EVS Stories – Beyond the borders

Today is my 50th day in Baia Mare or in my new world “beyond the borders”. I had 50 different, wonderful and amazing days until now. I woke up and went to sleep 50 times in that world with varied experiences.

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Umut and I am from Turkey. In this testimony, I will not explain what EVS is. Moreover, I will not explain the activities as a volunteer. You know already. I would like to talk about only three things that are borders, goodness and “the puzzle”.

At the beginning; you may think that the first rule for going abroad is having passport, visa or identity card. You also think that you need translators or need to know local language. No! After the EVS, Romania and fantastic people, you can figure out that your passport is your heart and faith instead of scrap of papers. I am sure that your smiles will work as a translator.

Moreover, I know that you have stereotypes. To be honest, I also had stereotypes before coming here. They were about people in Romania, traffic rules, communication, money and the other insignificant things. Come on, you will see that you may overcome your worst (ethnic) enemies. But how? With wonderful and amazing people in here. With incredible nature. With Baia Mare… The people in here are not as you thought. The life in here is not as you thought.

”Just break your chains and look beyond the borders. You will see the real, pure and gorgeous world.”

Secondly, I am also working in Turkey as a volunteer in children foundations. I always think how it is difficult to help foreign children. I had come to here with these doubts. Now, I can clearly say that goodness has no color, ethnic, language, age, gender and all other different separations. I had worked with Romanian local volunteers. I had worked with people who are coming from different countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Estonia, etc. I had worked with people who have different religions. I had worked with people who are from 17 to 29 years old. Furthermore, I had lived with Turkish, French, Italian, Spanish and Hungarian volunteers at the same flat. I can say easily that all volunteers try to do their best with people who need help in here. You absolutely should know that goodness and volunteering are the only investments that never fail.

Finally, I would like to talk about a ”piece of puzzle”. Think about the 40.000 pieces of puzzle. You already know each piece is so important in that. So there are 40.000 international non-governmental organizations in the world and one of them is T4UTH. I feel honored therefore as a part of that huge and precious puzzle. If you would like to be a volunteer, Team for Youth Association is the best address for that. People in here always are trying to understand you.

”They try to give their best to you since they trust you to do your best.”

I would like to thank T4UTH for helping people, local and foreign volunteers –my sisters and brothers- for pure friendships, my mentor for fabulous times, my flatmates for real intercultural memories. As my French flatmate said that “first of all it was only ‘Baia Mare’, at the end of it was `My Baia Mare’.”

Thank you My Baia Mare! Thank you Romania! Thank you EVS!

31 Umut Beyond the borders (1)

Umut Oren is volunteering in Baia Mare as part of the project ”Time To Evs”, a 2 month European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus Plus Programme.