On the 4th of December 2020 we celebrate International Volunteer Day, a day to thank all volunteers worldwide, in Finland, and in Luckan. Especially in such challenging times as with COVID-19, we want to appreciate the valuable contributions that volunteers give to their communities.
At Luckan, one way to volunteer is through the mentoring program FIKA. The program works to support the integration of newcomers to Finland, by pairing them with their own voluntary mentor. The mentor pairs begin a journey together, where they exchange experiences relating to job search, networking, society and culture. They also practice languages and do activities together, this year both in person and digitally.
A previous participant in FIKA, Susanna, reflects on her time as a mentor.
How did your mentor period begin?
During the first meetings I quickly noticed that we had a lot in common. My expectations were that I could help somehow, mostly with accessing the Finnish labour market. What I did not expect was that we would have so much to talk about, and become so close.
What did you get out of the program?
My mentee inspired me incredibly, because towards the end of the program she started her own business. During that time she asked me questions about employment laws and about how Finnish people think. I myself ended up learning a great deal.
Otherwise I have gotten many new insights via our discussions, since she has a different perspective than I do, having lived my whole life in Finland. The program introduced a new person into my life, and also gave me a chance to develop as a person myself.
Read the full interview in Swedish here.
A warm thank you to Susanna and all the volunteers that have made FIKA possible! If you are interested in participating, sign up for the 2021 round here.