Volunteers’ Voices 1/2015: host families and support persons

Editorial: Actions worth Gold

My volunteering period happened already so long ago that I can say it was ”about a decade ago”. My wonderful experience is the reason I’m still active in Maailmanvaihto. I had a good network taking care of me and helping me in adapting to a foreign culture – my support persons, host family and my hosting organization.

The things that would have taken few minutes in Finland were not that easy abroad without knowing the language. Buying a train ticket, getting a sim card or picking up a parcel from the post office – everything felt impossible to do and I felt just clumsy. Luckily I got help from my network. I was allowed to ask silly questions and got help with practical matters. I got to see the everyday life and celebrate the holidays with them, and I was notified when I did something strange (for example when I used the wrong greeting or opened a banana from the wrong end).

It made me feel easier because I knew I didn’t have to cope alone. As time passed I got more confi dence in my skills and began to understand the culture more deeply. But in the beginning it was enough just to understand how to get extra credit to my prepaid account.

So thank you, host families and support persons. Even though your actions might feel small, they may be worth gold to somebody. Maybe somebody somewhere far away still remembers them, even after a decade.

Anna Anttila
Member of the Maailmanvaihto board, responsible for support persons 2015
Volunteer in Ukraine 2005–2006

In the issue

2 Pääkirjoitus: Kullanarvoisia tekoja
5 Kutsu Maailmanvaihdon kevätkokoukseen
6 Ajankohtaista
9 Kolumni: At home in Finland
10 Uusia tuulia ulkomaalaisten leirillä
Teema: Isäntäperheet ja tukihenkilöt Theme: Host families and support persons
– 11 Isäntäperheiden tärkeä rooli
– 12 Yhteistuumin isäntäperheeksi bolivialaiselle vapaaehtoiselle
– 16 Saman katon alla – 10 kysymystä isäntäperhe-elämästä
– 20 Tukiperheen kokemuksia: kokkailupäiviä ja kielikylpyä
– 22 Iloa ja uusia näkökulmia tukihenkilötoiminnasta
– 26 On the other side of the door
29 Home, away from home
34 Kuvareportaasi Meksikosta
38 Vapaaehtoisen päivä Hanoissa
40 A warm welcome to Brazil
42 Kohtaamisia luokkahuoneissa
44 Tule mukaan toimintaan!
45 Haastattelussa kouluvierailija
46 Maailmanvaihdon toiminnan lähtökohtia
47 Tulevat tapahtumat

ISSN 2342-2629 (Painettu)
ISSN 2342-2637 (Verkkojulkaisu)