Hauska tutustua! Nice to meet you!

 My name is Milla Puharinen. I come from Finland and I have been volunteering in Cape Town from September 2007. My sending organisation in Europe is ICYE (Intercultural Youth Exchange) and in Cape Town, South Africa my host organization is the Volunteer Centre.

The volunteer program I’m participating in is called the European Voluntary Service (EVS) program. Volunteer Centre placed me in their member organisations where I could volunteer. I was volunteering in three different organisations namely Beacon Valley Educare Centre and Heaven’s Shelter which are both located in Mitchell’s Plain and Lady Buxton crèche located in Claremont.

I really enjoy working with the children and through my different placements, I’ve learned so much – new nursery rhymes, games, ideas and new ways of teaching. Every now and then I have also been at Volunteer Centre’s Khayelitsha office assisting in special projects, for example the office launch in September 2007 and the arrival of the CWY – participants in December 2007. One of the highlights was the Office Volunteer Training I attended in Beaufort West, which I was fortunate to assist in October 2007.

Through my different tasks I’ve been able to see many different cultures in this beautiful country! Volunteering, especially in a different culture and in a different country than your own allows you to give of yourself. For me it meant sharing my own culture, understanding and learning new things every day, gaining a lot of experience!

Volunteering is making a difference – locally, nationally and globally.