Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has participated during spring 2015 in several discussions on the relationship between voluntary work and studies. For example in February the experiences of the KAMU project were presented in the KANTU (Research and develop of the civic society) Seminar and in May in a workshop arranged by the Amigo project co-ordinated by the Helsinki Deaconess Institute.
In autumn 2015 Metropolia continues to develop the Learning through Service and Volunteering Model. In a new project called Verkkovirta (2015-17) organisations from various fields are engaged and the network is expanded to continue the work started during KAMU. The project is co-ordinated by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and funded by the European Social Fund. Co-operation partners include for example Citizen Forum as well as OK Study Centre.
The activities in KAMU project were crystallised in the Final Seminar of KAMU in this manner: it developed a new pedagogical model, which makes use of voluntary work and developed participatory methods for example to support the language learning of immigrants.
An important aim of the project was to link voluntary work with the studies of University of Applied Sciences. This was being developed while carrying out KAMU-buddies activities. Through KAMU-buddies activities the Keskuspuisto students were able to e.g. get support to their Finnish language learning as well as starting a new hobby, while Metropolia students learned more about voluntary and client work.
A student of Social Services, Paula Kallio participated in KAMU-buddies activities and visited museums, a library, exhibitions and a bowling alley with her buddy. She commented her experiences: “Sometimes co-operation with a KAMU-buddy just didn’t seem to get going. We were facing issues related to integration and cultural sensitivity. There may have been conflicting perceptions on gender roles or just different life situations in either way.”
“In the end it was interesting to notice how things which affect our collaboration aren’t eventually caused by cultural differences. It was important to realise how diverse group also us, the Finnish students are,” she continued.
“An internship in voluntary work gives a student a good view of the future profession as well as develops the co-operation, communication, leadership and interaction skills. Voluntary work gives an opportunity for students to reflect their values and starting points as a future professional, and to strengthen their professional identity,” concluded Matti Rajamäki, a co-operation partner from Kalliola Settlement.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Suomi.