In February of 2015 Marija went to the Symposium in Brussels with other student from Somosierra-the student residence. Symposium was organized by European University College Association. The topic of the symposium was The fall of Berlin’s Wall. She participated in debate, classes and conversations with other students. It helped her to gain new skills and to become more mind open.
Where? Near to Malaga. Why? To make an evaluation of everything we have done till now and to get some conclusions, so we can put goals for the last months of our projects in Spain. With whom? With 120 young persons from all over the Europe who are doing their EVS in different places inside of Spain.
The whole event was organized in one small village, called Mollina. The youth center was placed inside of big nature camp, with the sun of Andalucía, orange and olive trees… It was impossible not to enjoy every moment of our training. Right there we’ve met other volunteers who shared with us their experience, projects, ideas and their positive energy. During the workshops we were divided in groups of 20 people where we were making reflection of our projects. We were thinking about our service and how does it look in the eyes of other people who surround us. Youthpass, resolving problems, evaluation of our project, making new objectives, as well as concrete steps and actions to make it real – these were just some of the lots of topics on our training
But it wasn’t all about the workshops- we also had fun. J In the evening time we tried to present or city where we are coming from. As we are from Madrid we were lucky because we were big group. We presented some typical symbols of Madrid, like Cuatro torres, metro full of people, manifestation on Sol and picture of Goya. One day we went to visit Malaga. Beautiful, warm and so calm city. It was really relaxing afternoon where we could connect more with our new European friends.
It was an amazing experience! It was like a privilege to stop for a moment, take a break, think about the first six month in Spain, our projects… Get far away of all for few days and just enjoy. We became aware of great opportunity that we have, which we are living right now… Becoming aware of all new skills that we achieved, friends we’ve made and everything that we have done for the others helped us to get back on the top of our project and to live every moment of this incredible year!
¿Dónde? Cerca de Málaga. ¿Para qué? Para evaluar lo que habíamos hecho hasta entonces, para resumirlo y sacar conclusiones, en fin, para marcar los objetivos para conseguir durante el resto del voluntariado. ¿Con quién? Con la gente joven que, como nosotras, participa en un proyecto en algún lugar en España, es decir, con unas 120 personas de varios países.
Habíamos recibido antes muchos datos prácticos en cuanto a la evaluación pero lo que más importa, el ambiente, lo vimos y sentimos en Mollina misma. En un pueblo casi despoblado, en un centro de juventud rodeado por los campos y olivares, bajo el sol andaluz, nos encontramos con otros voluntarios, sus experiencias españolas y algunos tutores. Divididos en grupos de más o menos 20 personas primero compartimos nuestros proyectos y pensamos cómo nos veíamos en ellos y cómo nos veía otra gente. Recordamos qué era Youthpass y cómo resolver conflictos. Pudimos valorar los aspectos prácticos del proyecto y repasar o crear nuevos objetivos junto con pasos concretos para lograrlos.
Además, tuvimos unas oportunidades para conocer a otra gente y crear algo junto. La segunda noche presentamos nuestras Comunidades Autónomas y resultó que la representación de Madrid era la más numerosa. Mostramos los símbolos de la capital, es decir, entre otros, Torres Kio, el metro llenísimo de gente, una manifestación en el Sol y “Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo” : ) La otra tarde fuimos a Málaga; al estar tan cerca, no pudimos no visitar esta ciudad preciosa al lado del mar.
Encontramos a algunas personas que habíamos conocido en Cercedilla y nos relacionamos con mucha gente nueva. Total, lo pasamos muy bien a pesar de que muchos voluntarios se quedaron en Málaga más tiempo y nosotras tuvimos que volver a Madrid. Pero lo echamos de menos un poco, ¿a que sí?
Hello Madrid, we are back! After one great week with great people from all over the Europe we came back to our project and daily activities. It’s going to be hard to describe our new adventure in Spain but I’ll do my best. At the end of this training we’ve been asked to describe whole week in one sentence and now I will present it here: “After whole month of trying to adapt, learning how to live in a new country and new home, this week finally we had time to stop for a moment and to see where we are, what is objective of our volunteering, what are our “secret wishes” or plans and where we can give ourselves more… While writing this I realized that this was a week of growing up, week of new friendships, week of learning and becoming more open mind as a person. For first time in our lives we discovered what does it mean life learning process and we saw great fruits of it. Through activities each day we learned a lot about EVS, Spain, verbal and nonverbal communication, how to deal with problems and how to embrace them, how to grow up in a personal and professional way and lots of other things… Also we learned a lot through conversations with others, listening about their projects, their views on a life, discovering what does it mean “volunteering” for them and what objectives they have. We really enjoyed this week, we had a lots of fun and now we are getting back to our reality. With more strength and clear vision we are ready to say: “Let the games begin!”
After months of expectation finally we are here! We started our big adventure! Times fly so fast that we can’t believe we are already here for one month. Enjoying with Spanish people, who are very kind and joyfull, meeting a lots of young people and making a new friendships, discovering every day what does it mean for real “living a life”- in these verbs we could describe our first month! We are getting used on Spanish weather , language and habbits. Every day is like a new adventure for us, but we are looking forward to everything what is in front of us. These days we are trying to meet all people in the Fundacion Senara and we are also discovering details of our job as volunteers! Oh and maybe you didn’t know but we are volunteers from Poland and Croatia and this year we are staying in Spain so if you would like to know something more about our volunteering experiences you can follow us here or on Facebook!
P.S This Monday we are traveling to Cercedilla for arrival training for all European volunteers in Spain! So stay with us and we’ll bring the news!
Monika and Marija
Today is our last day in the office. The team prepared a delicious lunch for us and they gave us millions of wonderful presents. We had a great time here and we will miss all of them a lot. Thanks for everything!!!
- The project is coming to an end. What to you think about the last 9 months? How would you describe this experience?
Emanuela: This experience has been educational for me. The last 9 months have been really great. I will always remeber this as a nice period of my life especially for the people I´ve been surounded by.
Susi: The last 9 months have been a wonderful time for me. Living in another country is an adventure which makes you independent and gain a lot of new experience. I will never forget it.
- What did you get and what did you give?
Emanuela: I learned about a new culture and I improved my langauge skills. In exchange I gave all of myself. I think I am an open-mined person, so I tried to learn as much as I could and to give to the others the same.
Susi: It was really interesting to learn about the spanish lifestyle; about the food, the timetable, the people and much more. Like Emanuela I also could improve my language skills which is great. In this 9 months I always tried to give me best, whether in the club or in the office, always supported by the great people around me.
- Would you suggest to do an EVS? / Why?
Emanuela: I definetely would suggest to do an EVS because it is an ocasion you have once in life. You will get the change to improve yourself in a multicultural context.
Susi: Nobody should miss the ocasion to do an EVS. It is a great opportunity to meet new people from all over europe, to learn a new language, to travel and to have an experience of life.
During your EVS you are going to make a lot of new friendships. You will meet a lot of new people at the “Arrival training” and the “Midterm evaluation” but also when you go out or make trips. It is great to know people from all over Europe so don´t miss this great opportunity and participate in an EVS.
27 Member States of the European Union
Participating countries of the EFTA members of the EEA: Iceland, Liechtenstein,Norway and Switzerland
Candidate countries for accession to the European Union: Turkey, Croatia
South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo
Eastern Europe and Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine.
Mediterranean Partner Countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Syria, Tunisia.