This special opportunity came to me during my last year in high school, when I was supposed to decide what to do in the future. Still unsure of my steps, I went to ask about possibility to go abroad and volunteer. I did not have any special expectations or dream country, but somehow I knew that project in Finland will be the best option.
I immediately fell in love with Finland and its wonderful forests, countless lakes and people whose personality is so close to mine, even my family and friends sometimes joke about how I was probably Finnish in a previous life.
As volunteers, we have to do a lot of crafts by ourselves, for example finishing “pannunalunen”.
I have worked in a small workshop called Kisälli-Harjulanmäki where my task was to help and support people with special needs. During my project, I also had the opportunity to learn about looms and other types of art and crafts. Although working with people with disabilities can be hard, I have found working with them very easy and somehow freeing. Every day we found something creative to do and broke the routine with games, walks, excursions, and trips.
“I would suggest for everyone to try to do some kind of volunteer work and explore the world while doing something good for community and yourself.”
But of course volunteer period was not just about working in my project; it is mainly about people you meet and friendships you make. Sharing stories, customs, traditions, and ideas that make you realize that no matter from which part of the world you are coming from, we face the same problems and as long as we have good friends with us, even the Finnish weather can be bearable.
After all, this year has been beneficial for my personal growth. I have learned a lot of things concerning art and creative work. Tried to speak Finnish and failed completely. Traveled a lot both within Finland and other countries. Met extraordinary people and made friends for life.
I would suggest for everyone to try to do some kind of volunteer work and explore the world while doing something good for community and yourself.
EVS volunteer in Finland in the season 2017–18
Mirka participated in Finland in the European Voluntary Service (EVS). Maailmanvaihto receives EVS (nowaways Erasmus+ Volunteering Activities) volunteers for volunteer periods of 6–12 months. Would you be interested in participating? Read more and apply!