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 process. And for another small group we had a “puzzle solving murder mystery” -game, which was designed and prepared by a few Verstas members.
Verstas game lab Shift:
The game lab was a part of the Vertas centre I was particularity interested in seeing when the trip was being planned. It is definitely something I would like to replicate back in Cahersiveen. Ari gave us a wonderful taster of both the games the lab has produced and the software that they use. I know of quite a few younger people who would be in neither employment or training that would find a games lab style amenity a very attractive activity they could motivated to build a routine around. It also seems a very enjoyable way to try programming and see if would be something one could pursue either as a hobby or through further education. – James, Irish group Leader
I really enjoyed the game making. I found it very relaxing. It fun exploring the options available for changing the game. I found Ari to be a good teacher. I hope that we can do this back in Cahersiveen. – Gavin, Irish Participant.
Finnish language workshops:
“I was teaching Finnish language to the Irish at the workshop. It was hard at first, but then it went ok. I felt connected to the group during the teaching, and we had a few laughs.”
“I enjoyed it because we had a good laugh and fun. I laughed with and talked to some of the group members as we did all our activities together. I felt very happy. I learned about how the Finnish language works, and some facts about the culture/social norms.”
“It was really nice to run a workshop. The Irish were interested and everything went well. I talked much to people. It’s a warm feeling, when you are accepted and listened to.”
Solving the murder mystery:
“Great! The puzzle game was awesome!”
“It was very interesting to do.”
“It was interesting to see how the game works!”
“I hosted the murder mystery puzzle game. It was a bit nerve-wrecking being in charge of a group, but everything went well and the participants seemed to have fun! :)”
Professional meeting for the leaders
In the afternoon, some of the leaders went to the Sopimusvuori organisation headquarters to have a professional meeting. Sopimusvuori office space and workrooms are at the beautiful Lielahti mansion. At the mansion, the leaders met the organisation’s executive director Christa Rajanti. Christa talked a little about the organisations history, and all the different Sopimusvuori units. From there, it was a lot of discussion about mental health work, and the issues and challenges they face in Ireland, and compared the differences between the two countries. The conversation was very enlightened and productive.
While most of the leaders were at the professional meeting, Some of the leaders walked with the participants to the Vapriikki museum. Vapriikki is a really big museum building with many different exhibitions ( http://vapriikki.fi/en/nayttelyt/ ). There was something for everybody!
- “My first time in Vapriikki, with two participants whom I haven’t before hanged out with much. It was so nice that I didn’t have to be there alone. I talked much to people, it’s a warm feeling, when you are accepted and listened to.”
- “I had lots of fun at the museum. They had a very interesting collection of displays and different things. I laughed with and talked to some of the group members as we did all our activities together. I felt very happy.”
- “I loved every minute of the museum, highly recommend it. I learned about the finnish history and war. I also learned that Angry Birds was made in Finland!”
- “The museum was the best thing I ever saw. I learn so much, it was just amazing! I feel I’m a part of the group so much, I feel I’m fitting in so much!”