Last January, three volunteers from Villa Elba took part in a short-term EU solidarity corps project in
Cawsand, England. The project split volunteers into three main groups; photography, sustainability, and renovation of an old boat for auction. Ella Koski was a member of the boat team.
CHALLENGING BUT REWARDING
She chose to join that team because she likes working with her hands, seeing the process, and that the money raised from auctioning the boat would be given to the local children’s hospital. She felt that she would learn the most from this team and she was not disappointed. She found the time interesting and challenging but in a good way. Despite this being her seventh time abroad, she still managed to be shocked during the process but also to experience so many great moments. She credits much of her learning to Malcolm, their supervisor during the project. She shared that he was a great and skilled older man who knew how to create a safe space for the volunteers. The local people and their openness also added to the positivity of the experience.
EXPERIMENTAL LEARNING AT ITS BEST
Ella has previously participated in another short-term ESC project in Hungary where she held Christmas handicraft workshops. Additionally, she has taken part in many youth exchanges in Jordan, Albania, Siberia, Ireland, Scotland, and around Finland. She chose to become a volunteer because she loves to travel, see new places, and be pushed outside of her comfort zone. She feels that she learns more from these experiences than from the classroom. The month in Cawsand again taught her new things; both practical skills and about herself. Learning does not stop when the work day is over, but takes place within the whole experience.
Writer: Ashten Gray,
social services student at Diaconia University of Applied sciences
and intern at Villa Elba