The  ESC project “Vis a Vis” took place in Portugal from October to January. The project aimed to help youth overcome their fears, negative emotionsand uncertainty about the future, to create a bright perspective on the evolution of the current situation, etc. From Armenia as a volunteer took part in the project  Tigran from Gyumri.
Here is Tigran’s  success story:

Hello World. My name is Tigran. I’m a filmmaker from Gyumri, Armenia. I had short-term but big

memory adventures in Portugal.

I was a volunteer in Viseu, Portugal from November 2022 till January 2023 supported by “FIOH –

Future In Our Hands” NGO as a sending organization. We worked in a youth center called

Adamastor with teenagers, where we organized and played games, difficult workshops about

sport, languages, photography, and cultural sharing. Volunteering in another country is not just

volunteering and nothing more. It’s life, it’s journey, it’s adventures, travel, friends. We lived and

worked together with international friends: Italy, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine. It’s helpful to

discover that Armenia is not only one country with tasty cousins, other countries also have tasty

foods. One Italian girl teached me how to cook spaghetti right and I can share that recipe with

family and friends in Armenia. But the most important thing is traveling. Yees traveling. I was in

5 different countries: Austria, Portugal, France, Italy, Poland and back to Armenia. First I liked

Austria and Italy. I liked the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal, it’s like the end of the world, a thousand

kilometers of ocean and America. It’s like the final point of Earth, different feelings. I met one

Chinese girl, took a picture of her and I think I will remember that day my whole life. In Portugal, a

lot of people know about Armenia. We celebrated Christmas with the family of our manager, I

said just one thing – “I’m Armenian”. They continued, told Armenian history, about Serj Tankian,

System of a down, about Genocide, about the war in 2020, and all Portuguese people said one thing

I can’t forget it. “We also know about the Kardashians, but we don’t like them”. I had a

roommate from Turkey. At first, it was hard for me. I was at war in 2020. And I’m in one room

with a Turkish guy, and one guy from Romania, It’s hard for me to talk with him especially about our

countries’ relationship. He understood that, came to talk with me, he said “I don’t care what our

government is doing, I know you are a good guy and I want to be friends with you, I respect

Armenian people, Armenia as a country and its history”. It was not comfortable for me at the

first, but it started to be okay. We have the same food as our cousins and in cultural sharing, it

was okay to talk about it, a lot of people are confused about what is Dolma. And we both talked

about Dolma like we lived as neighbors for 1000 years and we will not argue about that. I was

proud to tell everyone I’m Armenian and they respected it. I have warm memories with my

Armenian friends also: Siranush as Siri and Sona. We were together all the time. Other guys

were surprised when they saw that we all were cooking and eating together, they all were

separate. We traveled together, and discovered new countries, new cultures, and foods especially in

Rome, Italy. I will remember my whole life that 2 months, We celebrated Christmas with

Portuguese family, it was so interesting, for the first time we celebrated New Year in another

country. It was amazing We found new Armenian friends in Lisbon, Portugal and celebrated the new

year together. As I usually say “I have something to tell my grandchildren, how beautiful life I

had”. Thanks to my International friends Oyqu, Haluk, Candan, Nilde, Marta, Giusy, Romeo,

Diana, Elena, Yulia, Anastasia, my Armenian friends Siranush as Siri, and Sona, staff in

Adamastor Mariana, Hugo, Daniela, Catherina, Katia, especially Mariana’s family, to Adamastor,

ESC and FIOH NGO. Everything is just starting. It was the start. I hope I will meet everyone