Tapola Camphill Village Community (FIN-35)

Type: Health: Disability - Country: Finland

Brief description and main aims

Tapola Camphill village community is a vibrant living and working community for adults with special needs. We have 49 residents and all together the same number of coworkers, families and volunteers.

Main Activities

Tapola has eight homes, a farm and various workshops such as weavery, cheesery, garden and herbal workshops, food processing etc. In Tapola we have a rich cultural life with different festivals and activities. Tapola’s aims and values are the well-being of all residents, developing a balanced community life, enabling for everyone an individual life and supporting self-determination – everyone is special and deserves acceptance, respect and love. We are also very aware of the surrounding environment and nature.

Volunteer tasks

The tasks Tapola offers are assisting in care work and guiding adults with special needs in their daily life in the houses, providing residential services such as meal preparation, cleaning and evening activities and also assisting and guiding the residents in the different workshops. Preparing for the festivals and other special occasions, running a Sunday cafeteria or arranging some freetime activities for the residents is also a part of the volunteer year. The volunteer’s role is to help, support and guide the residents and to be involved in the whole community in different ways. By living and working alongside with the residents the volunteer gets to experience how it is to share life with other people. To help to fit in the community Finnish lessons are provided regularly.

Volunteer requirements / Skills

The volunteer is expected to have an interest in community life and joining the common gatherings. A 1 year commitment is wished, since learning the language, getting familiar with the community life and Finnish culture may take some time. The motivation to live in a countryside community and meet everyone as an individual is important. Basic knowledge of housework such as cleaning and cooking and also taking care of other people are necessities. Tapola offers opportunities for the volunteers to be free to create something new and bring in their own skills and abilities into action in the form of e.g. music, sports, hobby groups and events.
Unfortunately, the physical environment of the workplace is not suitable and the staff does not have the resources to support volunteers with physical or sensory disabilities.


Tapola is sitauted in a countryside community in Niinikoski village, Southern Finland. We are 10 km away from the nearest town of Orimattila (around 16 000 inhabitants), 30 km from a bigger town of Lahti and 100 km from Helsinki. The public transportation from Tapola to Orimattila is limited, but from Orimattila the connections are good (bus, train). In addition, volunteers with driver’s license have an opportunity to use the volunteer car provided by Tapola.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

The volunteer lives in one of our eight houses together with residents and co-workers. Everyone has their own room, other facilities are shared. The basic necessities for living are provided. The houses are like small families, the meals are prepared and enjoyed together or cooking can be a task of a workshop.  All the houses and workshops are within walking distance from each other. Ten kilometers away is also the Tapola lakeside cabin, which can be used together with the house community or if available also with friends and families.

More Information

Usually 2–3 volunteers

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