It’s already March – primavera is in the air, the days are longer. It’s been already four months of my ESC project in Fundacio Catalunya Voluntaria. For me it’s the time to make a small evaluation. So how does it feel to be abroad, to make such a life change?
I remember the first time when I red about European Solidarity Corpus project. It was over 10 years ago, I was still in high school, and in one of the newspapers (the real one – printed on paper!) I red the interview with a girl who came back from EVS project (the previous name for ESC was European Voluntary Service). The interview made such a big impact on me and I felt so inspired that I googled the name of the project and searched for organisations that were working in this field in my hometown, Cracow. That’s how I made a first contact with international people, volunteers coming to my hometown. I was a mentor, and later on a project co-ordinator’s assistant. I really loved working in this environment and had a clear vision that one day I will do my ESC project as well.
For many reasons, it didn’t happen too fast, but finally, after over 10 years I’d decided – ‘now or never’. Going for ESC project, having this experience, was kind of my unrealised dream. I made a decision even though I wasn’t 100% sure if it is a perfect moment for me to go. If it is a perfect moment to leave my family, my friends, my job, my dog. If it is a perfect moment to break the routine and to be brave. However, something inside me, told me, I should just go.
After 4 months of staying in Barcelona and being a volunteer in FCV I can really tell – for sure it was a very good decision. Going for ESC is helping particular people or an organisation in their everyday tasks. It depends on you how much creative and devoted you want to be. And you can do a lot – as a volunteer you really have a freedom to realise different projects that are close to your heart. But it is also something more. Volunteering helps you to spread the wings, you’re learning something everyday – even if unconsiously. You learn independence, you learn language, compromise, money managment. You learn how to function in a different environment.
Finally, you have a chance to ask yourself – what will come next? Who do I wanna be? How do I want to involve in the society? I think volunteering can help you realise that you have a power to change your environment. Because once you start to do social or cultural projects and you realise that it’s possible – how can you resign from it in the future? Once you become consious citizen, you’ll never resign from this ‘power’ that was somehow given to you. And that power comes from ESC project.
I wish that this power will stay with all the volunteers and with me as well. I hope I will have constant motivation to do something not only for myself, but also for other people. I want to be sensitive for the problems of other people, animals and the environment, although it is so easy to become indifferent. And of course, we cannot save the world. But we can save individual people, lifes, stories. So let’s just do it!