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Volunteering with pets

Pet dates, dog besties, therapy llamas… animals can be included in volunteer work in many ways. For example many volunteers visit retirement homes with their dogs regularly.

Volunteering with pets is appealing to youth as well. The initiative Jeesaan (Finnish slang for “I help”) organizes volunteer work courses for young people, and some of them found the idea of volunteering with their pets very exciting.

Tikkurila High School student Emmi decided to volunteer with her dog. Emmi loves animals, so combining volunteer work and dogs seemed appropriate.

A suitable volunteering opportunity was found at the Finnish Red Cross’ pop up events that are organized every week at the Tikkurila youth house in Vantaa. The Red Cross employees plan and execute events together with young people and were happy to include Emmi’s idea of a pet date.

The evening consisted of pet talk and a small quiz among other things. Emmi’s dog Pablo was naturally the star of the evening. The pleasant atmosphere inspired plenty of talk about pets.

Watch Emmi’s interview in Finnish on YouTube. You can read more about the pop up events in Finnish here.

Text and photo: Aino Kostiainen

Translation: Tiia Tsurkka

The writer is the planner of the Jeesaan initiative. Last fall the initiative organized volunteering workshops at Tikkurila High School and Vantaa Vocational College Varia. Stay up-to-date on the initiative and its events on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@jeesaannuoret)!

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