A private organization The Centre of Nordic Assistance to Finland was founded in Helsinki as a counterpart of the Swedish Centre. The Finnish centre got permission for its operation from the Minister of Social Affairs, Fagerholm, who decided that the Centre could send children under 12 years old to Sweden or Denmark. Mothers were allowed to follow their children only if they were under 3 years old.
The first 35 children, with 5 mothers, were sent to Sweden by boat from Turku in mid-December 1939. From this day on many more children were sent by boat, plane and train.