24/02/2010

Thoughts of volunteers

We were asked to give our thoughts on volunteering and our EVS experience so far for the newspaper EDRA is giving out and here´s what came to our minds...

NORA (Germany)-
Why did you decide to be a volunteer?
I decided to be a volunteer because I wanted to get to know another country, culture and language. Furthermore I really wanted to help people and to get some work experience in the social field to become clear about what I want to study. I wanted to broaden my horizon and to get into an intercultural exchange with people from different countries. Also the aspect to become more independent while living alone convinced me to become a volunteer.
How has your experience as volunteer effected your character, your life style, your behavior?
Through my experience as a volunteer I became more independent, ready to compromise and more open in general. The contact with other volunteers from different cultural backgrounds taught me other ways of coping with problems and to be more relaxed in certain situations. Moreover I learned a lot about mental health in my project and found out that I also want to study in this field. Altogether I think that I grew personally and that I strengthened my character and personality.

GEA (Estonia)-
Why did you choose EDRA?
I was searching for a suitable EVS project for me for quite a long time, because I had a clear idea in my mind that I want to combine this experience very practically with my studies in Estonia, with psychology. So after a thurrough search process, I found the project of EDRA and this presented me with opportunities I was looking for. Here I have the chance to work in the field of mental health, implementing the theoretical knowledge into everyday work and learning about the Greek mental health system in different levels.
Which are the qualities of a good volunteer?
Qualities that for certain should appear on the profile of a volunteer are openmindedness, readiness to face and deal with all possible kinds of challenges and, moreover, to learn from them, tolerance and flexibility.
My best experience so far as a volunteer....
My best experiences as a volunteer here in Greece are been realted to people I have met and the individual and of course cultural differences that I have faced. It amazes me constantly how unique we are and then again how similar in some ways. Living in a foreign country, and of course especially being an EVS volunteer here and therefore being in even more multicultural companies, has tought me a lot about people and about the different ways ofo communication between people.

SABRINA(Austria) -

In general, do you think that young people in Greece take part in voluntary actions?

On the one side, as I have been volunteering abroad for a longer time, I gained the impression, that there are not many young people that take interest in participating in a voluntary program that includes living abroad for a certain time. On the other side, it seems that some of the Greek citizens really would like to take part in a voluntary project that they can join in their country.

Some of the Greek citizens I met so far are very interested in what exactly I am doing here, what my project is about and why I am taking part in EVS.


Do young people in your country work as volunteers in general?


In Austria there are a lot of programs including the help of volunteers. As a young person you have always the possibility to make new experiences by joining those programs and to broaden your mind more and more. There is a big amount of portals where you can find some information about Voluntary Centres and organisations that search for volunteers. Mostly these programs are concerned in the field of Migration, Ecology, Support for people that live in Poverty and Mental Health.


Are you or will you be, or, continue to be a volunteer in your country?


As I enjoy my Volunteer – Experience a lot and as there are a lot of possibilities to join such programs in my country I am definitely thinking of doing something similar again. It would be great as well to do so in a foreign country.

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