Vapaaehtoistyössä Suomessa

Sitting on the Livonsaari shore

Attila on the Livonsaari shore.
Attila Livonsaaren rannalla.

24-vuotias unkarilainen Attila Farkas tuli Suomeen toukokuussa 2012 työskennelläkseen vapaaehtoisena Livonsaaren yhteisökylässä yhdessä puolalaisen Karol Sprawkan kanssa. Attilan monipuoliseen työhön sisältyi yllättäviäkin tehtäviä.

Who are you, how old are you and where do you come from?

My name is Attila Farkas, I am 24 years old, and I am coming from Hungary.

How did you hear about the EVS?

I heard about EVS from my mother’s colleagues, who are also working with EVS projects.

Why did you decide to apply?

At the moment this was the best option for the ”What to do with my life?” question. That was a good decision anyways.

Was it easy to apply?

No. Actually it was quite complicated, however everybody in this project was very helpful. Sending mails for many places, discuss with people from my sending, coordinating and hosting organisations too (Normally there is only two organisations in an average EVS project, we had three) And after a lots of e-mailing came a Skype interview. I was a bit worried at the end, but everything went well.

Why you wanted to come to Finland?

Well, when I heard about this EVS thing, my first choice would have been Scotland, but there was no vacancy there. Then I started to think about Northern-Europe, but only Finland was that nordic country, which had a possibility for me. There was an eco-village project, with a tomorrow deadline of application, and it seemed to be so appealing to miss it. After all, I feel lucky to came here. It was a very cool project.

Juhannus with the hosting people 2Where are you working and how long you are staying in Finland?

Well, at the moment we are three and a half month after my EVS has ended, and I am still here in Livonsaari, where I did my voluntary work. I just felt comfortable with staying, and thanks to the locals, I got the possibility for that. I don’t know, how long I am staying in Finland, because it depends on really many things. At the moment I am looking for a job, so we will see.

What kind of work are you doing?  Have you enjoyed it?

Hmm. ”What kind of work…”? I have to say, really many! As it is a developing village, there are many projects running here, mostly in summertimes. People are building their house, which we helped on. There is an organic garden, which provides fresh and organic vegetables for its customers and we were working there a lot. We did quite much firewood work, and built fences for the sheeps.

Building sheepfence

Building sheepfence.
Rakentamassa lammasaitausta.

We had to participate in the ”common cooking system”, which was a kind of common lunch thing, when everybody had their turn to cook and host the others. As there are many people here, with special diet and preferences, that was a fun! We also had to participate in the cleaning and maintaining of the house, where we were accommodated. After all I had a ”special” work also, as so

metimes I did butcher work. It was a quite random thing in the beginning, but I was ok with that, so it became a rare practice for me, few times during the project.

Have you learned any Finnish?

Well, our language course just didn’t happen for some reason. So not so much. I know few words and expressions, but that is far not enough to communicate. I use english, as almost everybody speaks it here, but the children. Sometimes it would have been also nice, to make myself understood with them.

Did you experience a cultural shock?

Sure! But I was suspecting for it, and I took it quite easy.

What have you learned in EVS?

Really many things. I became far more practical in things, got new working skills, learned how to use new tools, which have quite good use in countryside life. My language skills have developed, and my social abilities too.

Firewood making

Making firewood.
Polttopuita pilkkomassa.

But the biggest thing, that I learnt is that, ”Who am I”. I had to have some sad and bad experiences to reach that point (which had no really business with the EVS work itself, or the people here) It just happened, and then I had to deal with myself. As far, as I noticed, most of the volunteers reach this point too.

Why should people participate in an EVS project?

Well. When I participated in our mid-term training, I had to see other volunteers, how they feel and think about things, after they are on the halfway or at the end of their project. It was a definitely interesting experience. I had to find out, I am not alone with my motivations to come in this project. For quite many of them, this was the best option to do something with their life, what makes sense. Actually I used to ask my friends at home about it, when they are trying to find out, what to do.

The EVS is an excellent option for many reasons. First of all, it is free. Only 10% of the traveling is that you have to pay. The food, the accommodation and the other expenses are provided, and there is a certain amount of pocket money each month, so youngsters can apply for it easily.

The second one, that they can also learn a lot about themselves, and they will have new perspectives for their future. And at last, but not least, the experiences and knowledge, that volunteers can get during the project. I would recommend it for every youngsters, who are opened for this possibility. It is a really great thing!


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