It was a difficult 2015 when, for personal reasons, I decided to put an end to a stage of my life that left me exhausted at all levels. I was then 25 years old and had the feeling that things had to change to evolve, learn and develop a personality that, until then, had not yet been well defined.
One day, out of the blue, I discovered the Fundació Catalunya Voluntaria-FCV and I decided to call them to get more information regarding opportunities. I really wanted to live a new experience so, as the academic year was ending, I read the European volunteering projects that were published in order to choose the one that best suited me.
At the end of the summer, my personal situation had not improved so, finally, I decided to send my application to the Polish project (Lebork), which had been published many months ago. After sending the cover letter with urgency, they sent me an email from the EDUQ office in Poland to schedule a Skype call and, fifteen days later I was far from Catalonia.
Until then I knew absolutely nothing about Poland, except for the Holocaust and the war with Germany. I consider that this country is still quite unknown in general terms and that many people, when they think about doing a European voluntary service, they choose more popular countries such as English speaking, Scandinavians, Germans or Mediterranean countries.
I am lucky to consider myself an open minded person, and without fear, but with some uncertainty, I threw myself into the pool to start a new stage in Poland.
POLAND – OCTOBER 2015 / OCTOBER 2016
Although I undertook this project without much information, this stage ended up being, until today, the best time of my life. This opportunity gave me the fresh air I needed and also the freedom to have time for me: to read, walk, breathe and learn.
The European voluntary project is a fantastic way to teach and be taught. To be able to develop each of the skills that we have inside, and to relate to people from different countries, cultures and mentalities, thus causing a total openness of mind, to the point of eliminating, in a psychological way, the barriers, borders and stereotypes that you can have.
My year in Poland was crucial to be able to define my limits, my way of being and also to discover to what extent globalization is present today. Indeed, I do not know if within twenty years or fifty, but for sure within a hundred years, the borders will cease to exist in order to unite the world in one country.
People at EDUQ, from the first moment, welcomed me in a fantastic way, typical of the Polish society. They gave me the freedom to create different projects, such as Spanish cooking courses, teach Spanish language, collaborate in a tourism office, and participate in different activities in schools and colleges.
I think that this opportunity helped me to have thousands of new ideas, and also to never give up. The people who were part of my circle in this entity ALWAYS were by my side and, what is more important, they trusted in me.
WHAT OFFERS TO DO A VOLUNTEER?
I always say that an experience like this helps you get to know yourself in a deep and honest way. By helping others you also help yourself, and human relationships also help you to rectify and see that perhaps your point of view is not always the most correct. Volunteering offers the giant opportunity to bring out the best in each of us, and to feed the many concerns we may have.
Through observation we will learn even more because, at the beginning, not all the people you meet will be able to relate to you, because of the language, and being able to observe instead of talking, teaches you much more than we think. On the other hand, the smell will be also very important. This sense is closely tied to the brain and each smell will inspire us, remind us or move us to a specific moment.
From my point of view, doing a European volunteer project is essential to evolve as a person because, at the time you have evolved, you will see the world very different and, at your return, you will see that your reality is different now and you will not know if the change is in you or it is your house that has changed.
Few months ago, in a fast visit to the Fundació Catalunya Voluntària, they gave me a bag with the motto Volunteering changed my life. I could not agree more!
POLAND, EDUQ AND FCV: MANY THANKS FOR THE GREAT CONTRIBUTION YOU MADE IN ME
Here you will find a video in which I recommend you this volunteer project in Poland!
Marcel – Former participant in a European volunteer project