My EVS project in Oltenita, Romania is about to end and I am glad that I made this decision to come here to be a European volunteer from Russia in the Association Dunare.EDU. I have never been to Romania before, I was very curious about this country, Romanian culture and people. On top of that, I really liked the idea of the project, the idea to work with young people to promote a healthy lifestyle and to get involved into a local community. I believe, I made a significant contribution into the project along with my EVS team. It is thrilling to know that you can make a change in a rural area and that what you do is valuable for a local community, that it is needed. By choosing Romania as a country for an EVS project, all of us, volunteers, proved that we do not follow the mainstream and not look for easy ways, that we are trying to be independent from the opinions of others and that we are brave people who are not afraid of any challenges.
What have I learnt here? That is a very good question, it is difficult to estimate it, but I am sure that, overall, my new experience that I gained in Romania is great and that it will help me in the future and it is helping me now, too. I have learnt to be more confident, to rely mostly only on myself, to manage my time better. In Romania I lived a new life, I made very good friends here, I traveled around the country, I supported local homeless dogs, I enjoyed Romanian food and drinks, I can speak some Romanian now!
First of all, I found out a lot about non-formal education, about the programs of Youth-in-Action and Grundvig and I had a chance to put some ideas into practice. For example, in the schools of Oltenita we initiated the non-formal education method- Forum Theatre, where we tried to find the solutions to the problem of discrimination together with the teenagers. I am very happy that people here expressed a big interest in my country, our culture and lifestyles. Cultural expression was a huge part of my EVS project- I showed presentations about Russia and my republic, organized the Russian classes, discussions, debates, where I improved my public-speaking skills. Besides, I discovered a lot about the history, habits and traditions of Romania, as well as Spain, as every day we exchange information about our countries, we experienced mutual enrichment.
Also, I realize that I am a more mature person now, I understand people better, I see that each person has its good and bad sides and that to every action, word there must be some reason, which maybe no so obvious. People are not perfect and their actions tell more than actually their words. I learnt how to understand the emotions of other people, how to react and control, thanks to the training “Emotional Intelligence”, organized in the office of Dunare.EDU.
To be honest, on the one hand, I really enjoyed this feeling of being in a center of attention, because I was the only representative from Russia, a Russian pioneer all this time. On the other hand, it was challenging too, because it was a huge responsibility, as I was trying to create a positive image of my country, also it was frustrating sometimes when I couldn’t follow the conversations in Spanish or Romanian, I felt being in a minority.
I believe, I made progress in being a more patient person now, when I do not like something or when I do not agree with something I try to sound reasonable to express my point of view, trying to listen to others. I experienced dealing with paper bureaucracy, when I had to come back to Russia to make a new visa, as well as with waiting for my residential permit from Calarash. Now I know that reality can be different from original plans and that, unfortunately, we depend a lot on authorities. Now I know that in Romania “everything is possible” because plans here can be easily changed in the very last moment, that is why I have learnt to be more flexible and now I can adapt easily to any kind of situation.
Speaking about my future plans, I am going to continue cooperation with Dunare.EDU; I will look for possibilities to start being a trainer at youth seminars and trainings, I am willing to continue working with youth and continue sharing the possibilities of “Youth in Action” programs, I wish more Russian people could participate. In the nearest future, I will work as an interpreter and as a teacher. Also, I will again be involved as a volunteer in several NGOs from Russia: “SFERA”, International Youth Club “Solveig”, and “Karelian regional center of volunteering”. In the summer 2013 I am going to be a volunteer in “Universiada in Kazan 2013” and a volunteer in Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, Russia.