Vikes, the Finnish Foundation for Media and Development, will receive a boost to its funding to the tune of €1 810 000 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The three year foreign ministry grant, for two and three-year projects organised by Vikes, is part of an €18 million support package for 36 development NGOs and for development projects run by municipalities. The funding will assist Vikes in a number of projects: the third phase of its training work for the Yangon Film School in Myanmar, the support programme for freedom of expression, journalism and public service broadcasting in Somalia, a regional support programme for independent media in Nicaragua, community media in Tanzania, and projects to boost the position of women journalists in Nepal and Tanzania. The foreign ministry announced the funding decision in mid-December, and cited the important role of the projects in promoting free communications and freedom of expression. “It’s great that Vikes nearly 15 years of work supporting freedom of speech and democracy is being recognized,” said Vikes executive director Auli Stark.