VOLUNTEERS EXPLAIN THEIR UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES
There are a lot of old and new European Solidarity Corps volunteers around the world and they have great memories. Let’s check out volunteers’ unforgettable memories!
Marija Ratković, From Serbia to Italy
Laboratorio 53 focuses on giving different kinds of support to immigrants. Legal and psychological. But except for that, they also make a gathering every Thursday and people cook together there. Immigrants cook something from their country or some typical Italian dishes. They play different games and socialize. And we often went to lunch with them. The first time I went there, a group of people really moved me. I remembered that I had my eyes full of tears because while seeing them smile, happiness just because people are coming there. Because it was like escaping all the horrible things that they lived for them. They usually live in group homes. It is not like normal living even if they are in Rome. So coming there was really nice for them. That was one of the best moments that influenced me.
María Isabel Ruiz Bonaque, From Spain to Poland
I think I will never forget the first time I hitchhiked. Sępólno Krajeńskie is a small village in Poland. So, we didn’t always have a good combination for taking the bus or train. I remembered one weekend I really wanted to visit a castle and I talked with my friend. We couldn’t find a bus or any transportation. And we said let’s hitchhike. My first experience with that was amazing. We took several cars, and we met a lot of kind, funny people. And we finally visited the castle.
Weronika Tessar, From Poland to Croatia
My special moment during the project is connected to my work. We had a youth exchange and I was responsible for leading the activity. There are small groups of around three people in this activity. One person in a group is a listener. The task of the listener is to sit and don’t talk, don’t say any word. And her/his group are saying good things about him/her. The group has four minutes to talk only about the good and positive things about this listener. At the end of the time, the listener only says thank you. I was leading this workshop and of course, everyone has a chance to be a listener. I remember how amazing looking those people were who opened their hearts and said all good things about others. People were hugging, and crying, and they were so happy that they had a chance to focus only on positive things because on a daily basis maybe we don’t think that we are good enough or we just noticed bad things about ourselves. If you see yourself from a different perspective it can be really surprising that you have so many good qualities, you are so talented. I love this workshop. This is my favourite memory from my volunteer work.
Amena Reda, From Egypt to Croatia
I had Arabic literacy classes with one of the women. Because they are facing problems learning the Croatian language. After only two sessions, she decided to join the Croatian class. So I was really happy. It is a mental game at the end. Learning a language is not really hard but she just needed a kind of push, a very small push for confidence. I think the unforgettable moment in the whole project is that you can see an instant impact on people.
Asmin Ayçe İdil Kaya, From Turkey to Bulgaria
There are a lot of nice moments that I had. But if I choose one of them, I want to choose something more valuable for me. I was staying in Sofia for a few weeks to visit my friend there and I was staying at my friend’s house. His name is Angel. We were going out, partying, and meeting with friends. We were coming back home and we were very hungry when we arrived home and we were sitting in front of the fridge and talking about life, people that we met. We didn’t have a lot of worries and it was nice to come home. We were comfortable. It sounds so basic but when I remember those days it was a very nice memory from those days.
Dino Švraka, From Bosnia Herzegovina to Croatia
One of my unforgettable moments was when we had a green conference. We were part of the green conference and I was standing there on our stand and speaking with people. The majority of them were students. One guy came to me and asked me about our project and I started to present the project. After listening he liked it and asked me for my contact number. I gave it but I didn’t know who that guy was. After two or three days, he got back to us with our email and I learned that he was one of the owners of the biggest automobile company in the world. So basically he is the best for electric cars and he decided that maybe help us.
Arianna de Julio, From Italy to England
I remember that we had some evenings with my flatmates and other volunteers. They were pretty funny. We used to organize parties in our houses. It was summer and nice. The important moment was when we were trying to go back to normal life. So having parties, having fun, and being together was new. It used to be normal in the past before covid and it was not normal anymore. So it was strange but at the same time, I was really happy because I was living in a place that was my dream. Also, another unforgettable moment is probably my long walks close to the seaside because Bournemouth is close to the sea. The weather and sunset were great.
*The stories are taken from the “Stories of the ESC Volunteers” podcast channel made by Evin Arslan and Mreža udruga Zagor.
*Photos are taken by volunteers.