INSP adds first member in Finland – plus new Austrian street paper

INSP has welcomed two new members to its international movement against homelessness and poverty.

Helsinki street paper Iso Numero has become the first Finnish member of INSP, while Marie is the seventh member in Austria.

Iso Numero has been published since June 2011, by its editorial team of three people, led by Executive Editor Hannele Huhtala.

Approximately 95 percent of their vendors are Eastern European Roma from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Hannele said: “Roma in Finland experience substantial discrimination and prejudice and are very marginalised. Most of our Roma vendors are homeless. Our Finnish vendors are students, individuals recovering from substance abuse or homelessness, or otherwise in a difficult financial situation.”

The paper covers culture, politics and international affairs and is mainly sold in the Helsinki metropolitan area and Southern Finland. Some vendors also sell the paper also in the larger Northern and Western cities of Finland, particularly in the summer months.

Based in Vorarlberg, Austria,  Marie began publishing in December 2015. They are already working with around 55 vendors, most of whom are refugees.

Robert Thoma is the publisher and co-founder. He said: “Marie is designed to promote mutual understanding between mainstream society, and the outsiders and foreigners.”

INSP Chief Executive Maree Aldam welcomed the two newest members of INSP.

She added: “We are looking forward to meeting staff from our two newest members at our summit this summer in Athens. Our annual summit is a training, networking and learning event for street paper staff and it will be great to hear about their experiences.

“These two new members prove that the street paper concept is still so important in providing an income to some of the most disadvantaged people in our towns and cities.

“We are currently working with several emerging street paper organisations, so we look forward to some more exciting launches later this year.”