I decided to apply for an EVS opportunity in France after two years of working experience which takes me to a period that could be considered as “interior crises”. I thought that the EVS project could be a good opportunity to make new experiences towards volunteering, to travel and get professional skills. EVS can give the chance to get out of the normal life, furthermore, the involvement in volunteering activities and in a multicultural environment can enrich our cultural baggage and influence our way of thinking. Three months ago I left from Sicily with specific goals: work with people of different nationalities, understand the NGO’s work, acquire professional skills and improve my French. Definitely I wanted to do that by finding out a new country: France! I arrived in Pau, which is called the “Porte des Pyrénées”, in a cold and rainy evening of March. Pistes Solidaires, my host organization, is a no-profit association, NGO and Europe Direct which aims to promote the knowledge, skills and attitude of justice and equality necessary to live in a intercultural society and interdependent world. Education is the heart of their associative project which is promoted through some main actions: non-formal education, educational mobility, socio-cultural development and European cooperation.
My EVS, “More: Many Opportunities Real Equality”, consistes of different duties such as to deal communication, assisting the project manager, managing and implementing projects already approved but also to promote the knowledge of European Union in primary school. In the month of May, in addition to the normal activities, we have made elaboration, promotion, implementation and evaluation of different activities aiming to promote Europe within Europe Direct activities in secondary schools and other places such as squares, shopping centers etc. During the European month our daily activities mainly consisted in planning and carrying out meetings, training and events for selected groups of youths, with the aim to understand the impact of the European Union in our daily life and improve knowledge through non-formal activities such as free discussions, quizzes,sketches, games etc.. Everyday is a new challenge; life is characterized by the succession of opportunities of educative discussions and boring and angry moments, at work as well as at home.
I can say that these first four months have been quite positive. Each day I can learn something new and I can use my creativity to plan and organise activities with the other volunteers. I have the chance to travel a lot around France and Spain, as for work as well for holiday.
The most significant things about my first months of EVS is that I learn how to work, interact and cooperate with people coming from different countries with a completely different social and educational background.
EVS volunteer within the Erasmus+ project “Many Opportunities Real Equality”
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