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Abilis Foundation 


The story of Abilis starts in 1997, when an active defender of the rights of persons with disabilities, Mr. Kalle Könkkölä (1950–2018), was collecting funds in order to establish a foundation. The sum, formed of small donations, ultimately grew to be so large that the establishment was possible, and the Foundation was registered in 1998. Abilis started its activities already during the founding year, when successful advocacy work led the Finnish Government to include funds for Abilis in its budget.


When we started in 1998, our headquarters office in Helsinki had only two employees. Since then, we have supported persons with disabilities in over 40 countries and advanced their human rights in international seminars and conferences. Today, we work in nine Programme Countries and employ over 30 persons, of whom the majority are persons with disabilities themselves. Our main funder is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.


Kalle’s principle “nothing about us without us” is the core value of Abilis work and the global disability movement.



Abilis envisions a world in which persons with disabilities know their human rights, act towards the fulfilment of these rights, and are equal to other citizens. In-line with the mission of Abilis, outlined in the strategy, the purpose of Abilis is to support action initiated by persons with disabilities themselves, human rights, equity, and possibilities for independent living in the Global South and Eastern Europe.

Huyen and Hang having a planning session.
Two women using sign language.

Rules and Regulations


In its work, the Foundation abides to the rules of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The UNCRPD is an international, state-binding document, which has been ratified in Finland and almost all Abilis Programme Countries. Though the implementation of the Convention is lacking in many countries, the ratification of the Convention signifies the recognition of the value and human rights of persons with disabilities.

Abilis Board


The Board of Abilis holds the supreme decision-making power in the Foundation. The Board consists of seven full members and one deputy member. The members represent different groups of persons with disabilities. The Board operates on a two-year basis and assembles six times each year.

The new members of the Abilis Board for the term 2024–2025 are:

Full members:

Amu Urhonen, Chair
Esa-Pekka Mattila, Vice Chair
Anca Enache
Jussi Sohlberg
Henrik Gustafsson
Maija Koivisto
Tytti Matsinen

Deputy member:

Otso Laxenius

A picture of Amu Urhonen smiling to the camera.

Activity Reports and Annual Reports

Activity Reports

Annual Reports

Two small girls smiling to the camera.
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