ESC Volunteering: Available Projects

Apply for the European Solidarity Corps Volunteering periods in Finland! On this page you can find those projects coordinated by Maailmanvaihto that are currently seeking volunteers and instructions for applying.

How to apply? Three simple steps:

1) Read carefully the project descriptions below and choose from the list the project you wish to apply to.

2) Download and fill in Maailmanvaihto’s European Solidarity Corps Application form: docx or pdf. (You will be able to attach your photo to the pdf form if you fill it in with Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

3) Send your application form as an email attachment to:

Please note these things:

Available European Solidarity Corps volunteering positions

1. Lehtimäki Special Folk High School
2. Dagtek Workshop Activities
3. Tapola Camphill Village Community
4. Youth Exchange Organization Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland
5. Myllylähde Community
6. Vanhamäki Activity Centre

1) Lehtimäki Special Folk High School (Lehtimäen opisto)

LEHTIMÄKI SPECIAL FOLK HIGH SCHOOL (Lehtimäen opisto) is a boarding school for youth and adults with special needs. We offer 70 places for students, and there are more than 100 different short-term courses for youth, adults, and elderly with disabilities and their families. The school offers rehabilitation courses, such as riding therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Some training is aimed at increasing the occupational capacities of the students, through computer literacy training, for example. Our school builds its activities around values of respecting individuality and uniqueness of people, equality among people, participation, safety, community, and lifelong learning.


2) Dagtek Workshop Activities

DAGTEK is a part of Kårkulla joint municipal authority (Kårkulla samkommun in Swedish), which offers services for people with intellectual disabilities or autistic spectrum disorders. The activities Dagtek offers are divided into several sections in different areas. The volunteer will assist either in our arts&crafts workshop or life skills activities – or in both if the volunteer wishes so.

In Dagtek’s arts&crafts workshop (Konst och hantverk in Swedish) there are four workshops with different textile crafts, visual arts, and ceramics. Each workshop has a coach who coordinates and leads the activities. At the moment Dagtek’s arts&crafts workshop community consists of 25 participants, who are mostly women with different types of intellectual disabilities or minor learning challenges, and four workshop coaches/mentors.

The participants of Dagtek’s life skills activities (Livsorienterad verksamhet in Swedish) need guidance and support in their daily activities. The life skills activities take place in small groups consisting of 2–4 people and are always planned according to the condition, interests, and needs of the participants. About twenty people take part in the life skills activities daily. The daily activities consist of music, arts and crafts, painting, games, and walks outside, for example. The goal is to encourage every participant to be active, get involved, make their own decisions, and affect the content of their daily lives, taking into consideration every participant’s individual starting point.


3) Tapola Camphill Village Community

A road leading to farm houses, field on both sides of the rooad.

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.


4) Youth Exchange Organization Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland

MAAILMANVAIHTO – ICYE FINLAND is a non-profit NGO working in the field of international volunteering, organizing long-term volunteer work programs for young adults (18–30+ years). Maailmanvaihto is a member of the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Federation, which consists of 40 organizations worldwide.  Maailmanvaihto coordinates ICYE and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) volunteering activities. On a yearly basis, Maailmanvaihto sends about 20–30 Finnish young people abroad for volunteer work and receives about 30–40 volunteers to Finland.  Our principles are intercultural learning, equality, and global responsibility. There are three full-time staff members working at the office: Secretary General, Program Coordinator, and Communications Officer. Besides this, there are several voluntary coworkers organizing Maailmanvaihto’s activities.


5) Myllylähde Community (Myllylähde-yhteisö)

MYLLYLÄHDE is a village community providing accommodation and work activities for adults with special needs. We are part of the international Camphill movement which was established to create participatory and inclusive communities for people with special needs, like learning disabilities.

The community members cooperate and work together to share the different tasks, such as household tasks, arts&crafts workshop activities, gardening, and ecological farming. In Camphill Communities, each person contributes according to their abilities toward the well-being of their fellows. The community is based on general Christian values and principles.

The work of Myllylähde consists of biodynamic agriculture, animal care, gardening, packing of agricultural products, and weavery and handicrafts workshops. All work is done together with adults with special needs.


6) Vanhamäki Activity Centre

Kahden kuvan kollaasi, joissa nuoria työskentelemässä pellolla. A collage of two photos, in both of them young people working in a field.

VANHAMÄKI is an activity centre and an organic farm situated in Suonenjoki in central Finland. The centre produces organic berries and vegetables and the products are also sold in the little shop. Vanhamäki provides different kinds of activities for visitors and runs an organic farm, and a foster home. Vanhamäki also has a lunch restaurant, which is famous for its delicious food, using organic and local ingredients as much as possible. In addition, Vanhamäki provides various activities and work for people who have fallen out of the job market.

Photos from Vanhamäki

A cowhouse in a snowy scene. On top of the cowhouse's door, there is a sign "Tilamyymälä".

A building in a snowy scenary.

Vegetables and root vegetables on benches outside.

A snowy scenary with trees and a path. In the foreground, there is a person standing, their back towards the camera.

A snowy scene with sun in the horizon. In the foreground, there are trees and a person stading their back towards the camera. In the center of the photo there is water area covered in snow.

Three people on a sunny day on a field, harvesting. All look at the camera.