Welcome Emmi, our new volunteer from Finland

Welcome Emmi, our new volunteer from Finland

Hello, I am Emmi, a 23-years old girl from Finland. I live in a city called Jyväskylä in Central Finland, but originally I am from a small town in the Eastern part of the country. I recently completed my University Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences with Social Work as my major and after that I have been starting my Masters studies. As a person I am passionate about societal issues and working towards a more just and equal world. I also love winter sports, nature, cooking, good wine and deep conversations.

Growing up I’ve developed a strong enthusiasm for exploring the world and getting to know people from different backgrounds. I consider myself very fortunate for having had opportunities to expose myself to new environments and new perspectives. It might be a cliché, but honestly I think that travelling and the people I’ve met travelling have been my greatest teachers in life. There is this certain feeling of unknown and stepping out of your comfort zone in being in a completely unfamiliar context, that makes one face their own insecurities and humble oneself. At first it might feel unpleasant, but at the end it can be very fruitful for one’s personal development.

So what else brought me here apart from my enthusiasm to explore? I had been feeling very unmotivated with my studies for a long time and also unsure about what direction I want to go with my life. I had planned a student exchange for this spring and, not so surprisingly, it got cancelled because of the pandemic. I found myself in a situation where I really needed a break from my studies but I had no vision of how I should do it. VCS and the project with it seemed like an answer to my wishes to take a break and do something creative and completely different from my usual study work. So, I quit my part time job, didn’t sign up for any university courses and packed my bags. And now I am here in Macedonia, eager to receive what this experience has to offer for me.

It is my fourth day in Macedonia right now and I aim to stay for 2 months working with VOICES and hopefully other activities with VCS as well. I am new and lost here but my heart is full of joy by the warm welcome and genuine caring I’ve received so far. I’m a bit scared but also very excited about the time I have ahead of me. So anyone reading this, keep your thumbs up for me! I wish you a happy day with many smiles, safe from the virus! Hugs!

Emmi Rissanen