Dream Team offers people a chance to do multicultural, low-threshold volunteer work

Mikko Kauppinen
Kuvaaja: Mikko Kauppinen
Mikko Kauppinen
Kuvaaja: Mikko Kauppinen

The international Dream Team of the Finnish Red Cross offers immigrants a chance to participate in multicultural volunteer work. The Dream Team provides people to low-threshold volunteer work where help is truly needed - such as working with seniors.

The Dream Team gives people a chance to take part in low-threshold volunteer work, such as taking  seniors with dementia for a walk. This type of volunteer work doesn’t require a mutual language; the most important thing is being present. It is invaluable for many seniors living in nursing homes.

Saara Väätäinen started volunteering two years ago. For Väätäinen acting as a volunteer brings much needed balance to her work life. Also the multicultural aspect of volunteer work feels natural to her.

“I wanted to make a positive impact on my surroundings. I went to the Finnish Red Cross Newcomers’ Night, and ended up leading a group activity in a nursing home within the same week,” says Väätäinen.

Nursing home is a good example of a low-threshold place where one can do multicultural volunteer work. Väätäinen volunteers in Mainiokoti nursing home, where everybody’s welcome to join the volunteer team. The volunteers take seniors with dementia out for a walk approximately once a month. After the walk, the volunteers and the seniors spend time together. Mutual language is not necessary.

“We have an active group of volunteers here in Mainiokoti. We’re of different ages and nationalities, but still like-minded,” says Väätäinen, who participated in organising the group activities for the first time last autumn.

“The best thing is noticing that you genuinely bring joy and meaning to the lives of those living in a nursing home. It’s also been fun to listen to the seniors’ stories about their youth,” adds the volunteer respectfully.

Mainiokoti nursing home has an active group of volunteers. They - or we - come from different age groups and cultures.

“As long as people are congenial, it’s enough,” Väätäinen outlines.

The Dream Team wants to highlight that doing volunteer work is not dependent on one’s age, gender, or cultural background. People from different backgrounds are a richness.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the Dream Team, you can join their Facebook group to see all upcoming events.