Volunteers’ Voices 4/2015: impact of volunteering

Editorial: Impact watch

As TV viewers we witness big and small miracles every day. As the reality TV crews roll in, lives are transformed at a pace that most of us wouldn’t even dare to imagine. An ordinary woman with low self-esteem is given a full makeover – and in no time, she dazzles everyone with her radiant confidence. Next minute it is an entire family whose sorrows turn into tears of joy as they first enter their fully renovated home.

It’s inspiring to see positive changes, right? It’s a pity that in the world of international volunteering witnessing impacts requires considerably more than a finger on the remote control. Luckily we do have Volunteers’ Voices and this special issue on impacts of volunteering!

And these impacts are definitely worth discussing. Here are at least three good reasons:

  1. Modesty doesn’t take you far. If you’ve made a difference in somebody’s life and learned valuable skills, why not let the world know?
  2. We need to make international volunteering even better! The combination volunteer plus hosting community does not automatically lead to positive impacts (it may even be the contrary sometimes). The guiding principle should always be common good, rather than self-interest.
  3. Better understanding takes team effort! The long lasting traces left by international volunteering are made up of series of tiny surprises; inner changes. Sometimes we are surprised and other times we surprise others. These changes cannot be captured in before and after pictures, so they must be put into words.

But now, without further ado: read and get inspired!

Hanna Rajala

Hanna Rajala
Member of the Maailmanvaihto board who volunteered in Bolivia in the season 2010–11

In the issue

3 Pääkirjoitus: Vaikutusten katsomo
5 Ajankohtaista
Teema: Vapaaehtoistyön vaikuttavuus / There: Impact of Volunteering
– 8 Vapaaehtoisista kasvaa kansainvälisiä osaajia
– 12 Vapaaehtoistyöstä intoa opiskeluun
– 15 Vapaaehtoistyöstä oikeaan työhön
– 18 Mitä jäi käteen?
– 20 Guillermo’s Most Awesome Adventure
– 23 Working in Lyhty as an EVS volunteer
– 26 Vapaaehtoistyöstä tukea kansainväliselle uralle
– 29 Näkökulma: Löysin Meksikosta suomalaisuuteni
30 ICYE around the world: Evaluating in Denmark
32 Terveisiä maailmalta palanneilta!
34 Mitä sitten?
36 Tule mukaan toimintaan!
37 Aitiopaikalla leirikeittiössä
39 Tapahtumakalenteri
37 Aitiopaikalla leirikeittiössä
39 Tapahtumakalenteri

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