Tapola Camphill Village Community

Would you like to support and be a friend to adults with special needs? Does living and working in a community in the Finnish countryside interest you? Welcome to Tapola!

Tapola Camphill Village Community is a vibrant living and working community for adults with special needs. Tapola is a private social service provider. Our task is to maintain and improve our resident’s well-being. We offer both sheltered housing and supported housing. We have 49 residents and all together we are 75 people including also co-workers and volunteers.

Tapola consists of:

  • five homes for our residents
  • biodynamic farm (taking care of animals and fieldwork)
  • weavery (weaving rugs and tablecloths and other crafts)
  • creamery (producing dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream)
  • maintaining and firewood group (working in the forests, making firewood, shoveling snow, and mowing the lawn)
  • garden and herb workshop (taking care of plants and harvesting and making products such as tea and herbal mixtures)
  • daytime activity group (crafts, art, and music)
  • small village shop where we sell our workshop products

In Tapola, we have a rich cultural life with different festivals and activities. Our aims and values are the well-being of all residents, enabling an individual life, supporting self-determination, and developing a balanced work and community life. In our community, everyone is special and deserves acceptance, respect, and meaningful life content. In addition, we are very aware of the surrounding environment and take care of nature.


Tapola is a countryside community located in Niinikoski village, Southern Finland. We are 10 km away from the nearest town of Orimattila, 30 km from Lahti, and 100 km from the capital city of Helsinki. Orimattila has around 16, 000 inhabitants. The public transportation from Tapola to Orimattila is limited, but from Orimattila the bus and train connections are good. We have bicycles for volunteers. In addition, the volunteers with a driver’s license have an opportunity to use Tapola’s cars by paying the fuel costs.

Volunteer’s role and tasks

Every year we welcome 5–8 volunteers from all over the world to become integrated into all aspects of life in Tapola. We have four decades of experience in voluntary work, and everyone is happy about new people who become new friends and are in the end like family members. We collaborate with international organizations that provide seminars and training for volunteers who join our community.

As a volunteer, you will become a part of a one house family. You will provide support and friendship to the residents. Volunteers support together with the co-workers the well-being of the residents. Each volunteer participates in a workshop to assist the residents. Training is implemented through work, and more responsibility is given to each volunteer as they show themselves ready for new challenges. Everything is about doing together and supporting, not seeing the residents as an object of treatment.

Volunteers are responsible for a variety of tasks such as participating in our workshops, organizing cultural and free time activities, and supporting household activities including cooking and cleaning. Running a Sunday Cafeteria is also a part of the volunteers’ year. A typical day consists of common meals, morning and afternoon workshops, cultural and social activities, and house chores activities throughout the day and in the evening. The weekends are more relaxed. The volunteers are involved in social and leisure activities depending on what the residents want to do.

Volunteer’s profile


  • Willingness to adapt and enthusiasm to learn
  • Motivation to learn Finnish and get familiar with the residents, community life, and the Finnish culture
  • Motivation to live in a countryside community and meet everyone as an individual
  • No specific previous experience required

We appreciate these skills:

  • Ability to take care of others
  • Basic knowledge of housework such as cleaning and cooking

Tapola offers opportunities where the volunteers are free to create something new and bring in their own skills and abilities (music, sports, hobby groups, and events).

Accommodation, food, and transportation

The volunteers live in the Tapola area in guest rooms. Everyone has their own room; other facilities are shared. The necessities for living are provided. Living in the community is a great opportunity to learn about others and yourself. All the houses and workshops are within walking distance of each other. Ten kilometers away is Tapola’s lakeside cabin, which can be used together or if available also with friends and families during the summer months.

Every volunteer has 2 days off per week and is entitled to 2 holiday days a month. It is important to regularly take a rest and gather new strength for this rewarding but also difficult task. A volunteer can gather days off and holiday days for longer periods. We encourage you to explore Finland, its beautiful nature and interesting history. Guests are welcomed into the community but we hope for discretion while being around the residents.

The volunteers have also the possibility to share their experiences by visiting local primary schools. By sharing the volunteering experience and Tapola as a project the message about worldwide volunteering will spread and local children have the possibility to learn about different countries and cultures.

Training during the volunteering period

The volunteers will have an on-arrival training camp and mid-term evaluation camp organized by the Finnish National Agency of the European Solidarity Corps. In addition, they will be invited to the on-arrival training camp and mid-term evaluation camp of the coordinating organisation Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland.

To help fit into the community and Finnish culture, Tapola offers for the volunteers regular mentor meetings and Finnish lessons in small groups. The volunteers will also get access to the Online Language Support (OLS) tool of the European Solidarity Corps to help them learn Finnish.


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.

If you need additional support due to a long-term illness or other reason and would like to discuss if volunteering at Tapola could suit you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information via Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland at esc@maailmanvaihto.fi. We’ll be happy to tell you more!

We are happy about every volunteer encounter during the years. For further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Social media channels

Volunteers’ Experiences


Activity topics

Disabilities, well-being, inclusion, agriculture

How to apply?

>> See the application instructions

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