Meet Ivana

Ivana Pejić, 25. Psychologist (master degree in progress). ?Made in Yugoslavia?. Living in Serbian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hometown ? Banja Luka. Current residence ? Krakow, Poland.

Ivana P (3)Turtle in my workplace

Ivana P (4)Exhibition of our EVS Project “Spread the light”

Before coming here, I was studing but also volunteering in center for kids with limited mental abilities. With one friend I was leading drama section. Deep down, I felt like I need to change something in my life. I was looking for scholarships to start again my master in different country. I was bored and unhappy with educational system in Bosnia and in general with life there (I still am). One day I was sitting in front of my computer and in the ?sea? of posts and shared stuffs on facebook I saw ?IT?! My sending organisation (Zdravo da ste) shared a post about EVS project in Krakow. They needed someone urgently. I applied. Next thing I know, I am waiting for the exact date to come to Krakow.

Here I am.


Last more than a half year my life changed drastically. First time living abroad, separated from family and friends for a long time, having flatmates (Rondo <3) ? ?Spread the light? is the name of the project that I am part of. I am working in a place named Gaudium et Spes (I changed my workplace, from Warsztaty Terapii Zajęciowej to Środowiskowy Dom Samopomocy but it?s still Gaudium).

What is my work exactly? I am not working by myself. I am helping. Helping therapists in daily care of disabled people, helping disabled people to feel good and making their life a bit easier and happier (at least while they are at center during the day), helping them to complete their tasks (writing, painting, reading, sawing?) and making relaxing time funnier with board games, cards or simply by talking with them. I am trying to have smile on my face during the work time because I now how important it is for them. But? I am not the only one who helps. They (therapeutists and participants) are also helping me. My Polish language is getting better every day. My creative skills are improving. Step by step, I am getting stronger in every possible way. Also, other volunteers are helping me by improving my English skills, communication skills, adaptation skills, accepting the differences, ?thinking outside the box?, learning new languages without leasons? Thank you all for that! So, till middle of February, maybe not always punctual but I am spreading the light in Gaudium et Spes, Środowiskowy Dom Samopomocy, and in general in Krakow 🙂

Ivana P (1)Trip to Skawina

Ivana P (5)

My working place Środowiskowy Dom Samopomocy (SDS)

Even if I still don?t know what to do whit my life after this EVS, and it kind of scares me (a little), I am happy. In general, this experience is great if you want to meet yourself better, to push your own limits, to meet new people from all different part of world, to travel, to find your inner peace, to shine bright, to spread the light,?

Meet Marianna

Hello there!Marianna_small

I?m Marianna and I?m 26 years old. I?m a French-English teacher by profession, I just finished my studies before I came to Poland. The reason why I decided to do an EVS is that I?ve never had much international experience in my life and I really missed it ? both as curious person and as a teacher because at school we always speak about tolerance and accepting others to the students…

…but how can you be credible saying this if you, yourself, have never left your mother land for a longer period to live with other people from other nationalities? This was the question in my head which oriented me towards EVS.

I?m working in Special Educational School where I assist teachers and help with the everyday necessities of the kids. I?m really happy because I got to know a very welcoming community who really appreciate that I am there and I?m trying to help despite the obvious language barrier and the fact that I?m not trained to work with kids like the ones at school.

Marianna at workMarianna workshop

Since I?m here I?ve learnt a lot of things for which I?m very grateful ? just some examples: I?m learning a language I?ve never imagined to start at all ? and I?m proud of my progress, approaching to the end of the journey I see quite clearly what I want to do with my life, I?m learning a lot about how I work in different situations and with different people. The good thing about EVS is, that without it, some questions and sometimes doubts would never arise but here under the tons of emotions ? often shocks ? you have to ask yourself: How can I solve this? What shall I do now? And the irony of asking yourself is that you have to provide the answer as well? Now I have answers. I have more answers than in the beginning of the adventure. I?m on the way to find myself ? this is what EVS can give you, which is; if you think about it, not a small thing at all.

Exhibition_Group of volunteers

EVS project “Spread the light”: Ivana, Bastien, Marianna & Antonio

Pictures taken by Katrin Pleus & private archive of Marianna (first picture).