Help renovate a barn into a space for mindfulness. Short term help needed, in Uusimaa, Finland



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Edited 24th November 2020

    It is me, Atso, living in the timber built house and farm from 1940s just 50 km from Helsinki in a charming, culturally active city of Karkkila with 8500 habitants. The city centre is 10 km away and a vast forest area begins just from our the doorstep. There are great forest paths starting in just the corner of the property. My family used to run a dairy farm some 20 years ago, and the big space in the barn has been renovated as a space for gatherings, parties and theatre performances already 15 years ago. Now my aim is to further develop the barn and the other buildings as course and retreat centre. I want to use natural buildings techniques and started to study clay construction in March 2020. This knowledge I am happy to share and in the spring time the hands are needed for different projects. This fall we underwent a big change as my mum moved out from the farm to an apartment in the centre of the city. While writing this I am not yet sure who all will be living here, on what basis. Propably there will be a mixture of workawayers and my friend(s) but my aim is to make this place a great home, whether one stays here for short time or longer period.

    After working and travelling +10 years abroad and around in Finland on and off, myself, I now want to continue the maintenance of the house and its' surrounding buildings as a long-term perspective to create it as a sustainable course center for all kinds of activities which elevate mind, body and soul. Therefore I'm focusing my daytime for this project at the moment. There is, of course a lot to do but I have decided to make this project as a life-long project!

    Since 2002 I have actively been studying yoga, ayurveda and different perspectives in the area of personal growth. As licensed teacher of Home Economics in the Finnish and Swedish school systems I have a wide understantment how to influence and make a positive change on individual and communities. I do regard myself as excellent cook and are happy to share this knowledge as well. Diet here consist of about 80 % vegan and around 20 % fish, eggs and dairy. I can go 100% vegan, at the times too, but industrial substitutes I want avoid. Also whenever food is imported there is always the question of how it has impacted the place it is produced in. I highly regard Finnish products with exotic spices. I speak English, Swedish, French and some Russian and other latin languages such as Spanish and Italian. I also dance and train theatre on a professional level.

    I prefer that you as guest living in our house straightforwardly tell "Do you want your eggs stirred, fried or shaken". I am extremely sensible and genuinely want that you enjoy during your stay and I also know that small things count so please be frank and clear what you want, how you want it and when you want it. I try to do likewise myself too. Clear communication is the key point to every success stories! :D Sometimes it is challenging but let´s learn all together!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I have done a lot of volunteering myself; in France, England and Canada. For me it has been a great way to learn about myself and how I interact to the environment and in the world. The environment I want to create at our home holds a lot of importance in these same principles; personal growth, finding own strengths etc. Lately I have found sharing circles as a simple way to listen and to be heard what one has to say. Besides what living together and all the other activities may come forth, all the other means of tuning in with the help of yoga, dance, music, culture etc. are very welcome. I practise Art of Living breathing exercises daily so if you know them we can do them together in the mornings!
    As food, theatre, natural building methods and sustainable living are close to my heart there lies a great potential for you to learn in those areas, as well.

  • Help


    The type of the help will be depended about the weather. The fall time before the snow falls is often rainy, windy, dark and moist but also sun peaks up sometimes.
    The different activities and tasks may be carried out according to ones´own interest also.

    a) Sorting out the goods in the barn upstairs.
    b) There is painting and building projects going on on a continuing basis. Depending of the talents and interests of the workawayer these will be carried out.
    c) Multiple tasks may be done during the same day. Different kinds of maintenance projects will be done in the garden and in the buildings.
    At the moment I will be off the farm from Wednesday until Friday on my clay studies. (excluding Christmas period 19th December-10th January) During those days you will either have days off or work independently, depending on the agreement.
    d) As there will be living 3-4 people in the same house, some household help will be needed as well, such as cleaning, cooking etc. We will prepare the food from the basic ingredients. This will be part of your daily volunteering quota.

  • Languages spoken

    Danish: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Finnish: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    Sami: Fluent
    Swedish: Fluent
    Russian: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    You will sleep in your own room upstairs or downstairs in the house. If there are more than 2 workawayers you will sleep in the same room. Another option is also to sleep in the old-timber hut on the yard (no heating, close by the silent village road) in the summer-time or in a tent.

    Indoor toilet and shower. The house and water is warmed by oats grown in the field next-door so consciousness in the usage of warm water is highly appreciated.

    We prepare the food almost always from the scratch, meaning fresh vegetables and legumes. We need to negotiate who will be responsible of each meal but we provide the ingredients and then plan who will prepare the meal. It often does not take more than 30 min to prepare. We recycle basically everything post-consuming so thank you having awareness for this.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Though the city of Karkkila is small with only 8500 habitants it has a great reputation as a cultural hub; Aki Kaurismäki and other film directors and artists with different talents keeping it as their nest. Kayaking, hiking and fishing lovers find great terrains for their favourite activities also. It is much your own activity to ask what you want to do so I can find it for you. If you are performing artist or want to show what ever talents we can also organise a show!

    Helsinki is close and there are different activities in the city of Karkkila as well, I know a lot of people so I am sure what ever you wish for can be carried out. At home you may walk in the forests nearby, read the books I have, most of them from the area of food, personal growth etc. Again, this may also be the time to use internet how you need to. However, the usage of internet should be in moderation, I do not have an internet modem and I wish the phones are turned off during the night.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    There is space behind the barn providing electricity.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Can not really say this for sure. We have never had animals inside the house and may like to stay that way in the case of allergenic people to come around. There is space for the animals In the barn, if needed.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, excluding 1 hour lunch siesta but including help in the kitchen and other cleaning in the house, 5 days a week (max 25 hours) This 25 hours may also be divided on shorter amounts of days, e.g. 3*8 hours

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Host ref number: 229696492694