”Volunteering made me…” How has volunteering abroad – be it in Finland or other countries – impacted the life of the volunteers? Volunteers share their thoughts.

Volunteering made me.. eager to learn – knowledge is the key to understanding. Brave – world can be a scary place, but every experience makes facing new ones easier. Curious – travelling and meeting new people is the essence of life.

Volunteering made me… do what I feel I have to do; even though I don’t believe that I live only once, I do believe that there are certain things that have to be done in each life and I have learned to trust the prickling feeling which strikes my heart when it is time to get over a fear and make the next step. It also made me believe that everything is possible; it’s just a question of my own attitude.

Volunteering made me… braver and more self-confident. It made me believe in humankind a little bit more. And most importantly, it made me find friends for life.

Volunteering made me… a world citizen. Most of the things I hold dear are related to my year in Finland in 1979-80. Now, nearing the end of my career as a lawyer in Sydney, I reflect how fortunate I was. I have continued to be engaged with international issues, including with church organisations involved with international aid. I have traveled very widely but always love coming back to Finland, which I have done many times.

Volunteering made me… who I am today: enthusiastic about working for peace and intercultural understanding on a daily basis.

Volunteering made… me courageous. Anyone can make a difference.

Volunteering made me… proud of the world we live in. No matter how dark could be the future; always will be some people who enlighten the way with their example. Just follow them. Or, better, became one of them

Volunteering made me… open-minded. Before my voluntary work period volunteering was always missing from my life. Afterward I feel volunteering completed me. Thank you to all who let me find my missing parts.

Volunteering made me… be myself and be patient in every situation. It also gave me lots of friends from every corner of the world.

Volunteering made me… appreciate active citizenship in all layers of society. It made me open my eyes to all the possibilities out there for influential work. Most importantly, volunteering made me appreciate working together toward common goals.

Volunteering made me… a better, more open person and helped me find my profession.


Volunteering made me… have more courage. Volunteering made me see the world in a different way. Volunteering made me the person I am today.

Volunteering made me tough. 😀 Open and accepting towards different people. Feel accepted as I am and accept myself as I am. Humble. Rich with experience. Learn more about myself and step out of my comfort zone. Better at communicating. Fulfill one of my dreams.

Volunteering made me… permanently less tolerant for routine.

Volunteering made me… find my element. Thanks to volunteering I gained a lot of valuable and unforgettable experience, met wonderful people and realized what are my aptitudes.

Volunteering made me… confident. I learned that worrying less and living more gives you so many exciting experiences and the best memories.

Volunteering made me… happy!!!

Volunteering made me more connected to the world and to myself!

Volunteering made me… broad-minded. I learnt that the Finnish way of for example raising children is just one of many different ways.

Volunteering made me an active citizen interested in global justice.

Volunteering made me… open my eyes, volunteering made me restart my life. Volunteering made me open my eyes of heart, volunteering made me start my second life.


The photo campaign is a part of the project ”Calling Youth to Action in a Global Visibility Drive” (Erasmus+ Key Action 2) which aims to promote the value of volunteering in terms of benefits to the volunteers and host organisations: www.icye.org/calling-youth

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