One of the key aspects of Kurki Ecovillage is that it is centered around community living. The people in the village all participate in some way to strive for an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable life, where human activities can harmlessly integrate into the natural world. People coming together to work towards common goals like this is beneficial for many reasons. Humans are social animals, so being part of a community creates a sense of belonging, the feeling of being accepted somewhere, of being part of something greater. In this way it can promote mental well-being. But communities aren’t just valuable for the individual, they’re also important for the collective. People can share their knowledge, skills and ideas to solve problems, however big or small they may be. The past couple of weeks we’ve experienced this first-hand, as we’ve been working together to tackle some issues in the ecovillage itself, while also seeing how cooperation is needed to adress more significant societal challenges.
One of the more small-scale goals we share for the moment in Kurki Ecovillage is the renovation of Mankeli, the community building where we can go to hang out together (e.g. to sing karaoke, watch horror movies, have deep talks about the meaning of life) and where the community meets up to share lunch. It’s also the place where us volunteers prepare the lunch, so in order to keep the tradition of the community lunches going, we moved the kitchen temporarily to the place next to our laundry room.
Except for running water, we’ve got everything we need! We still prefere the kitchen in Mankeli though, and the people coming for lunch probably also prefere to eat in the warmth of the Mankeli building instead of the cold corridor next to our house. So, in the hopes of getting to organise karaoke evenings again as quickly as possible, we all join forces to get Mankeli back into use.
Joining forces is also necessary to face bigger and more serious problems in our society, and it’s what many people worldwide are doing right now in response to the terrible war that has been going on between Russia and Ukraine. At the moment that I’m writing this, more than 4,7 million Ukrainian citizens have left their country since the start of the Russian invasion, and everywhere, people have started all kinds of initiatives to help out as much as they can. Razom with Ukraine is a Finnish non-profit organisation in Tampere that is completely run by volunteers who want to support Ukrainian refugees. They receive donations like clothes and children toys and sort them so that Ukrainians can come by and take what they need. We went there to help out for a day.
As volunteers, we now fully feel how incredibly important communities are. People working together on a cause that’s important to them can strengthen bonds, facilitate problems, and, on a large scope, even drive social changes.
If you want to take a look at the Facebook page of Razom with Ukraine, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/razomwithukraine/