Volunteering Stories: My first EVS experience – by Orian

When I arrived in Baia Mare, I thought I was reviving my childhood when I saw this city completely covered by a huge blanket of snow. It had been a very long time since I had seen so much snow…

… it is in the city where I started my first experience as a volunteer in Romania in the « 4×4 » team.

Why Romania, you ask? Well if I had to answer in a few words, I would say it’s a country that I wanted to rediscover for its landscapes and its history, but also with the interest of observing the support provided in the psycho-social environment and non-formal education. The different practices implemented in those fields according to the country and its culture are, in my opinion, a source of professional and personal enrichment.

My first month as a volunteer for the association « Team for Youth » was an amazing and rich experience. On the one hand by being in contact with different types of populations (adults, teenagers and children) from different social backgrounds and with their own life story. And on the other hand, by meeting other volunteers, who are a source of learning, support and communicative cheerfulness.

Despite the fact that I don’t speak Romanian yet, it is still possible to communicate interactively with people even if we don’t speak the same language.

It was also a great pleasure to see how much I was welcomed by the T4UTH members, but also by the different people who are participating in our activities, who receive us with a big smile every week.

A word about the different institutions and people we meet every week: as a member of the « 4×4 », we work in several places, such as Esperando, this encourages us to be creative at each meeting for these people who are waiting for us impatiently. The orphanage, where children play with pleasure with us and even want to keep with them a ”hostage” every week when we’re leaving. And finally, the ”Tineri Atleti” and the ”Dance Therapy”, which are the opportunity to work with children with mental disabilities.

7 Orian EVS Stories Testimonial SEV4x4 (5)

Whatever the place we are working in, the contact with  people with different ages and with their unique challenges, allows us to create and reinforce links, but also to create a complicity allowing a greater openness of mind.

The beginning of this adventure makes me want to continue this wonderful journey!

Orian is a French volunteer and he takes part in the “SEV 4×4” project which is an European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission through Erasmus Plus program.  The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the article lies entirely with the author.

7 Orian EVS Stories Testimonial SEV4x4 (3)