Since our arrival in Slovakia, we have already had quite a lot of opportunities to make presentations on various topics, especially about volunteering and in particular about the European Voluntary Service. During these presentations we realised that young people are interested to know more about our experiences and especially about the reasons why we decided to apply to EVS and to come to Slovakia. We have already talked a bit about our motivations in our presentation blog, but let’s now go a bit deeper.
Before coming to Slovakia I used to work in a bank. For me the job was not interesting at all: I felt that I was doing something with of no benefits for the community and also for me. I wanted to do something useful for other people and for my self development and this is the main reason why I applied to EVS.
EVS is a very good program, as it is a very well organised and professional opportunity to volunteer, to travel to other European countries, to broaden one’s horizons and to feel more European, which is especially for me an important factor as in my country most people just feel British. Thanks to EVS, all this can be done with no cost, which for me is great, as I don’t come from a well-off background. When I decided to apply, I did some research and found this project: the activities sounded very suitable to me and Banská Bystrica and Slovakia as a whole looked very interesting. I applied and fortunately I was selected 🙂
I’ve heard of EVS for the first time about 2 years ago from a friend who had already done it. I immediately liked the idea of volunteering in another country, as I was already doing some volunteering as teacher and interpreter, which I really liked, and I’ve always liked travelling. When I decided to apply to EVS I immediately thought about Slovakia, as I had already been studying Slovak at the university for about 1 year and as I knew that it was a really stunning country with amazing landscapes.
For me EVS means doing something useful and meaningful to other people and, at the same time, having the chance to improve my Slovak to increase my job opportunities as interpreter for the EU market, which is what I would like to do in the future. In addition, thanks to EVS, you can exchange experiences with people from other countries and get to know a different culture. I’m sure that after EVS I’ll be a better person, friend and interpreter.
EVS is the thing, which I would like to do since looong, long ago. Everything began in 2006, when I was new and fresh volunteer in Bulgarian Red Cross Youth (BRCY) in Varna. It was the very beginning of my process of discovering the volunteering, how great and wonderful it is for me and what amazing opportunities it gives to me. It was then, when one of my friends – Pavel, also a volunteer in BRCY, took part in a short-term EVS project in Slovakia. His project was ecological – it was realized short after a big hurricane, which destroyed a big part of the mountain forest in Slovakia, so the volunteers, working in this project had to prepare the place and to plant new trees to grow and to recover the forest. After coming back from the project he shared so great stories – he met about 20 people from all over the Europe, made so many new friends, visited so beautiful places in Slovakia, had a really great life-long experience. I was so amazed by all the things he said, so I wanted to do something similar too.
That’s how I started looking for information about this program, and as more I learned about it, as much more I wanted to take part in it. I decided that I really have to participate in a long term-project, so I could get more valuable experience, to have the possibility to do more things and to have a bigger impact. For this purpose, however I had to wait a little – I had to finish my high school, then my university…
But during the years I continued collecting information about EVS, I even had the chance to meet many EVS volunteers, coming to volunteer in Bulgaria (and I was really surprised how people from the big famous countries like England, France, Germany and Spain chose Bulgaria for their voluntary service). I also met many Bulgarian volunteers, who go abroad to participate in an EVS-project.
And so, year by year came my time to look for a project…
Choosing my project was actually not as long and hard process, as I expected. I just had one preference – the project to be interesting for me and to give me a lot of opportunities to work in different fields and to gain a rich experience. So, unlike my friends who want to do EVS in Germany or France to practice their language skills, I just wanted to find an interesting project, doesn’t matter in which country. That’s how I found the project in CVČ-Junior – and here I am in Banská Bystrca, SlovakiaJ).