Volunteering Stories: The power of volunteering – by Arianna

Every time that I move to another country there is a moment that I like so much. I am talking about that moment when the plane is landing in a new country and I ask myself: who am I now and who will I be at the end of this adventure? I just love to think about it, because it is so unpredictable. I have no clues, only some expectations.

Now, that I am in the middle of the project, I can start to think about all the amazing things that happened in  the last  months. But, let’s go step by step since the beginning. I remember the reaction of people, how they looked at me when I told them that I wanted to quit my job and come to Romania. Not everyone was totally supportive, I faced the stereotypes that people have regarding Romania, but I was motivated to come here and see with my eyes what is actually true and what is false. Guess what? Most of the people have a distorted vision, Romanian people are not all Rroma. Romanian people are very welcoming. The people always tried to help me, even if their English is not so good. They are curious about myself, they want to speak with me and I can see that they really appreciate when I try to say something in Romanian, even if  I say it wrong. This is not a dangerous country. Romania is a beautiful country with good food, a lot of traditions and amazing landscapes. I think it is a country that you must visit once in your life. I am happy because from now on, I will speak with people and tell them how Romania really is.

Since I am here, I have became a volunteer. In my opinion a volunteer is somebody that, with his story and his motivation, is willing to dedicate his time and energy to help other people that have less opportunities. Volunteering is about waking up everyday knowing that, with one small thing at a time, you have the power to create an impact and make the difference. It is a wonderful way to use your time. While working in T4UTH I have met amazing and inspiring people that dedicated their life for a purpose. I am proud of being just a small piece of the puzzle of T4UTH. My project is about promoting human rights to youngsters and I love it! At the beginning I was insecure, I didn’t know if I were the right person to talk about such important topics, but I really  believe in it and this is what really matter. I want to fight to guarantee to all the people the same respect, dignity and rights.

Volunteering is the most enriching experience that I had so far. Every day I discover something about myself. I have met new people from different countries, I have tried new food, I  have discovered new music.

New, new and new! I have to admit that it is not always easy but the moment you learn the most is when you are in difficult situations. I found out that communication is essential in these cases. I realized how important is to listen and ask one million questions. I learned the importance of sharing your fears and asking for help when you need it. I saw another reality, and this changed my personal vision. I hope in my life to change my opinion as many times as it is necessary, and to not stay closed. The more you know the bigger picture of the reality you will have  in mind. The world is not black and white, you will never be completely wrong or completely right, there isn’t only one solution to a problem, and a multicultural environment is so powerful, this is the key. I also understood how much education is fundamental, without it we have no future. And you understand it only when you see that education is not so obvious to everybody. I can’t imagine myself without all the knowledge that I acquired in 16 years of school, in 2019 there are still children with no access to school and this is so unfair.

One day I went to a high school to promote volunteering, I was sharing my experience and I told to the students that I decided to do an EVS because I needed to understand what I want in my life. Then a student asked me: “And now, what do you want to do?” The first answer that came up to me was: “another volunteering”. I will never regret the choice I made and the best part is that there is so much more coming, this is just the beginning. I suggest to everybody to do the same. If the only reason why you go to work is to earn money for your holidays there is a problem. You have only one life, your time is important, don’t waste it! Feel free! Go for it! Explore yourself, test yourself, find yourself.

Arianna is from Italy and she is volunteering in the ”CarnIVale” project (short: CIV). Here in Baia Mare she will have activities in the upcoming months related to promoting non-formal education and discussing about themes such as: human rights, gender equality, and inclusion of minorities, volunteering, intercultural learning and foreign languages. The project is supported by the European Union trough the Erasmus Plus program and implemented by Asociația Team for Youth Association in partnership with 5 other organizations from Italy, Poland, Spain, Portugal and France.