Eskola is a small village of 400 residents located in rural Pohjanmaa, Finland.

Over 1,000 small schools have been forced to shut down because of financial reasons in Finland since the early 2000’s. When the elementary school of Eskola was about to be closed, the villagers fought back. They bought the school building from Kainuu at the price of one euro and started a private daycare and elementary school. The daycare looks after a few kids a day and the whole school has a total of six students.

Eskola is a community that works together to keep the village alive. But in the end, it is impossible to uphold all the services needed. Local grocery store was first bought by Kesko chain and after a while shut down altogether. Postal services were also centralized.

This reportage is a personal project with journalist Minna Ohtamaa. It was published in Maaseudun tulevaisuus.

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