- 9 July 2018
- Posted by: Team for Youth Association
- Category: Volunteering Stories
Hello, I’m Ella, I’m French and I’m 26 years old. I studied psychology in Bordeaux, France. I choose to do an EVS because I was a bit lost after my studies. I was looking for a new opportunity in order to expand my boundaries, gain experience, share thoughts and meet people who can have a great influence on my life.
My experience abroad is a good opportunity to achieve the main goals that I set for my personal growth – fighting against discrimination and exclusion, teaching in non-formal education, learning and communicating with other nationalities, improving my knowledge of foreign languages.
My objective for this project is to understand Romania’s culture, especially today because the country is in development process.
I’m here since April and my project is for 10 months. I’m in Team for Youth association, in Baia Mare, in the north-west part of Romania. Being volunteer in this city is an opportunity to be a spokesperson : talk about this unknown country for my compatriots. I can also give my time in a local project with an association who sustains my initiatives.
I will never forget my first day here because once arrived at the airport, I missed my bus. After three hours waiting for the next one, I was finally on the road. As the miles went by, highways and then cities were behind, then villages became fewer and fewer, sheeps and cows more and more and the roads wider enough for two vehicles. At this point, the adventure really began and I was wondering if I will be able to embark myself on the unknown. Because even if we know about the project before coming, everything is necessarily different once there.
Baia Mare is an active and involved city. Plenty of volunteers are keen to learn more about local culture and from abroad as well. Being here, my thoughts are that this experience is all about meeting and sharing knowledge and wishes.
I have the great opportunity to work with a very various audiences. Until now, I have worked in pairs with another volunteer. Firstly, and this is what I like the most, I’m working with gypsy communities by teaching to children how to read and do mathematics.
I particularly like to work with gypsy community because it’s a minority, really unpopular and with which I had very few contacts. I find myself very surprised by the way they accept help, motivation and also about desire of children to learn and share.
I’m also attending a teacher in kindergarten in her activities and attending teachers during their French lessons where I talk about French culture and language. I also really like French classes, which are for me a way to share my culture and my native language.
I’m working in other institutions like in an orphanage where we mainly do manual activities. It’s a good way for me to be creative and to increase my teaching skills.
And finally, I’m working with children with Down Syndrom to help them to improve their motor skills, working with adults with disabilities in an association which promotes social reintegration and also I’m working in a special school with children with behavioral disabilities.
I was also lucky to participate in a ”Discovery Day” with refugees in Romania, in my hometown.
I wish I could be able to fight the cliches about Romania, learn tolerance and increase the desire to discover other cultures to young Romanians. I would like to work on emotions and non-violent communication.
I really encourage everyone to do an EVS. I choose a ten months mission to be immersed in the country and to learn Romanian and improve my English. A well-chosen EVS is, I think, a real advantage for the career and probably a benefit if you want to reorient or give yourself a boost.
I feel support by my sending organization ADICE which prepares the return of the volunteers and proposes its help to maximize the missions abroad and also by my hosting organization Team for Youth Association.
It’s a great human experience and I’m feeling relieved because at least, for 10 months, I know that I fullfill a void in my life by doing something useful.