Volunteers’ Voices 1/2018: 60 years of making a difference

Editorial: 60 years of experiences

The 6th of August in 1958 was special for at least two Finnish young people. On that particular day two students, Kaija-Liisa Käyhty and Markku Pohjola, took step on an inter-Atlantic ship. An exchange year in the United States awaited on the other side of the ocean. Kaija-Liisa and Markku were the first students that Maailmanvaihto (then International Christian Youth Exchange) ever sent out to the world.

After their return the pair had a lot to tell as in the 50s gaining information on foreign countries was somewhat challenging: The Finnish Broadcasting company (YLE) had only recently started regular television broadcasting and the internet was only discussed behind the closed doors of the Pentagon. Holidays on the Canary Islands or Spain were a rare treat. In addition to all this, the walls of the cold war had risen to cast a shade on the world and made it hard to see what life somewhere else could actually look like.

But let’s fast-forward six decades further, until 2014 to be exact. The 6th of August is once again a special day for at least one Finnish young person: me. This time though there was no boat trip or school year across the seas waiting, but a morning flight towards Asia to start a volunteering period in Nepal. Unlike Kaija-Liisa and Markku, I had plenty of resources to help me prepare for my trip. I followed local media on Twitter, TripAdvisor gave me tips on the best tourist attractions, WikiTravel instructed on local etiquette and a handful of online articles described the main plot line of religion and politics in Nepal. I got to know my host family in advance on Facebook and snooped around my volunteering project through the satellite cameras or Google Maps. One could easily imagine that I knew everything there was to know even before my travel. Nevertheless, in 2015 I returned a hundred times wiser.
Nothing beats the authentic experience.

Maailmanvaihto is turning 60 years old this year. This magazine is an ode to those six decades of making a difference. I wish you enjoyable reading moments!

Roosa Kontiokari
The chair of Maailmanvaihto

In the issue

2: Pääkirjoitus 60 vuotta kokemuksia – Roosa Kontiokari
6 Kutsu kevätkokoukseen – Kokous pidetään 22. maaliskuuta.
7 Ajankohtaiset uutiset – Kesällä valmennusleirille ohjaajaksi tai keittiötyöntekijäksi!
TEEMA: 60 vuotta vaikuttavuutta
THEME: 60 years of making a difference
— 12 Maailmanvaihdon historiaa – Pikakelaus 40-luvun lopulta tähän päivään.
— 14 40 vuotta Maailmanvaihdon matkassa – Outi Pesola kertoo vuosistaan ICYE:n mukana.
— 16 Mitä jäi käteen? – Maailmanvaihdon toimintaan viime vuosikymmenillä osallistuneet kertovat.
19 Tackling racism requires common acts – Ana López Carlassare
22 Vapaaehtoistyö ja rasisminvastaisuuden edistäminen? – Alma Smolander
24 Reittejä maailmalle – Kaksi vapaaehtoista kertoo arjen vaihtamisesta.
26 Feeling young in a youth organization – Haastattelussa ICYE Ugandan Semakula Stuart George.
28 Tule mukaan toimintaan – Tutustu mahdollisuuksiin Suomessa ja ulkomailla!
29 Arkea ja juhlaa tukiperheenä – Tukiperhe tukee auringonpaisteessa ja tuulisilla säillä.
34 Näkökulma: Kisälli ja Euroopan kokoinen ystäväpiiri – Mauri Pajunen
35 Tapahtumakalenteri – 60-vuotiasta Maailmavaihtoa juhlitaan elokuussa.

ISSN 2342-2629 (Printed)
ISSN 2342-2637 (Online publication)