Eskola is an active industrial village in Central Ostrobothnia, Finland. The nearest towns are Kannus, Toholampi and Sievi. The population is ageing and decreasing, the services have been stopped by the municipality. There are about 200 industrial companies in the village jobs but little agriculture. Eskola has been chosen twice as national village of the year, in 2001 and 2017. The village is known for its history of forest railways, summer theater activities, village-oriented service activities and specially strong self-commitment.
The main developers of Eskola are the 400 villagers, who have founded Eskola Village society to represent them. Eskolan Kyläpalvelu Oy (Eskola Village Service Ltd) is a social enterprise owned by over 130 villagers and other supporters. It produces many of the local services needed in the village. Eskola House is a diverse and developing service facility with a the lunchtime restaurant Pikku-Pässi, Tenavatalli kindergarten, the village library and the village info office. The old locomotive shed is converted to a village hall for the volunteer societies in the village and it also serves as the base for the village rehabilitative work.
Eskola has also been active in developing its village through experimentation and projects. Among others, developing multiservice models and points, green care and experimenting distance learning for elementary school classes for three years to find out the feasibility, costs and efficiency of organising schooling with the help of digital solutions.
sparsely populated areas
Degree of urbanization
population of 400
Check out the village strategy:
Guiding Community 2018-2021
The purpose was to create a guidance center that connects service provider actors, villages, researchers and decision makers. Information was collected through studies and peer villages for common use. The results of the "Serving Community project" were taken into account in order to improve services, networked activities, marketing capacities, communication, green care to finally hire a permanent employee able to act as a coordinator of other village activities. The multiservice company was developed throughout the project.
Serving Community 2015-2018
The Serving Community project was divided into separate and at the same time overlapping goals: develop and secure the local services, establish a guidance center for village activities in connection with the village's multi-service point, the Green Care innovation village development (finding out the prerequisites for establishing the Green Care nature school) and financing of a multi-service point based on the village's social entrepreneurship and development of the operating model.
Nearby schools through digital cooperation
The "Eskola School pilot" or "eMobileschool" was created in order to complement educational services of the municipality (difficulties to provide all school services). The governing school was 500km away in a different municipality. In this experimental project children went to school normally, but using digital learning by distance tools where needed and being functional. One studied aspect was the common classes held by Lapinjärvi and Eskola. Methodologies, evaluation systems and applications were tested and legal environment analysed.
Eskola Village Association, firstname.lastname@example.org