the association’s activities in many ways. You can read more about how to donate or participate at but below are some options.

The Association of Friends’ activities support the best possible care for children and young people in Finland. We warmly welcome you to join the support team for young patients!

Jaana Roos

Did you enjoy reading this chapter of the series Doing Good? Read the previous part where we introduced Music Will, which runs the largest nonprofit music program in the US public school system.

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