Monthly Archives: November 2012

Writing & Blogging

Writing and books have been Tiija’s passion for many years. Determined to pursue one her goals in life, Tiija recently wrote and published her debut novel ‘Four Sides to the Core’. The book is a semi-autobiographical novel that consists of small self-contained stories from Nepal, Kenya, Jordan and Pakistan. These stories form a bigger narrative that touch human rights, universal values and daily realities in these different cultures. It is a book based on Tiija’s travels in different countries as a development aid worker and researcher.

In 2012, Tiija also published two children’s books. The first book, ‘Nuttie – the Under water Survivor’, contains a story that she had come up with many years ago on alien creatures living on our earth, yet never had the chance to tell others. The second book, ‘The Joyland’, is a story set in Africa, aimed at Western children in order to highlight how different their lives could have been if they were born in a different continent. Both books were illustrated by primary school children.

You can find all of Tiija’s books and order copies at:

At present, in addition to working on a novel, Tiija writes a regular blog. This blog brings the reader stories from countries that Tiija have travelled to; whether close or far away. The blog also contains information about films that Tiija has seen, books that she has read and other exciting experiences that have come her way.

You can find the blog here:

Tiija is available for freelance writing work. Previously, she has worked for a social policy site called Policy Bloggers Netowork (, and for the New Londoners Magazine (  Rates of pay are negotiable. 


Music work

For the past ten years, Tiija has worked as a Piano and Keyboard teacher for beginner and intermediate learners. Having studied classical piano at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, she has found much joy in sharing her passion for music with keen learners. Currently, Tiija teaches several private students in London.

In addition, Tiija has trained teachers on the use of music in their education work, in particular with children who have special educational needs. She has delivered several workshops on how musical and other creative activities can be used in the classroom in order to enhance concentration, memory and general enjoyment of learning. Tiija has also conducted workshops on the use of music with individuals who have undergone trauma, such as with refugees. Clients for such workshops have included Save the Children, Relief International and the Migrants Resource Centre. Tiija has written handbooks and articles on her practical work in the field.

At present, Tiija is working on new music education books aimed at beginner and intermediate learners of the piano and keyboard.

Tiija is available for private Piano and Keyboard lessons in London. Rates are £20 for 30 minutes and £35 for 60 minutes. 

Tiija is also available for music workshop work. Rates depend on the nature of the workshop. 

Further, Tiija collaborates with a sound artist called Dee Eye who produced classical and modern musical pieces. As a pair, they commission music against a donation. Dee Eye’s music can be found at: 

To discuss possibilities, please contact Tiija at:

Charity work

Tiija’s latest challenge is a small NGO, Volunteer East (, that she started up in 2011. The NGO recruits volunteers from the UK and sends them on placements in partnership organisations in developing countries, without placement fees. The NGO also does fundraising for its partnership organizations in Nepal, Uganda, India and Pakistan.

So far, Volunteer East has recruited tens of volunteers who have worked tirelessly in South Asia and Africa. Other achievements include fundraising for an IT education project in rural Uganda, clothes and toys for orphans in Nepal and new beds & mattresses for orphans in Pakistan.

Volunteer East is based in London, UK, but also has a branch in Finland. You can follow the work of Volunteer East at: If you are interested to find out more about volunteering opportunities or any aspect of the NGO’s work, please get in touch with Tiija at

For more specific information on the partnership organizations that Volunteer East works with, click on the links below:

A long-standing partner of Volunteer East in Uganda is a rural education project in Bunabumali. Volunteers help out with the day-to-day running of an orphan and needy children’s school, as well as with the orphans who lodge at the school. There is also an adult education programme on IT skills and hospitality on the go.

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The partnership project in Nepal is an orphanage run by a Spanish NGO. There are two orphan homes: one in Kathmandu and another in Chitwan. They house fifty orphans and are always looking for volunteers to come and teach the kids English, help with the day-to-day running of the orphanage and for any other tasks that volunteers feel that they can be useful for.

Another South Asian partner for Volunteer East is in India. The New Leed Trust is a small NGO working in the field of education for underprivileged and economically backward people in Southern India. Volunteers are welcome around the year and they can help with local community projects.

The newest partner of Volunteer East is in Pakistan. The NGO is a youth education organization in northern Pakistan, in Murree, located close to Islamabad. The NGo runs several educational projects in order to empower the local youth to pursue education and to build a future for themselves. Volunteers can get involved in several educational projects. The NGO does not have an active website at present, but you can find the Volunteer Co-ordinator on Facebook, or get in touch with Tiija to find out more:

Educational work

Tiija completed her Doctoral Degree in 2008 from the Institute of Education, University of London, on the importance of creative activities (in particular musical and singing activities) in educational settings with children who exhibit communication difficulties. The doctoral thesis was sponsored by the Economics and Social Research Council. During her time at the Institute, Tiija worked for several research projects and also obtained small awards and scholarships for additional research work overseas. One of these trips was to the Educational Research Academy of the Government of Taiwan where she worked as an expert for local Governmental officials on the Finnish education system and on the role of creative subjects in the curriculum. 


Prior to completing her Doctoral Degree, Tiija had obtained two Master’s Degrees (Master of Arts and Master of Research Methods), as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, from the University of London. Over the years alongside her studies, Tiija worked with children and adults in several educational settings, such as pre-schools and adult education centres, and in various roles, including academic mentoring and music therapy work. 


Since then, Tiija has worked for several international NGOs,Government Agencies and universities (including UNICEF, Relief International and the UK Government). Such work has taken her to various countries (such as Nepal, Kenya and Jordan) where she has been able to use her knowledge and skills for the benefit of locals through research as well as practical work. The products of Tiija’s work are publications in international professional journals, articles in magazines, book chapters and handbooks for professionals. 


At the moment, Tiija works as an educational consultant and is a shareholder for a new social enterprise called Feynlabs. In addition to this, she teaches music and delivers music workshops (see Musical work), as well as engages in charity work (see Charity work). 



Tiija is available for freelance educational consultancy work. Her specialism lies in:


  • Children with special needs;
  • Creative activities in educational and therapeutic contexts;
  • Social inclusion and immigrants;
  • Education work in developing counties (in particular in Africa and South Asia).