Dodo is a Finnish environmental organization founded in 1995. Dodo addresses environmental issues societally, without unnecessary simplification. From the dining table, city bike ride or an adventure holiday, there is a short way to global environmental issues. 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. 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.

Regular activities include meetings of the different action groups and Urban Dinner events where a meal is prepared together from waste food and harvest of our urban garden. After the dinner there is a discussion, workshop or movie screening on a topic that futhers Dodo’s aim. In addition to Helsinki, Dodo has activities in Oulu.  

Your work as a volunteer

Dodo is offering a half a year ESC volunteering position starting 1st of April 2024. 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, where events and activities are arranged during the growing season. 

The main task of the volunteer would be to help the employees. This includes tasks in urban gardening, communications, event planning and arrangement and office maintenance. 

 At the Urban Dinners the volunteer can choose to work in the kitchen or in the garden and may also prepare discussions and workshops for the Urban Dinner events. At courses and events the volunteer can help with facilitation or running practical errands during preparation and the event or course itself. The volunteer gathers material for the bimonthly infoletter and posts on Dodo’s social media channels. 

The volunteer will take part in Dodo’s Erasmus+ project GREEN and may help there in camp preparations, communications, study circle and planning meetings and their preparations among other tasks. Dodo is opening Turntable more towards other actors, so also in this there is work within communications and presenting the premises and handing keys to actors that rent the premises for their events and activities.

We will discuss, either in emails or in video call beforehand, the tasks, learning-process support and practical arrangements, and continue these discussions during the volunteer period. The volunteer will have a tutor (one of the employees) and a mentor (a person outside daily activities of Dodo) during the whole volunteership to offer help and support both during and after their volunteer period.  

When applying to the ESC at Dodo please familiarise with the organisation and its activities. Write in the application: Which parts of Dodo’s activities you are specifically interested in, what you could bring to Dodo and what you would like to learn at Dodo.

Accommodation and meals

You will be accommodated in a shared apartment in Helsinki and you will have your own room. The location is still open, but Dodo’s office has good public transportation connection to all parts of the city. You will receive food money to buy groceries and cook food for yourself. Your public transport tickets will be reimbursed, after registration in Finland you can buy a monthly ticket.

Volunteer profile

We hope that the volunteer is motivated, self-driven, has good communication skills, is co-operative, works well in teams and is interested in the scope of activities that Dodo runs. An intermediate to upper-intermediate level of English is required. The volunteer should be motivated to learn, to adapt, to propose ideas, take initiative, work independently 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 volunteer 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 center. 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.  

Dodo’s office is not accessible, as it is located in an old railyard maintenance building. With just two part time employees at Dodo’s office it would be hard to give the support a person with physical, sensory or other disabilities might require. 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.

Here you can check out an Instagram reel of ESC work at Dodo!

A former volunteer shares her experience !

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