KPEDU adapts to different situation, and thoughts are in the future
Despite the COVID-19 limitations, Kpedu rethought and reshaped its activities. This spring has been very different time for the VET provider, which is very active also in international actions. Of course, the COVID-19 has had a quite large impact on daily work, and the main reason is naturally lack of mobilities. But thoughts are in the future! In internationality the staff of Kpedu has focused on its international strategy, taking more digital leaps, communications, new projects and so on. Kpedu is the third active sending organisation of student mobilities (in proportion to the number of students) in Finland and the intention is to keep that level also in the future. They have applied many new projects and as soon as Corona is not the issue anymore, they are ready to start mobilities and other actions again.
Even if the mobilities are down, there are still some cases going on. At the moment Spanish volunteer worker Alejandro Santonja is in Kpedu, Kannus Unit. He started his period last Autumn and will finish it in Summer 2020. COVID-19 did not force him to travel back to Spain. It was perhaps more safe him to stay in Finland and carry on the volunteering period here. Of course The staff of Kpedu had to re-plan the daily tasks as he was mostly working with students and in the student dormitories and now all students are away, as schools are closed. Otherwise his period has succeeded well, since he is now working in the school kennel, taking care of animals and enjoying it!
“My journey started in the middle of September. From Spain to Finland, the first big change that I had to deal with was the cold”, says Alejandro. “Here was 9 and meanwhile in Spain I left 34 degrees. The second thing was the green landscapes and forests that surprised me a lot, it is wonderful. I arrived to KANNUS, my new “hometown”. Everything was so different for me, for example the lunch time but at the same time was interesting to experience this change and new life style.
In general, the first months were in constant changes, when I was starting to get used to my new life, the first snow fall arrived. It was really lovely. I’ve never saw it that closely before. Then the nights became longer and the days shorter. It was difficult in the way that make you sad but also I was amazed because I never lived that before. Finland never ceased to amaze me.
I met my first friends here and started the first trip in Finland, to increase my knowledge about this interesting country. I visited Helsinki, Tampete, Lahti, Oulu, Kokkola and the lovely Lapland, Rovaniemi specifically. I went to forest places too; all was amazing for me because it’s completely different from Spain.
At the moment the spring is here. I can feel the sun again and I’m amazed one more time with the long days and short nights having only 5 hours of “darkness”. I’m waiting for summer. The snow is nice but it’s enough for now. I want to get rid of the coat and feel the sunshine. And I can repeat again, Finland won’t stop amazing me.” – Alejandro
In Kpedu there are also many development projects going on and because of COVID-19 we have moved from transnational live meetings to online meetings and carried on the project work. One ongoing project is DIME- Digital working life practices for Equine studies. DIME is Erasmus – funded KA2 strategic partnership project. As many other KA2 – projects, also DIME is applying additional time to implement the project till the end. Because of the Covid-19, Kpedu could not arrange the last project meeting in Spring 2020, so they postponed it and now next meeting is planned to be held in the Spring 2021.
In DIME project five vocational schools specialised in trot build a network to exchange experiences and practises in work based learning. The use of digital tools is in focus. A better international experience and better work safety for the students are some of the main results in the project.
Kpedu Kaustinen (FIN) is the coordinator of the two-year project and the strategic partners are: Wången (SWE), Norsk Hestesenter (NOR), Ecole des courses hippiques AFASEC Grosbois (FRA) and Ecole des courses hippiques AFASEC Graignes (FRA).
DIME project has been such a great project and this year a new DIME2 – KA2 innovation project was applied to carry on and deepen the good work of this network. So, despite the COVID-19, thoughts are quite positive and focus is in the future. This situation won´t last forever. Kpedu wants to send warm greetings for everybody, wishing to keep on the good work on the international level.
Photo: Kpedu Alejandro Santonja: Volunteer worker Alejandro Santoja and the first snow in Finland
Watch the video Alejandro in Kpedu Kannus