The third Finnish SOS Children's Village was inaugurated in 1979 at Ylitornio, in the province of Lapland. The village of Ylitornio, with its 7000 inhabitants, is located on the Polar Circle, about 700 kilometres north of Helsinki and 100 kilometres west of Rovaniemi. The Tornio-river forms the border to Sweden. The local population makes their living from working in the wood industry, fishing, hunting and farming.
The SOS Children's Village Lappi is situated on a slope, on the edge of Ylitornio and is surrounded by a forest. Autumn is a beautiful season in Lapland, when the "Ruska"-season turns the leaves bright red and orange. During the long winters, the sun shines only for a few hours, but in summer there is light day and night. The SOS Children's Village Lappi in Ylitornio, with its six family houses, a Village Director's house and an administrative building, is still small. Additional family houses are planned. The children gather in the Community House to pursue their leisure activities. Music, natural science and sports are very popular. There is also a small photo-laboratory.
Adjoining to the SOS Children's Village is a holiday camp called "Oravanpesä" which is a renovated old school building. It offers great opportunities for families from all SOS Children's Villages in Finland to spend their summer and skiing holidays in natural surroundings.
Walking in nature and camping are also essential parts of the goal-oriented educational work. In the Children's Village children and youngsters are encouraged to find activities of their own interest which help them to experience the joy of succeding in life.