Hello! My name is Guille, I am from Spain and I moved to Finland in 2010 after spending the spring of 2009 as an exchange student in a Finnish university. I currently work in the social and education field and in my free time I do some sports, try to learn to play the ukulele and devote a little bit of my time to volunteering.
I jumped into volunteering by an invitation. Someone I knew was looking for a volunteer worker to spend some time with a person who wanted and who would benefit from speaking a foreign language every once in a while. So in short, once every three weeks we have a meeting at the cafeteria of the main city library. We have coffee, Finnish “pulla” and a conversation in English. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the meetings don’t usually last more than one hour.
I also volunteer about one weekend a month for the good of child welfare, and it is from this program where I heard someone voice my motivation to do volunteer work; there is so much bad stuff happening in the world that it feels nice to do a little bit of good. For me, the best thing about volunteer work is getting to know new people. Also, it is nice to realize that the outcomes and benefits are overwhelmingly bigger compare to the little time and effort I put. In addition, it is nice to know that this activities have a positive influence beyond the people I have contact with (for example, their relatives).
To people who are considering volunteering I would like to say that whoever you are and whatever your skills, you should know that everybody is suitable to be a volunteer and that however little time or energy you have to do volunteer work, it is more than enough. I also would encourage volunteers not to agree to do things they don’t feel comfortable with: setting your limits is an important part of your well being as a volunteer.