28 May

“The best thing has been the people”

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Finnish Red Cross arranges every year a basic training for youth delegates. This year the training brought together 30 young people from Kenya, Argentina, Estonia, Jordan, El Salvador and from all around Finland.

For Cecilia Pensar participating in the youth delegate training was a logical step to take.

– I want to go abroad and work in another country in the future. In the training we’ve done a lot of different kinds of group works which have been really useful. First of all I’ve learned what I could do as a facilitator. I didn’t realise before, how important it is for a youth delegate to know how to arrange activities like plays and presentations. Besides that, it’s been beneficial to get to know more about myself. The group works that we’ve been doing here have given an insight on how I might react in different and new situations.

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– Sauna! First I thought it was weird, like who really enjoys it. But the part when you go swimming and feel the blood running in your veins because of the change of the temperature is really relaxing, Patrick Kibe laughs when he’s been asked to describe the experience of being in Finland for the first time.

Kibe has been a volunteer in the Kenya Red Cross for seven years. He’s especially interested in the youth involvement and youth engagement and wanted to learn about youth activities in the Finnish Red Cross.

– I feel like I fit in here among these people. I’ve had amazing conversations with them and it’s been great to meet people who share the same ideas.

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– I came here because I want to have an opportunity to work abroad and I wanted to learn new things about the Red Cross. It’s been great to meet people who are active in so many ways. The training has also inspired me to do more voluntary work in the Red Cross’ domestic activities, Katharina Marbach says.

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Jenniffer Aguilar has been working in the Salvadorian Red Cross for almost two years.

– Salvadorian Red Cross has the same kind of challenges that Finnish Red Cross has. It has been great to talk about them and get new ideas to develop our activities in El Salvador. I also have got more motivation to help people by doing voluntary work, she tells.

It is the first time for Aguilar to be in Europe and Finland. She’s grateful that she had the possibility to participate in the training.

– It is so different in here compared to my home country where safety is for example a big issue. The nature, food and people have been amazing. I’ve enjoyed everything about the trip.

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– Best thing about the course has been the people in here. I’ve enjoyed hearing about their experiences and hopes. While working as a Red Cross youth delegate I could make a change in a sustainable way, Sara Mähönen tells.

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Jutta Linna has been a volunteer in the Finnish Red Cross for around one and half years. She suggests every young person to learn about the domestic activities of Red Cross before participating the youth delegate training.

– I came here to obviously learn more, but also to figure out if I’m capable of working abroad. I know, I wouldn’t be ready to go everywhere, but I’d like to participate in development projects and plan activities for young people in different countries. It’s been a really intensive course and I think participating in it is a good way to see if you’re ready to go abroad on a mission, Linna says.

Paula Pihlava

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