EVS Stories: The decision – by Martina Lolini (I)

I’m Martina, 27 years old, from Italy. I took the decision to do an EVS at the suggestion of my best friend. The last year was a little hard for me, a lot of things happened, some things beautiful and others not so much.

In September I felt a bit confused, also because in Italy there aren’t a lot of possibilities for youngster, my friend suggested me the opportunity of an experience abroad. I was a bit scared at the beginning, I don’t speak English very well, I haven’t had foreign experience before and I’m very close with my family, friends, places and routines. But as I said, I was confused and in these kind of moments I’m usually very impulsive.

I applied for this project, in a few days I had a Skype interview and in less than one month I left Italy for Romania. I’m glad about this fast way in which everything happened, because I didn’t had time to change my mind or to allow fears to take over.

When I arrived in Romania, one month ago, I was alone and it was night, but everything was easier than in my most optimistic scenario. I found a guy who helped me to get to Baia Mare from Cluj-Napoca and then, I met my flat mates and Steli, from Team for Youth Association. From the beginning, all the differences between my culture and the others haven’t been a barrier. During this month, I had the chance to make new friends from all over the world – the other volunteers, the guys from the association and for sure, the Romanian people I work with.

I am in a project called ‘Life Skills for Rural Education’ and, without formal methods, I teach English and Italian to youngsters from 3 years old to 19 years old. It is my first experience in these clothes (teacher clothes 🙂 ) but I am very thankful to the teachers and to the youngsters that try to understand me and help. Working with children is also useful for me, because they try to teach me Romanian. Beside these activities, me and another volunteer from Spain (Rafa, who arrived at the same time with me and we are in the same project) go one time per week in a center for disabled people where we do hand crafts, sing, act. Team for Youth Association organizes English and Romanian classes for us in order to communicate easier and to improve our knowledge.

It’s pretty early to talk about my experience in depth, but, in this month, I had the possibility to develop myself and to enter in a different reality where respect, multiculturalism and funny coexist.

I hope, at the end, all my doubts about myself will disappear and I will become a better person who can move and connect to different cultures. Because, in my opinion, EVS is a program for personal growth as well as a way to help the others.

Martina Lolini (Italy) is hosted in Baia Mare by Team for Youth Association, in the “Life Skills for Rural Education” project, a European Voluntary Service, financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus Plus Program.