Great closing event for the EYV Tour in Helsinki!

A huge market place was set up for more than 60 organizations on the “Kamppi square” in front of the European Commission Representation´s office on Saturday aimed at engaging the general public. Meanwhile, inside the building, many interesting presentations and activities were held.

On Friday many different presentations, workshops and debates were held as part of the EYV Tour stop in Helsinki. Just to mention a few examples of the different types of organizations and topics presented:

  • “Neuvokeskus” in Finland helps divorced single parents cope with the new situation in their life. They have published a “Parent card” in Finnish, Swedish, and English which contains information about the related laws, advices and tips on how to be a good single parent.
  • A study with the title “In volunteering 1 euro is 6 euros” carried out by the  Ruralia Institute – which is an independently administrated expert institute from the University of Helsinki- was presented.  The study was based on the feedback of four of the most important volunteering organizations in the country and demonstrates how much the different tasks in organizing volunteer work done by organizations would normally cost if it would be carried out by non volunteer organizations such as government.
  • The Nuorten Akatemia/ Youth Academy, which one of the biggest national organization supporting young people (13-19 year olds) in the country conducted a workshop about youth and how much they can learn by participating in voluntary work. According to studies, youth (and adults) often learn more in voluntary service than in formal education, when taking into account the social skills etc.  The organization works to encourage Finnish youth to do voluntary work as young people have an amazing will and potential to help. One tool they created is a website to help make voluntary work more visible for the youth (see the link below).

The scenario changed on Saturday morning, when more than 60 organizations moved to the square and transmitted their energy and enthusiasm to the general public about their activities. All age groups could find opportunities to volunteer in the future or ask for more information and assistance that day:

  • Active seniors helped other seniors deal with new technology such as mobile phones, emails etc., because sometimes its better when someone their age explains (as their grandchildren might explain these things too fast).
  • The Finnish Red Cross brought their bus to receive blood donations and -in a form of a quiz- helped people to find out how much their help is needed.
  • On the central stage music performances and different entertainment took place.
  • One of the Ambassadors for the Year, Ms. Aira Samulin, told a few great stories of her visits to senior homes where she enjoys talking and listening to residents. She is 80 years old and will never retire from volunteering as it is her lifestyle.  She is a very positive person and is very well known in her country. 

Towards the end of the afternoon, the EYV Tour stop organizers handed a rose with a thank you note with a poem from Juha Itkonen to each and every volunteer.

Sursa: europa.eu/volunteering

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