Introducing our current ESC long-term volunteers !

Ioana, from Romania

Her project: Allianssi Youth Exchanges Office

"I am working in the office of Allianssi Youth Exchanges organization, which is helping other associations to organize their own projects and coordinates volunteers coming to Finland or going abroad.

My main motivation is to spread awareness over the opportunities that youth have, like going abroad, learning about different topics, discovering new cultures and working in international environments."

Maike, Helen and Nico, from Germany and Spain

Their project: Cultural Collective Kukoistus

"After a long travel from Germany and the Canary Islands, with 7068 km distance all together, we savely made it to the little village Korkeaoja near Kokemäki. We were greeted very nicely from the people here and got quickly used to our new living situation.

One of our first tasks was picking apples from the many apple trees on the farm. The work we do here is really fun. There is a variety of things we do besides apple picking. We also garden and are learning alot about forest gardening. We have to change a compost pile every other day and can get vegetables and herbs fresh from the garden for our cooking. Right now we are also beginning to help with the last parts of constructing a cordwood house. 

One task we didn't expect was the regular search and capture of escaped horses. Our finnish lessons are combined with cutting and preserving the vegetables and herbs like for example the huge amount of apples and multiple big pumkins from the vegetable garden. We are looking foward to spending the next 9-12 months here and are especially excited about the winter."

Betty, from Spain

Her project: Blue Ribbon Foundation

"I work in Sininauhasäätiö and we work with homeless people around Finland. We usually have to work with mental health issues and 

addictions because some of the homeless people have these problems added. For the moment, I was helping in the day centres and the housing units and there we usually give support them with the meals, showers, drug kits... Furthermore, we spend free time with the homeless playing games or doing activities outside On the other hand, I was working in the flea market that is a center for donations of clothes."

Alicia, from Spain

Her project: DODO

"Ever since I heard about ESC volunteering, I have had in mind to do one project and now is the perfect time in my life! I have just finished my PhD in nanomedicine, and have decided to get involved in an environmental project to broaden my horizons. In this experience, I hope to learn about sustainability and take action on environmental issues."

Dörte, from Germany

Her project:  Loimaa Evangelical Folk High School

"Moi kaikki! My name is Dörte, I come from Frankfurt in Germany and I have just started my ESC volunteer year at Loimaan evankelinen kansanopisto (Leko – Evangelical Folks High school). 

During the next year, I want to familiarize myself with the Finnish lifestyle, I want to learn a new language and to get to know new people in order to broaden my own horizon. I would love to experience Finnish traditions and customs and the unique nature. Whether sauna, campfires, northern lights, the Finnish winter and midsummer or the little things in everyday life: There are so many adventures waiting for me!"

Paulina, from Germany

Her project: Blue Ribbon Foundation

"Moi! My name is Paulina and I'm 18 years old. I'm from Berlin, Germany, but I've also lived in the United States for a few years. 

I graduated from high school this year and am now participating in the ESC program until August 2022. My volunteering project is at Sininauhasäätiö (Blue Ribbon Foundation) in Helsinki, Finnland. This organization helps homeless people, immigrants, and people struggling with alcoholism, drug abuse or mental health issues. 
I'm looking forward to my time here and I'm excited to meet new people, learn Finnish, and experience the work at Blue Ribbon Foundation. :)"

Marion, from France

Her project:  Loimaa Evangelical Folk High School

"Moi! (Hey!) I’m Marion, French volunteer from Toulouse. I will stay in Finland for one year! I’m so excited to discover this country with its culture, customs, and the typical way of living.  People are so kind, polite, and respectful. I will take part in the school activities. I would like to implement some of my ideas in community of this school."

Katrine and Magnus, from Denmark

Their project: Kalajoki

"Hei, olemme Katrine ja Magnus! We are volunteers at the Kalajoki Kristilinnen Opisto located in Kalajoki, Finland. We help around in the classes teaching English as assisting teachers and arranging (fun) free-time activities for the students living at the Opisto (the school), which are mostly immigrants.

We're a couple from Denmark and have both finished our bachelor's degrees, Katrine studied Psychology and Magnus studied the Science of Religion. We wanted to do something completely different away from studying and living in a big city. We joined the ESC and now live in a small Finnish town with completely different schedules from what we are used to. It is an awesome opportunity to be able to go abroad without spending your life savings on the traveling- and living costs, and also have great help and a lifeline through the ESC and Allianssi, and at the same time being able to do meaningful work.

We will be here for four months total, before returning to Denmark to finish our masters in Aarhus."

Marc, from Spain

His project: Monalikku

"Moi moi! I am Marc Gavaldà and I am from Catalonia, Spain. Before coming to Helsinki I was working as the person in charge of communication in a federation of non-profits called FEPA. I also was in charge of coordinating some projects there. I loved my job but after 5 years I thought it was time for me for a change and someone told me about the Youth Solidarity Corps program. For me it was the perfect opportunity to start the change I was looking for and at the same time to have some people taking care of the process in case something comes up. It can be scary to start an adventure like this so it was nice to have people to contact for any incidences.

I wanted a place very different from Barcelona, where I was living, and Helsinki was a really good option for that. I just have been here for two weeks but I like this city a lot. I want to learn about the culture, the language and live new adventures since I will be here for a year. I already met some wonderful people and I am excited to make plans and get to know the city!”