Trip of a Lifetime!

Mark Coffey: We drove drove from Tralee to Tipperary we stop for food within the Dublin Airport to chicken or bags we think got the plane and flew to Finland when we got our bags and got on the bus to our hostel in Temple we got into our rooms at 3:30 a.m. in the […]

My Time in Finland: A personal journey by Eilish Barber

My time in Finland: Activities arrival at recess and being greeted and welcome to by the Finnish participants we introduced ourselves and played Icebreaker games to get to know each other a little more. After lunch we went for a walk around the city to get a tour of it. We were taken to a […]

Day 6: Marttinen – Conquering fears and supporting others

It was the first morning at Marttinen youth center. First morning in a strange place was pretty challenging. Besides that we managed to pull through. Then we went to breakfast. It was quite fulfilling. After breakfast our first activity for that day was a tour around the premises and getting to know each other. Then […]

Day 5: National Park Seitseminen

Sunday started with the Finnish group gathering at Verstas in the morning, all packed and ready to go, and the Irish group checking out of the hotel. The bus came to pick up the Verstas group at 10am, and continued to pick up the Irish group from the hotel. One of the Finnish participants were […]

Day 4: Teamwork – expressing and creating

Saturday morning started with grey sky and rain. But the warm atmosphere and morning activities in Verstas was more than enough to make us forget about the rain. Verstas participant Milla had a baking workshop for a small group. And for the larger group, Tuuli and Leena had a drama/theatre workshop.  Music and laughter filled […]

Day 3: Learning from each other

On friday we had many different workshops happening in Verstas. Some of the Finnish participants had prepared workshops, teaching the Irish participants some Finnish words and expressions. For a small group, we had Ari Lehtiniemi, the Verstas game lab Shift instructor with Finnish participant showing and telling the Irish group about the computer game making […]

Day 2: Connection through ART!

Yesterday we had four different art workshops at Verstas. The theme was all about connecting and solidarity. Participants took part in the different workshops to express their creativity and explore different ways of connecting and solidarity. For many of the participants it was their first time working in such a diverse group. At first they […]

Day 1: Smooth landing

The Irish came on Wednesday and we got to know each other  a little bit. First we did a short stroll through  the city. After that we went back to Verstas and relaxed for a little while. Next in line was cooking. We made a salad with three  Verstas participants and a few Irish participants. […]

Greetings from Ireland

At this stage I am very excited about this exchange to Tampere.  It has been a long journey with plenty of stones in our way, but we managed to walk around them.  Ireland has tightened its laws around vulnerable people considerably. Looking at the Irish history of institutionalisation, abuse and exploitation it is understandable. Secondly, […]