Volunteers’s Voices 2/2021: What drives people to volunteer abroad?


Read the magazine as pdf version.

In this issue

4 Pääkirjoitus / Editorial
6 Kutsu syyskokoukseen / Invitation to Autumn Meeting
7 Kuulumisten vaihtoa
10 Tule mukaan toimintaan
11 Hallitustyössä oppii monenlaista
12 Join Our Activities
13 Terveisiä maailmalta! Greetings from Abroad!
17 Developing skills with ICYE Kenya
35 Tapahtumakalenteri


20 Volunteering at the Maailmanvaihto Office
22 Välivuosi vapaaehtoisena
26 Erilaisten kulttuurien ymmärrystä ja ammatillista osaamista
28 Lehtimäen opistossa vapaaehtoisia tuetaan kertoen ja kysellen
31 Uudella stipendirahastolla tasa-arvoisempaa vapaaehtoistyökenttää

Editorial: Why leave the comfort zone?

Interest in different people and new cultures, taking a gap year, learning new skills, broadening one’s worldview, learning a language, experiencing a sense of community, doing hands-on work, clarifying future plans – these things, among others, are emphasized when the people participating in international volunteering through Maailmanvaihto discuss their motivation to volunteer abroad.
There are certainly as many reasons to leave the domestic comfort zone and slip into a daily life in another country as there are volunteers, but those who go on international volunteering seem to agree that a period of volunteering abroad is a growing experience that you may, in one way or another, carry with you for the rest of you life. Living the everyday life in a different cultural environment far from home widens the world around us while also significantly affecting our inner world and ability to reflect on our own as well as others’ actions. For many, what they learn and experience during international volunteering becomes part of their identity, which is why the volunteering period is often seen as a significant event in their own life story.

In this issue, several people who have gone abroad or arrived in Finland for volunteering through Maailmanvaihto shed light on their own motivation to participate in international volunteering. You can, for example, read about Roos’ European Solidarity Corps volunteering period at the office of Maailmanvaihto or find out what Anu’s experience of ICYE volunteering for a social organization in Bolivia means to her now, seven years later. There are also various other ways of getting involved in Maailmanvaihto’ activities in Finland – some of our former volunteers, for example, make school visits to secondary schools, act as support persons for foreign volunteers, interview applicants for international volunteering and participate in the board’s activities. In this magazine, Venla, a board member responsible for support for foreign volunteers, discusses her motivation to join the board.

There are many motivations to change your world, so read more and come along!

Wishing you inspiration and enjoyable reading moments,

Elina Villberg
Board member, Team of outgoing volunteers


Read also

Practice languages in Maailmanvaihto’s Language Café

Would you like to practice speaking in Spanish or Finnish...

Tools for decolonisation

Decolonise! International Voluntary Service, a project that began in 2022,...

Workshop on facilitating multicultural groups with an embodied approach Sun 5 May

We are happy to invite Maaimanvaihto's camp instructors & couches...

Apply for European Solidarity Corps volunteering at South Ostrobothnia Folk High School (DL 7 April 2024)!

Are you ready to start a European Solidarity Corps volunteering...