In mid-April 2023 we had an evening get-together in Helsinki with active members of the Home Accommodation Network sharing experiences and new ideas, and above all getting to know one another better.
We prepared a traditional Ukrainian dish, blinis (or crêpes or pancakes or just “lettu”…) with vegetable and sweet stuffings and had dinner together in HelsinkiMissio´s facility on Albertinkatu. As there were many Ukrainians present, we had plenty of skilled people to flip the pancakes.
Home accommodation providers were present, as well as those staying or who had stayed before in home accommodation. Some participants have experience of organizing aid and donations to Ukraine even long before the 2022 war. Various experiences came up: several trips to Ukrainen, transporting people, accommodating and adopting furry friends like cats and dogs from Ukraine and studying Ukrainian language.
Naturally also sore subjects come up in a gathering of people who have fled war, for example the constant worrying over loved ones. But also the other side of humanity, generosity and people opening doors of their homes. Luckily being together and doing things hands-on boosts wellbeing.
Some participants are more interested in volunteering possibilities. There are plenty of volunteer roles and everyone can utilize the skills they have.
The network activity is more than offering home stays. Language skills are always useful as well as becoming a content provider for the network. In the springtime we also welcome volunteers to participate in big events like Maailma kylässä and Mahdollisuuksien tori.
Photos by award winning young photo journalist 2022 Outi Neuvonen. Outi has been photographing Home Accommodation Network´s activities along the way since the network started in 2015.