During 2017 and 2018, we sent several young Finns to all over the world through the EVS voluntary service program. Through EVS, which is part of the Erasmus+ program, young Europeans can travel abroad and work in different projects in areas such as youth work, cultural activities, social care or environmental protection. Here we introduce four different EVS-projects where RKI has sent young people to learn and experience new things.
Henriikka traveled to Figueira da Foz, Portugal in summer of 2017, as the first EVS volunteer ever sent by RKI. She spent a whole year working for a local stable called Cavalo Amigo, which offers equine-assisted therapy for differently abled people.
After half a year, we from RKI visited Henriikka in Portugal to see how she had been doing and how she felt about her trip. In the video above she talks about her experience in Portugal.
In June 2018, on the same day as Finns celebrated mid-summer’s eve, the Ljubljana Pride week had its long-waited parade on the streets of the city. Amongst almost 3000 people demonstrating for LGBTIQ+ rights were Finns Julianna Brandt, Dakota Demirbas and Heini Salo. They were there to work as EVS-volunteers for Ljubljana Pride and to march for human rights.
All three of them were sent to Slovenia by RKI, together with 11 other Finns volunteering in the city. Some of the people stayed for one year, others for one or two months, like Heini, Julianna and Dakota. Julianna’s work was to produce guidelines for inclusive and intersectional participation for different NGOs and organisations. She also facilitated a support group for LGBTQI+ people who also belong to other marginalised groups. Dakota’s main jobs were fundraising, finding suitable partners and hosting an international study visit. During Pride week Heini documented events by taking and editing photos and videos.
Read more about their experience in our multimedia article Not Just a Parade.
Ljubljana Pride is our partner organization for example in Outside In.
Finns Joona and Otso switched their flat landskape of Oulu in Finland, to hilly and beautiful town of Zagorje in Slovenia in May. They took part in voluntary work project in Mladinski center Zagorje for six weeks.
The group organized three festivals. The purpose of the festivals was to increase co-operation between locals, youth center and the whole community, together with the international EVS volunteer team.
Joona believes that by meeting different people and working together, everyone can learn from each other.
For Otso, peace means that you can express yourself and not be afraid of the future.
Besides sending volunteers from RKI to the world, we have also had the joy of hosting our first EVS volunteer ever, Charlotte Dumoulin from Belgium. Charlotte worked as a part of our youth work team in 2017-2018 for a year. She chose to come to Finland because of how famous the Finnish education system and its methods are around the world.
In Belgium Charlotte studied five years International Cooperation and Development at the University of Liege. After some international experience during her studies (an internship and a voluntary service), she noticed that there still is a lot of work to do in Europe and so she decided to dedicate herself to a career in global education.
Charlotte worked for us for a year and got to participate in several interesting youth work projects. She felt like she learned a lot during her stay, both professional skills and methods as well as being more self-confident. She also developed an appreciation for the Finnish culture, for things such as the importance of nature, not always having to have small talk and the relaxed atmosphere at many workplaces.