Volunteers’ Voices 4/2014: Africa

Editorial: Pride and prejudice

Once again I met a skeptic, someone who thinks volunteering means saving the world. This time I convinced him fast, and told about a small human who had a grand journey, who did something ordinary but still so extraordinary and that it all just happened abroad.

Later on I was thinking about why do we understate our experiences. I’ve got great experiences from volunteer work. Why should I understate the earthquake I experienced in Taiwan, a television show where I was performing in or the speech that I gave in Chinese for university students wondering about their future? These are the moments that I want to tell about with pride. But as a Finn, it seems easy to bury things inside and understate the moments we’ve experienced. “Perhaps I was a bit nervous while having my speech in Chinese (read: I had practiced for a week!), but it went okay…”

Great things often pop up in small packages, ones you may not even recognize before you open the box. For me, Maailmanvaihto has been one those small packages that has given great experiences. I have grown with our organization as a volunteer but havealso had a chance to grow into working together and into leadership. My greetings for you are: believe in yourself and be a proud volunteer. You are a small package but a great gift. Without you, at least one smile less would have been shared. The theme for this issue is Africa. It offers you colours, flavours and warm stories, moments to share during the dark polar night. Enjoy!

Liisa Veikkolainen
Chairman of the board 2012–2014
ICYE-volunteer in Taiwan 2005–2006

In the issue

2 Pääkirjoitus: Ylpeys ja ennakkoluulo
6 Ajankohtaista
Teema: Afrikka / Theme: Africa
8 Vapaaehtoistyöstä ulkomailla rohkeutta viedä elämää toivottuun suuntaan
– 9 ”Olen aina tahtonut lähteä Afrikkaan”
– 10 Foosteps – From Uganda to Finland
– 12 Vapaaehtoisena Ugandassa – Ikimuistoinen ja ihana kokemus
– 14 Käsienpesukampanjointia ja trotrolla ajelua: vapaaehtoisen arkea Kumasissa
– 17 Changing lives by volunteering
– 19 Kuvareportaasi: Kasvun paikka
– 22 Lämmön jälkeen
– 25 Muistoja Makondosta
– 28 Kuvareportaasi: Unohtumattomia hetkiä Ugandassa
32 Support from others when things go wrong
34 Minun Japanini: Digimonia ja hiraganoja
37 Column: My new life in Finland: Kids, more kids and so many possibilities!
38 ICYE Around the world: In Kenya inspiration from volunteers connecting with local people
40 Tule mukaan toimintaan!
41 Hakijoiden haastattelija
42 Maailmanvaihdon toiminnan lähtökohtia
43 Tulevat tapahtumat

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