Julius Buyoya participated in two camps in Finland this summer. His participation was made possible by the Awakening Awareness Initiative (Yhteistä ymmärrystä -hanke), which aims to offer the possibility to asylum seekers and immigrants living in Finland to take part on KVT’s Finnish workcamps. Read his story here below!
What kind of camps did you participate in?
I participated in two camps this summer: Midsummer market in Marttinen in Virrat and in Äijälä Gardening near by Jyväskylä. We prepared the midsummer market in Marttinen with local people and did amazing designs. In Äijälä we worked with people with special needs in the vegetable gardens and did some other activities with local people. The work was well organized in both camps, so it was very easy for us to follow the daily activities. We worked with friendly and social people, and I really enjoyed working in a group. The local people appreciated us to work with them, so they encouraged us a lot. In both camps the work was interesting, because everyone was working whole heartedly!
What did it require from you?
It required the ability to work with different people who come from different backgrounds. You also need to socialize and have friendly atmosphere to every person in the camp. It’s important for the volunteers to work freely and respect other people.
What did you learn?
I learned a lot of things! Especially I learned how to support the people with special needs; one of the aims of the Äijälä Gardening -camp was to show them that they are appreciated in the society. I also learned about the Finnish way of life, nature, activities done in Finland, crafts and design skills and some Finnish festivities that take place every year (ie. Midsummer market in Marttinen).
How would you describe your experience?
I gained a lot experiences from the new people I met on the camps by sharing ideas with them: especially about their culture, their way of life at home, work and backgrounds. In addition to this, local people introduced to us some activities that many of us had not done before. Working with people with special needs was another experience in which we had to co-operate closely together.
What would you say for others interested in volunteering or KVT?
I would like to say to others that, KVT is a real, interesting and friendly organization, which offers you the possibility to gain new experiences and learn new ideas from different people. Take a step and try it!
Kind regards, Julius.