EVS Diary

Salad bowl

Marcos Rodríguez, 22 years old, South of Spain

I met Marcos during the EVS on-arrival training taking place at Zemplínska Šírava two weeks ago. Both of us were part of a group consisting of different people, cultures and ages. Just like a salad bowl. During our training we learned a lot about responsibilities and duties of the several components of an EVS and about learning too. Here is an interview I made with Marcos after the on-arrival training.

What do you do?

I work with Roma children and teenagers in Komunitné Centrum Hlboké, in Liptovský Mikuláš. In the morning they learn about the world around them trough games, dancing and arts&crafts. We also teach them things about behaving and personal hygiene (like washing their hands and teeth). In the afternoon we help them with their homework, play board games and speak with them. We also run activities with their families to create a closed and familiar atmosphere. Beside that, I teach English in a crisis centre for women and children who had to leave their homes because of the awful situation they were living in and help to organize cultural and artistic activities in the city.

What makes your work important?

I think there is a lot to do about tolerance and integration in this country. Society rejects Roma people and they reject society in response, so we have to work together and try to understand each other.

Why do you think volunteering is important?

I think that there is always something to improve; everyone can help the society somehow. And for the volunteer it is the perfect chance to learn, to open his mind, to dedicate his energy and good will to others, to make some change in someone's life. It really is a great experiencie and it is wonderful to know that you are doing something to help a country and to make a better world.

Worst // best experience so far

My best experience is when a child comes and hugs me or calls me his or her friend. I didn't really have any bad experiences but, of course, being unable to speak the language is not a nice feeling.

Do you think that voluntary offers could be improved? If yes give reason

I think everything in life can be improved but I don't know how the system could be better. I can not complain so far, I'm really happy.

Do you think it has to be done more in the field of spreading voluntarism to public?

In Slovakia, for example, volunteers go to schools to speak about the EVS and give teenagers the chance to participate in the programme but it is really difficult to know about it in Spain. I think high schools should speak more about volunteering instead of focusing all the children's effort in going to university. They should show more diversity.

Are there enough opportunities for volunteers to get connected with each other (like platforms/groups) ?

Yes. I have been here only for six weeks and I already had my "On-Arrival Training", a perfect chance to get to know a lot of volunteers.

 

Name 3 things a volunteer needs the most

energy

support

attitude

 

Did volunteering change your mind/behavior?

As I said, I have been here only for six weeks, but I am learning a lot everyday, and I already feel my mind opening and my cliches being destructed.

 

So this is what Marcos came up with. Marcos and me are still in contact and he came to visit Bratislava last weekend with a few other EVS volunteers. We explored the city together and I think this is another benefit of being a volunteer: Getting to know a huge amount of people you can spend your time with. So if you by now decided to become a volunteer too, do not hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to help you!

The next blog post will be online by the end of October! Thanks for reading!

 

Luka Paul Vethake

EVS volunteer

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BRATISLAVSKÉ DOBROVOĽNÍCKE CENTRUM (BDC)

Stará tržnica

Nám. SNP 25

811 01 Bratislava

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Web: eds@dobrovolnictvoba.sk

Tel.: (+421) 949 303 512

 

 

Quote of the day:

"Volunteers are not paid -- not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless."

~ unknown

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