Volunteers’ Voices 2/2019: Learning in International Volunteering

Editorial: the dimensions of learning in international volunteering

In the context of international volunteering, learning focuses on doing, experiencing, communicating, reflecting, creating, mutual learning, interacting and co-operating. In this context, we could also talk about informal learning that is not necessarily planned beforehand. It is learner-centred; the learner has the freedom to define the goals and objectives. International volunteering teaches, improves skills, deepens the understanding of our weaknesses and strengths more than we could ever imagine. That is what happened to me as well. In this magazine, we hear about learning experiences among different actors of international volunteering. Moreover, we discuss different ways to support the learning of the volunteers and how to help acknowledging the acquired skills.

I’m approaching this theme from the viewpoint of learning a language. Learning a new country’s language improves the understanding of the different ways of perceiving the world, increases the ability to adapt to a foreign culture, provides a deeper insight into the differences in communication styles between cultures, challenges to discover new methods related to problem-solving, as well as helps strengthening the understanding of the relationship between language, culture and identity. Often it is also aptly said, “language is the key to the culture”.

Learning the everyday greetings will already be a good start and the locals often appreciate the effort of trying even if the pronunciation might not be completely successful but after all, it is the determined attempt that counts. During my volunteering period in Ghana, the locals were happily confused when I responded to a greeting with a local language and I noticed how my bond with the locals got stronger imperceptibly. Have the courage to tackle new challenges with an open mind and seize the opportunity of having the chance to learn something new since that is what volunteering offers at its best.

I wish you inspiring moments with this magazine!

Fabienne Zogg
Editor-in-chief of the Volunteers’ Voices magazine

 

In this issue

Editorial: The Dimensions of Learning in International Volunteering 5
Kutsu syyskokoukseen 6
Ajankohtaiset uutiset 7
Tule mukaan toimintaan 10
Hedelmällistä vuorovaikutusta hallitustyössä 11
Terveisiä maailmalta! Greetings from abroad! 12
Ulkoilma-aktiviteetteja Uudessa-Seelannissa 14
Tapahtumakalenteri 31

THEME ARTICLES:
Vapaaehtoistyössä oppii – mutta miten sen huomaa? 16
Learning together – Camp Diaries 18
Every day is a good day for learning 20
Language skills in learning at school 22
Tukiperhetoiminta ottaa vähän, mutta antaa paljon 24
Englantia kaikille Medinan kätköissä 28

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