TAPOLA CAMPHILL VILLAGE COMMUNITY is a vibrant living and working community for adults with special needs. In Tapola live nearly 50 residents, but all together with co-workers and volunteers, we are around 90 people. Tapola community consists of five houses, a bio-dynamical farm, different workshops, and a shop selling Tapola’s handicrafts, herbal products, and farm foods. In our weavery we make various crafts, e.g., rugs and different types of woven fabrics. The creamery produces dairy products from cheese to ice cream. We have a big garden and an herb workshop. Tapola’s farm offers animal care and other farm work while the outside maintenance group maintains the surroundings of the village community.
We have a rich cultural life with different festivals and activities. Our aims and values are the well-being of all residents, developing a balanced community life, enabling everyone an individual life, and supporting self-determination – everyone is special and deserves acceptance, respect, and love. We are also very aware of the surrounding environment and nature.
Disabilities, well-being, inclusion, agriculture
Volunteer’s role and tasks
Having international volunteers is a great opportunity for the community members to learn about different cultures, it brings the world to our village. Volunteers bring fresh ideas and new perspectives, making the community life livelier. Through the cooperation, our residents with special needs have international experiences in their everyday life, and working with people with special needs also widens young volunteers’ perspectives on the world of disabilities. The volunteer assists in care work and guiding adults with special needs in their daily life. That can be providing residential services and, for example, arranging some evening activities and assisting and guiding the residents in the different workshops. Also preparing the festivals and other special occasions, running a Sunday cafeteria, or arranging free time activities for the residents, is also a part of the volunteer year. The volunteer’s role is to help, support, and guide the residents while being involved in the whole community in different ways. By living and working alongside the residents, the volunteer gets to experience how it is to share life with other people. Finnish lessons are provided regularly, to help to fit into the community.
The volunteer is expected to have an interest in community life and in joining the common gatherings. The motivation to live in a countryside community and meet everyone as an individual is important. It is also useful to have good social skills, as well as an open and curious attitude. Basic knowledge of household work, such as cleaning and cooking, and taking care of other people are recommended. The volunteer is free to create something new and bring in their skills and abilities (music, sports, hobby groups, events), so their own initiative is appreciated.
Tapola is situated in a countryside community in Niinikoski village, Southern Finland. We are 10 km away from the nearest town Orimattila (around 16 000 inhabitants), 30 km from a bigger town Lahti and 100 km from Helsinki.
Accommodation, food, and transportation
- The volunteer lives in the village community. Everyone has their own room; other facilities are shared. The necessities for living are provided. The houses are like small families, the daily meals (mixed diet or lacto-ovo vegetarian) are prepared and enjoyed together, or cooking can be a task of a workshop. All the houses and workshops are within walking distance from each other.
- The public transportation from Tapola to Orimattila is limited, but from Orimattila the connections are good (bus, train). In addition, volunteers with a driver’s license have an opportunity to use Tapola’s cars for fuel costs.
Unfortunately, the physical environment of the workplace is not suitable for volunteers with physical or sensory disabilities, and the staff does not have the resources to support them.
Website and social media channels
- Instagram: Tapolan Kyläyhteisö
- Instagram: Tapolan Kyläyhteisön Maatila
- A video on Tapola in YouTube
One position available: 12 months starting as soon as possible. Apply as soon as possible! >> See the details of the position and instructions for applying.