My experience at Familia ry intercultural families advocate association.
My time at Familia has been truly an enriching experience. Enrichening because of the range of tasks I have gotten to complete together with the other staff members, as well as every now and then getting to spread my own wings as an intern and independently work my way through situations. I say enriching also because of the various little nuggets of insight I have gained by working in an organization with this wide range of services offered to a client group as multifaceted as intercultural families. In addition, I have gotten to connect and cooperate with many organizations with different missions and clientele, as well as universities and Familia’s lovely volunteer base learning from each experience something new.
My internship was timed between summer and fall so experiencing the different seasons in the associations work was an interesting journey through the types of tasks all while maintaining my professional perspective as a social services practitioner (sosionomi). I got to apply my professional view not only in the practical outcomes of my work but also practice self-reflection in the light of the work and situations.
The summer was all about intensely focusing on one or two assignments and independently taking the time to get to know the organization, its history and having the freedom to try different things out in the projects assigned to me. I got to voice my thoughts and ideas in project meetings. I was included in the conversations as a staff member. I felt heard and I also got to hear others. Sometimes I was positively challenged in conversations, and I also got to challenge others. In my case, summer’s biggest task included connecting to volunteers and professionals around antiracism project and participating in coordinating its workshops (Ymmärretään yhdessä/Let’s Understand). I also got to work on some educational material on communication for intercultural couples, which opened my eyes to a whole new plethora of factors behind work among couples and more specifically intercultural couples.
Fall on the other hand, brought with it a different kind of “arki” or everyday schedule where some of the activities that were not active during the summer suddenly became a big part of the work. This part was more about learning to work within a larger staff community and finding one’s own place in it in the middle of deadlines and meetings. The different meetings and briefings offered me a front row seat to witness how this community of multidisciplinary staff each got to shine in our own area of expertise in the various activities Familia offers from peer groups to language classes, and independent projects such as the afore mentioned antiracism workshops or mental health projects including a webinar, I was given the opportunity to organize on the topic of intercultural women’s mental health in Finland.
This internship has taught me to be a part of a work community. A community that values its members as professionals with insight and experience, while also acknowledging the cultural resource each can bring to the table no matter how it may differ from the person sitting next to them. I learned to value a workplace where not only is the formal goal, to support and advocate cultures and diversity as an external goal, aiming at societal and structural change, but where we also include this same focus as part of our work culture and office environment. I saw an example of how not to be afraid to live out values at the coffee table. Oh boy, did we have some enjoyable “kahvipöytäkeskustelu” with different team members. I got to sit at the table with co-workers and volunteers with different life experiences and cultural perspectives from mine and feel included and welcomed as an intern, as an intercultural woman and as a human being beyond the labels and titles.
Thank you, Familia!
Summer- Autumn 2021
blogi - blog
Ajatuksia ja kokemuksia elämästä kahden kulttuurin keskellä.
Reflections and experiences from the life of intercultural families.
Toivotamme sinut lämpimästi tervetulleeksi osallistumaan blogiyhteisöömme: lue, kommentoi ja kirjoita!
Kirjoittajina voivat toimia kaikki kahden kulttuurin arkea elävät ja aiheesta kiinnostuneet. Kynnystä kirjoittamiselle ei tule nostaa liian korkealle ja kirjoittaa voi joko omalla nimellä tai nimimerkillä.
Blogissa esitetyt näkökannat ja mielipiteet ovat kirjoittajien omia, eivätkä edusta Familian kantaa.
Kahden kulttuurin arki on itsessään kiinnostavaa ja siitä kirjoittaminen voi avata myös itselle uusia näkökulmia!
Blogikirjoituksia voi tarjota sähköpostitse (info@ familiary.fi) tai yhteydenottolomakkeen kautta. Lopullisen valinnan julkaistavista jutuista tekee Familian henkilökunta.
We warmly welcome you to participate in our blog community: read, comment, and write!
Anyone who lives and works in the world of intercultural families and is interested in the topic is welcome to contribute. The threshold for writing should not be too high, and you can write either under your own name or under a pseudonym.
Keep in mind that the views and opinions expressed in the blog are those of the authors and do not represent the position of Familia.
The everyday life of intercultural families is interesting and writing about it can also open new perspectives for you! Your story matters and helps to raise awareness about the opportunities and challenges within intercultural families.
Blog contributions can be submitted by e-mail (info@ familiary.fi) or via our contact form. Final selection and edition of the stories to be published will be conducted by our staff.
Welcome to join us!