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The unknown became known

“It is surprising how fast the unknown becomes known and a far away place becomes home - and how fast the time passes.”

 I have been volunteering in a lovely kindergarten, based on the European Solidarity Corps for nearly 12 months. And now It is about to end. I remember the first day I came to Slovakia feeling excited to be in a new country. I was telling myself that I had a long way ahead of me to discover, learn and enjoy this country, people and the work. But It was passing so quickly that I even started to complain halfway through it. Yes, It passed too quickly because I enjoyed every piece of my volunteering here. The kids, the coordinators, the staff and the people I met here were all lovely and nice to me that they made my days unforgettable.

 Of course there were some challenges as well, like in the beginning trying to adapt to a new culture or having a language barrier in public with the locals etc. Yes, It wasn’t always easy but I grew from the challenges.  I got more confident with the time. When I look back to the time before I came here, I can’t believe how different my life is right now. My coordinators in work trusted me to suggest activities, to work directly with the kids and to manage challenging situations. It really gave me a boost of confidence. I feel free in my work because I know that my opinion matters in the team.

I’m going to go home soon feeling more confident about my work, knowing that I’m able to handle situations. In the beginning there were things I would have not managed, and today, with the time that I spend with the children and my co-workers, it’s easy. Working with kids here motivated me a lot and has confirmed my career plan of being a teacher.

I’ve grown so much because of the independence I have gained and the trust that the people here gave me. I discovered myself and how far I could go. I developed my abilities, expanded my hobbies and had a great motivation in life with the help of connecting to kids and people from different cultures. The knowledge that I gained from different people here changed my views of life.  I’m so grateful for that. I will call Slovakia my second home now. I am delighted that the ESC gave me this chance.


Text a foto: Hilal Ozen

Hilal je dobrovoľníčka programu Európsky zbor solidarity na projekte v detskom centre Hlavička. Projekt bol podporený z programu EÚ Európsky zbor solidarity.

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