Become a Buddy for a young volunteer from abroad

Are you looking for meaningful voluntary work? Is there room in your life for a new friend? Participate in the Buddy activities of Maailmanvaihto.

>> See the current need for Buddies

New experiences and connections in your own neighborhood – become a Buddy for a new volunteer from abroad! As a Buddy you are the volunteer’s local friend, who helps the volunteer to find local networks and free-time activities.

Through Maailmanvaihto, Finland receives around thirty young adults from abroad who’ll do voluntary work in non-profit organizations in different parts of Finland. Finland is seldom a familiar place for the volunteers beforehand, and it is likely that they do not have many social contacts in Finland at the beginning of their volunteer period.

Buddies ease the volunteers’ accommodation process by familiarizing them with the local customs and way of life. You’ll get a chance to learn the volunteer’s cultural background and language, such as Spanish or Swahili. As a Buddy it is also likely that you will find yourself trying out new things in your local area, things that you might not otherwise try out.

What do Buddies do?

First and foremost you spend time with the volunteer. You are the volunteer’s friend and someone who the volunteer can contact easily. You’ll ask how the volunteer is doing and you’ll help the volunteer to find hobbies. Occasionally you’ll also spend time with the volunteer – for example by going for a walk or for coffee together.

As a Buddy you are an important part the volunteer’s support network, which includes also the voluntary workplace, possible host family, and the office staff of Maailmanvaihto.

Kaksi henkilöä vierekkäin lähikuvassa ulkona, molemmat hymyilevät kameralle, taustalla luminen kaupunkimaisema.

Who can become a Buddy?

Buddy activities are suitable for all those who are interested in getting to know a new person and supporting them. We are looking for people who are at least 18 years of age. We require the Buddies to commit to the task for the whole volunteering period (6–12 months).

The values of Maailmanvaihto are global responsibility, intercultural learning and equality. Important principles in our activities are caring and inclusivity, reliability and responsibility, and transparency. Buddy activities are suitable for all those who want to commit to the value base and operating principles of Maailmanvaihto. Read more about the values and operating principles of Maailmanvaihto. 

Training and support

As a Buddy you’ll receive a guidebook for the Buddy-activities (in Finnish). In addition to this, we’ll organize a meeting remotely for Buddies and the volunteers at the beginning of the volunteering season. During the volunteering season, you can also contact the office of Maailmanvaihto whenever you have any questions.

Viisi henkilöä ryhmäkuvassa ulkosalla aurinkoisena päivänä, kaikki hymyilevät kameralle, taustalla metsää.

When and how to join?

We are looking for Buddies for these volunteers of the season 2024–25:

  1. Eurajoki: Dongyi from Taiwan, 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  2. Espoo: Mascha from Germany, 8/2024–2/2025 (6 months)
  3. Hollola (or Lahti region): Mohamad from Egypt 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  4. Hollola (or Lahti region): Najat from Morocco 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  5. Ilmajoki: Elena from Germany, 1/2024–1/2025 (12 months)
  6. Keuruu: Nanae from Jpaan, 8/2024–2/2025 (6 months)
  7. Kotka: Charlotte from Germany, 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  8. Lohja: Favel from Kenya, 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  9. Mikkeli: Farah from Algeria, 8/2024–6/2025 (10 months)
  10. Orimattila (or Lahti region): Anouk from Germany, 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  11. Orimattila (or Lahti region): Canberg from Turkey, 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  12. Orimattila (or Lahti region): Orxan from Turkey, 8/2024–8/2025 (12 months)
  13. Tammisaari: Roni from Turkey 8/2024–6/2025 (10 months)

We are looking for Buddies for these volunteers of the season 2023–24:

  1. Alajärvi: volunteer from Italya, 9/2023–7/2024 (10 months)
  2. Pälkäne: volunteer from France, 10/2023–7/2024 (9 months)
  3. Tammisaari: volunteer from Germany, 9/2023–8/2024 (11 months)

If you are interested in becoming a Buddy,  do this:

  1. Fill out the contact form for Buddy activities.
  2. After we’ve received your form, we’ll contact you to set up a short interview, where we can get to know each other better and settle the details of the possible co-operation.
  3. When we have agreed on co-operation, we’ll send you a participation form of the Buddy activities that you need to fill out. After we’ve received this form, we’ll send you the contact information of the volunteer whom you’ll become a Buddy for, and we’ll share your contact information with the volunteer too.

Additional information:

If you have any questions about the Buddy activities, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re happy to tell you more:

Program coordinator Mari Takalo
+358 (0)44 318 0888