Meet Simone

simone2After having finished my studies I wanted to expand my view of the world and gain some
new experiences. The idea of volunteering abroad is something I immediately fell in love with
because participating in social work in a country whose language I don?t speak and I don?t
know much about seemed like a big challenge, but it also pledged numerous adventures and
the great chance to grow personally and professionally.
Different ways of life, cultures, social matters and issues of ethnicity and identity intrigue me
much. When I heard of the project ?Youth for diverse Europe? I therefore felt that I have to
take part in it. To me, working in an environment with people from any side of the planet,
from heterogeneous social backgrounds and with different abilities is a very enriching
experience because there is a continuous process of knowledge and experience sharing which
broadens your mind. Amongst others, that is a reason why I decided to do the EVS.
Besides, it offers lots of prospects for gaining new competences. For instance, improving my
language skills is a big aim because language is an important tool in order to create a link
between people and to understand why they act like they do. This applies particularly in view
of the fact that in today?s globalised world multilingualism is more vital than ever.
During my EVS I work for an association, which aims to strengthen Jewish identity and helps
raise awareness of diversity and anti-discrimination issues. One of the many projects realized
by my hosting organization is a venture called ?Anti-Semitism is not an opinion?. I think this
project provides a great chance to break down prejudices, to put the own ideas and
perceptions into question and to think about social constructs such as culture or identity. I
consider that in the moment we are living right now, differences are widely seen as barriers
and things that should be feared. That is why it is particularly important to pay attention to the
benefits of diversity which is not really hard when you meet so many lovely people from all
over the world who make every day special and filled with fun.

Meet Paul

paul_criatian-2

My name is Paul-Cristian and I’m from Romania. Actually I’m from the heart of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca. I?m 24 years old, and at this moment the Vice-president International relations in ASTRU CLUJ. – Greek Catholic Youth Association from the Eparchy of Cluj-Gherla.

I came here not because I felt the need to do something new, but because I wanted to grow in all the ways possible. I wanted to make a difference around me and in my own life.

Before coming here I was working in my volunteering activity with youth and children.  And here my growing process starts because here I work with mature people with mental disabilities.  To be sincere I was expecting to be more difficult but what I can say for sure is, that you know how to work with children you know how to work with every single person.

I really like this city and I can?t wait to have more time after WYD (World Youth Days) Krakow 2016. To visit it and find more interesting places and events. This is what I like this EVS (ERASMUS +)  project, he does not limit you, but he actually give you an open door to do more and more and the possibility of getting involved in all the volunteering activities you?ve always dreamed of  being part of.

In this EVS (ERASMUS +) I?ve got the chance of meeting great people, of learning cuisine of beautiful countries from Europe. But not stopping at activates for this EVS project I got the chance of making friend from all the continents of the earth.  I really feel until now that I made a great choice.

 

Meet Balazs

14249039_1157288314328508_1448506664_nI will tell you a story. … Have you ever heard this hit? I have. Rather let me tell you what was in my suitcase when I arrived to Cracow, Poland.

First of all, every good story has some dates. So it started on 2nd of May 2016. and I was angry then because I had my 26th birthday which meant I could not travel cheaper anymore. 5 days later I moved to Poland.

Before that I packed everything in my luggage and started to check what I have. There was  my underwear, my shirts, towels and my fears as well as my 300 English words that I already knew. Yes, the rest and the grammar forgotten somewhere in the dark past. My fears were real because I have never been abroad even for vacation. Besides, do you know what does this mean if you were born in Hungary? Exactly. You’ve never ever seen any sea or ocean. Eventually, it wasn’t a big problem thanks to the other awesome volunteers.

Here is another unimportant data: 07th of May 2016. I got off the bus in Cracow to work with disabled adults. I just occupied my new place and my first way guided to a house party where everybody spoke English. Nowadays I call it good experience, but back then I thought I wouldn´t leave my safe flat anymore.

The ?next stop? was Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It was the part of my project and I had the best week of my life there. It was so impressive to meet another people from different parts of Europe, to find out that the Italians more or less can understand the Spanish and reversely, to learn that the Warsawians don’t like so much the Cracowians and to realize sometimes the hot chocolate is more expensive than 1 liter of beer.

I experienced what a pleasure is to be a Hungarian in Poland during the soccer European Championship. One time after the Hungary-Iceland match we were in the queue to pay with a huge Hungarian flag on our back when an unknown Polish guy came and said congratulations, it was a nice game. I watched the finals at Gdynia where I swam in the sea for the first time. Try to imagine how does it look like when a 26 year old child -I mean a man- see a real medusa for the first time. Obviously I will not tell you what happened when I saw the first pirate boat in my life.

Two months later I held my first workshop in English. I started to learn Spanish, met a guy who forgave me even if I didn’t ask for his forgiveness. Kayaked on the biggest river in Poland,  Wistula. (Keep calm I didn’t tell them our river is three times larger.) Saw an old woman in the park who trained her squirrel. The scariest thing was that the squirrel obeyed her. And felt on my own skin when the east block fall in love with the west between two rains. So this is the turbo version of my first 4 month of EVS.

Now maybe you are curious why I gave that title. A few days ago I was sitting on the toilet at my workplace when one of our teachers came and knock on the Heaven’s door and asked me: Kto to jest? (Who are you?) So what should I answer? Guys forget the movies, Poland is THE country where everything can become a reality. Don’t forget, dream big and make it bigger! 😉