Meet Zhaneta, a 21-year-old fashion designer whose life took a turn when she found an opportunity in Latvia. Despite language challenges, Zhaneta’s motivation secured her a spot, marking the beginning of a transformative journey.

In Latvia, she immersed herself in a vibrant community of volunteers, overcoming stress and embracing daily tasks. Working at a DSPC center for people with disabilities, she organized workshops and English courses, extending her impact to seniors and local youth through various projects.

Zhaneta’s story is not just about professional development; it’s a testament to curiosity, positivity, and a genuine desire to make a difference. Her journey in Latvia showcases the transformative power of personal growth and community impact.

My name is Zhaneta, I am 21 years old, and I have spent the last 7 months in Latvia, a small European country that has completely changed my life, views and goals. Being a fashion designer by profession, at some point in my life I realized that I wanted to change my life 180 degrees and connect it with people in order to help, care for and truly understand them. The project organised by FIOH, which I accidentally found on social media, seemed to me the beginning of a bright point in turning my great desire into reality.
After I was chosen, not with perfect English, but with great motivation, I met with the members of the organization and, after exchanging thoughts and ideas with them, I firmly decided that this was my big chance.
And here I am in Latvia. The first week was very stressful, as we immediately started preparing for trainings, but the people whom I met during the trainings( volunteers from different countries) completely changed my life.
When I arrived in Latvia, it was the beginning of summer. And, to be honest, I didn’t have any depressive or melancholic moments at all, because I was always surrounded by interesting, very energetic young people. Naturally, I missed my old life, but I quickly returned to reality and focused on everyday problems such as financial, household, organizing daily life in the workplace, familiarizing myself with customer problems, preparing for English lessons, etc.
I worked in a modern DSPC center designed for people with disabilities and together with the staff we organized various workshops, taught them many new skills, as well as conducted workshops on candle making, tailoring, wood, and I also organized individual English language courses for clients.
At the same I time I worked with the seniors as well, organised English lessons, so many different speaking games,which helped them to develop their communicational skills in English language.
During these months I also took part in the organisation of local and European projects like youth exchanges,workshops,seminars and trainings, which were held for local youngsters. I took all the opportunities to get involved in the life of local community and get in contact with the local people.
The most important thing that helped me to be active and in touch all the time is the curiosity and positive attitude in different situations even when it’s a very stressful one. During these months I’ve developed not only professional skills, knowledge about European community, ESC as well,but also gained so much experience and personal progress, which is helping me to reach higher levels.