Finland’s social security institution, Kela is sending baby starter kits with 60 items in them to all new parents from Finland and the ones who are not from Finland but are living there. Finland has been sending these gifts for about 75 years and she doesn’t plan to stop.
The kits are filled with toys, clothes, blankets, beddings, as well as many personal care items. They are all designed with the cute IKEA prints. The box itself is very beautiful and it is specially designed and crafted to be used as a padded crib.
According to Kela, everything that can be found in the box is carefully chosen “with a view to their significance for promoting the health and well-being of the mother and child.” Watch the unpacking video that they have on their website. Moreover, if the new parents have everything they need, they can still choose a 170 euro voucher instead.
The sign-up page for the package also includes helpful information about all the things that a new parent might be interested in from paternity, maternity, parental allowances and child benefits to child sickness, adoption grant, disability assistance and all kinds of childcare allowances.
And while Trump Administration in 2018 reported that Nordic countries have 15% lower living standards than the US because of its ‘socialism’, Finland is happy to be a country with the most independent judicial system, a country with the least organized crime in the world, a country with the safest banks, and a country with the best protection of property rights.
Baby boxes are just one example of how this country uses its resources to invest in the health and wellbeing of the people living there.
“To me the box was home, and it was filled with love and support. It was a gift from a country that started out among the poorest in Europe, having endured famine, oppression and hardship, but that built itself up to be one of the wealthiest.
But what matters to me most is what Finland has chosen to do with its wealth: Finland has chosen to invest in its people — all of its people — and especially to nurture its children — all of them. The path was not always straight or easy, and struggles continue even today. But I cannot imagine a better way to use one’s freedom, independence, and fortune as a society than to ensure a good future for the nation’s children,” one happy mother wrote.
What if America used the freedom, independence, and fortune — all qualities we believe we enjoy more than the rest of the world — to do the same?
Disclaimer: This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed here are those of the author.
Image credits: Roni Rekomaa / AP