KVT, the Finnish branch of the SCI, organized their annual volunteer weekend this year with a Building Bridges theme: Middle East and migration. The weekend was funded by the Refugee Fund of the SCI which is available for all the SCI branches to apply. Altogether, 52 excited volunteers were present including camp leaders, short and long term volunteers, asylum seekers that took part in the Finnish camps and camp hosts. The main aim was to involve KVT volunteers with migrant background first time both in planning and implementing the event – in other words, not only organizing activities for asylum seekers but rather with them. During the weekend the participants discussed their volunteer experiences, found many new enthusiastic volunteers and heard inspiring and empowering stories either from the asylum seekers participated in KVT activities in Finland, or volunteered abroad in Middle East region. The participants also took part in different interactive workshops, such as “Multilingual Town” where they had a chance to learn some Arabic, Dari and Somali and “Comics Power!” where personal experiences of international encounters and voluntary work were turned into comics. The meals were a mixture of Somali, Iraqi and Afghan food and the evenings were dedicated to music and – as the weekend took place in Finland – sauna.
Story written by Suvi Helko, finnish EVS volunteer at SCI IS, thanks to the information on KVT Facebook page, October 2016.
Want to have your own workcamp experience? There are plenty of short term voluntary projects you can still join, just check our workcamps database!