Project 9 : Dodo


Dodo is a Finnish environmental organization founded in 1995. Dodo addresses environmental issues societally, without unnecessary simplification. From a dining table, a metro tunnel or an adventure holiday, there is a short way to global environmental issues. Dodo aims to avoid unnecessary confrontations and examines environmental issues widely from different viewpoints. Developing new solutions and cooperating even with surprising allies is important to Dodo. Current key operation areas are urban gardening and food, urban planning and building, climate action and global development. 

Dodo works under the parol Seeds for Urban Change and aims to turn urbanization into an answer to global environmental problems and motivate people to come up with solutions themselves. Dodo's activities are open to everyone. A large proportion of those who participate in activities and events are young students, and a third of the board consists of young adults. Dodo aims to be a sandbox of thoughts where new ideas flow and evolve. An encouraging atmosphere and a courageous attitude towards sharing new views and own ideas empower people of all ages to participate in the development of their own environment, in solving global environmental problems, and in the development of the organization. 

Dodo has activities in four Finnish cities: Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere and Turku and works through different action groups that focus on themes such as urban gardening, food, urban development and global development. Regular activities include meetings of the different action groups and Urban Dinner events where a meal is prepared together from waste food and produce harvested in our urban garden. After the dinner there is a discussion, workshop or movie screening on a topic that furthers Dodo’s aim.

Your work as a volunteer

The ESC volunteer will be working at Dodo’s office in the neighbourhood of Pasila in Helsinki. Just outside the office is the Urban Gardening Center Turntable, and during the growing season there is work too. The main task of the volunteer would be to help the employees. The volunteer will be joining Dodo’s Urban Dinners where they can either help in the kitchen or in the garden. The volunteer can also be working with action groups of their choice on themes like urban gardening and food, urban planning and building or climate action and global development. 

The volunteer will have a tutor (one of the employees) and a mentor (a person not active in Dodo) during the whole volunteership to offer help and support both during and after their volunteer period. The work will also include some tasks assigned by Allianssi Youth Exchanges office.

Volunteer profile

We hope that the volunteer is motivated, interested in the scope of activities that Dodo runs, has a good level of English, has good communication skills, are co-operative and works well in teams. The volunteer should be motivated to learn, to adapt, to propose ideas, take initiative and be open to discover other cultures and different ways of doing things. A desire to participate actively in the project, pro activity, enthusiasm, eagerness and a desire for involvement are all necessary in order to ensure both the project and the volunteers will reach their full potential. 

We believe that the volunteer would get more out of their volunteer period with some time in higher education already, but that is not a must, as there are also more practical tasks that the volunteer could work with, like building and maintenance of the Urban gardening centre. All Dodo’s communication is in both English and Finnish, which makes it easy for a person knowledgeable in English to take part in all activities. The bilingual communication can also help the volunteer to learn some Finnish. 

Though the office of Dodo is accessible the toilets there are not, as the office is in an old railyard maintenance building. With just two employees we think we would not be able to give the support a person with physical, sensory or other disabilities might require and also do our own work. The same limitations are there when it comes to giving additional mentoring and support for people with social obstacles, educational and learning difficulties. Though in both cases the severity of the disabilities and difficulties might vary and the environment of Dodo might suit one person but not another.