Discovering a new country and culture was always a dream for me. I didn’t have many possibilities to go abroad. But the EVS I had in Romania gave me the opportunity to see a new country, to meet new people of other nations. And I am thankful to my Sending Organization for this opportunity. I had a big experience in many aspects during my EVS stage. I had good and hard times during these 7 months. But I was very happy to be a volunteer and help people with what I could do. My main activity was in kindergarten. I was working with children from 3-6 years. The main task was helping the teachers, helping the children to draw, to dance and many other activities. Though I didn’t know the language, I could communicate with the teachers and with the children. It was easy with the children and I immediately got in touch with them. Every time when I was entering the classroom, the crowd of the children was running to me to hug. Besides the kindergarten, I had lessons of Romanian language. Step by step I started to understand Romanian and It was already easier to communicate with people, because very few people knew English in Braila.
The kindergarten and the teachers were the positivity in my EVS. They helped me a lot in moral and material way. If they weren’t, this project could not be realized. The project had many problems. And those problems came from the application, when the president of the hosting organization filled in not correctly by mistake which I really don’t believe. And because of that mistake the National Agency financed the project with the half budget.
The hosting organization was not really organized. Before going to Romania, I have been waiting more than one month for my documents. And that is why I got my visa on last day and I had to pay for the plane ticket more than it was the limit of the transportation. And of course the difference of the plane ticket was not refund to me.
Before going there, I asked the photos of the accommodation where I was going to live, but no answer to that. I thought it should have been a good, clean place with all the commodities. But what I saw it was a dirty, cold place with a lot of mosquitos because everywhere the doors and windows were open in the building. And I lived with teenagers who didn’t know how to use the bathroom. And the first day I told the hosting organization that it was not possible to stay there, they told me that they didn’t have money for the accommodation.Of course If I knew where i was going, where i was going to live, i would not tell them about the changing the place. So that time the problem was not solved. But when the summer time came, the children of the dorm were on holiday, the cafe where we were eating, was closed and we needed a kitchen. So we didn’t have kitchen and with all the volunteers we demonstrated that we need a new place with all commodity. Then the hosting organization found a place which was called ” Fundatia Lumina” where lived people without families and disabilities. So we moved there with all the volunteers. At first it was hard for me, because I didn’t like the atmosphere of that place and the neighborhood seemed not so safe.
But I didn’t have another option, so I had to get used to the new place. After moving, problems again appeared. We needed abonament for the transport, because the new place was far from the kindergarten. One month we walked to the kindergarten and back to home. But at last they gave us abonament that we could use bus for going to kindergarten. So I don’t know which problem to tell, because there were a lot of problems, some of them were solved by force and some of them were not solved.
During the trainings I had in Sibiu and Brasov which was oragnized by the Nationall Agecy, I met a lot of voulunteers from different countries who were working in Romania. I learnt from them a lot of things, about their culture. They also had problems with their Hosting organsation. And I understood that the foreign volunteers in Romania are not respected at all. And in my opinion these projects are just a business for the hosting organizations in Romania.
Except the bad experience I had with the hosting orgaization, I had a very good time in the kindergarten. The thought that I could make smile many children, was making me a better person, making me ambitious, motivated, making me optimist. The difficulties I mentioned above, made me stronger and at first recognize myself. I leant to be tolerant and respect other’s opinion. I have started to see the life in another way and value things which are really important in my life like family and friends.
The last two months of my EVS stage were prosperous for me. I had my personal project and I decided to work with children who have mental disabilities. I started to make with them mandalas with threads. I thought it could be a good therapy for them. I was very satisfied with them and also with me. I was very happy to see them interested in that and that I could make them happy with my behavior.
So the European voluntary service is a great opportunity for all the youngsters who wants to realize themselves. I would recommend to work as a volunteer and go abroad to explore new country. But choosing the hosting organization take it into consideration.