My EVS experience in EVC Švýcárna, Czech Republic
EVS – European Voluntary Service – officially is the European Comission’s project, that allows a young person (18-30 years) to become a volunteer in another country for a specified period – until 12 months. It sounds quite clear and objective, there are some requirements, some procedures and conditions, in order to become a volunteer. But from my own and my friends experience, I can say, that the meaning and value of this opportunity changes everytime when a person gets into a closer contact with EVS. Every person has his own expectations, his own vision of voluntary period, his own ideas and goals. For some of them it is just a way of spending some time of his life, for others – a dream of life, for others – way tochange a way of life and run away from routine. EVS involves people, EVS is about people and related with people:) So I would like to share my own experience, related with these special three letters – EVS.
A little about myself
So so so, I am Ema, 22 years old girl from Lithuania. I was studying Sociology in Vilnius University and graduated it this summer. I don’t remeber exactly when and where I heard first time about EVS, but I remeber, that this opportunity seemed to be super-attempting for me. I even couldn’t believe that these kind of things even exist! So, while studying in the last semester of university, little by little I started to search for voluntary projects in different countries. I didn’t have my preferable country, but I knew more or less in which field I would like to do it – in a asocial/ecological one 🙂
Due to the fact, that you can do a long-term EVS only once in your life, I was searching for a perfect project for me 🙂 I think, this is how it has to be, and it seemed natural for me to search for the best one, according to my personality and wishes. But the result was, that in September, after few sent applications, i was still without nothing 🙂
Pre-history of my long-term EVS
And then, somehow, I found an information, applied and got accepted to a short-term EVS in EVC Švýcárna, ecological center in the Southern Moravia, Czech Republic. With other foreign volunteers, for 3 weeks we were helping to deconstruct the roof of one building, also we were painting some furniture and bridge, taking out the nails of the wood, collecting stones and similar things. Even sometimes volunteering was a bit hard, we had a lot of fun and memorable moments together. Working, resting, travelling, participating in workshops, yoga in early morning… Daily small things united us, and mostly we were happy and smiling as in this picture 🙂
During this 3 weeks of staying in EVC Švýcárna I got to know what kind of things the organisation Modrý kámen is doing, got to know the people of organisation, surroundings. And then, unexpectfully, from one of the members of the organisation, lovely volunteers coordinator Vlaďka Gajati Regerová, I got a proposal to stay here for 5 months 🙂 So, I thought several days and I said YES. From the 1st of October my EVS officially started.
My EVS experience
So, what impressions do I have after a month volunteering here?
Firstly, a little bit more about my volunteering place. It is EVC Švýcárna (Ekologické Volnočasové Centrum) is an ecological leisure time center located in the lower part of the Křtinský valley, about 20 km North from Brno. It is surrounded by amazing nature – Moravian Krast, which is well known of it’s incredible nature and caves. So, the place of my staying is really special – super-natural 🙂
Till now, in this center, I was helping the members of organisation in many spheres – doing order in the office and other buildings, making a calendar for a next year, helping in the kitchen, helping prepare rooms for guests, filling documents… To be honest, I wasn’t very sure, what is my role in the NGO, and I didn’t have clear vision what I want to do. So, I was asking myself these questions, and was trying to understand what useful and pleasurable I want to do here, what would make me and other to feel happy. And now I feel glad, because the UNDERSTANDING came into my mind. I have an idea of a project and I will try to implement is starting from November 🙂 So, wait for news of me!
During this month, I realised few things, and I would like to share them with others, maybe it will be helpful for future or recent volunteers:
It is important to have at least one project/idea on which you are constantly working during your EVS. This allows to have the direction of acting – to have clear goals and steps of achieving them. After volunteering period you will look back and you will see the result – what visible you have done during volunteering;
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself and NGO, what are your roles and what is your mission of volunteering; it should be clear for you and for an organisation;
Enjoy the process of learning every moment – learning about yourself, your abilities, stronger and weaker sides of your personality – it is a perfect period to try yourself in different environments, different tasks and duties;
Be active during the free time – you are volunteering only 6 hours per day, so you have plenty of time for your hobbies, exploring the country, learning language, meeting new people :))))
So, all all the best for all of those who are volunteering, and patience and persistence for those, who are wishing to do it in the future!
After a while, I will be glad to tell you, how my future project is going on 🙂
If you have any questions/remarks/good words, don’t hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Moravian Krast,