Interview with EVS volunteer from Spain:
1. Where do you know EVS from and why did you choose volunteering?
I knew EVS because I met some European volunteers that worked in different associations of my hometown.
They talked me about this experience and I decided to participate too.
On September 2013 I went the first meeting about EVS in my hometown.
After I sent several Cvs and Letters of Motivation to different projects and I looked different sending organizations that could help me about that issue.
One of those sending organizations was AIPC Pandora.
Finally I decided to work with them because they sent the information about the project “Dare to Dream” from Jaunuoliu Dienos Centras.
Other of the reasons to make EVS was I wanted to break the routine and to live that new adventure.
This project would help to grow myself as professionally as personally.
I think the volunteering is one beautiful job though this is nonprofit.
I was participated in many associations in my hometown.
Some of them:
- One association about media and communication called Asociacion Comunitarias Almerienses.
One of the projects was Radio Cortijo and my main function was to perform interviews to artists of my hometown and another places.
My other function was to perform videos and photography’s of different events and radio workshops in neighborhoods.
- One association that fights for LGTB people rights called COLEGA.
- And one association that integrates disability people in the field of the art and culture called Capacitarte.
I performed a radio workshop with a few users and I put music in different markets the association organized.
Some of the European volunteers I met worked in one of those associations (COLEGA).
I´m keeping in touch with them.
2. Why did you choose Lithuania for your EVS?
If I´m honest, I didn´t care the name of the country.
It´s true I was interested the field of art and culture because it´s a very important thing for me (especially cinema, photography, music and radio).
I remember the job I was performing in two associations from my hometown: Acciones Comunitarias Almerienses (As I said, I was making radio interviews to several artists from Almeria and another places) and LaOficina Producciones (this is an alternative sociacultural association that organize different events and my main functions were to take photography’s of these events and to coordinate the songwriter concerts).
It was very nice.
Also, I´m studying Artistic Photography (I have to finish those studies after my EVS project).
Though I had more interest for this field, I sent my Cvs and letters of motivation to another kind of associations too.
I thought I would be able to offer artistic-cultural ideas in them.
Finally, on march 2014, I was selected in the project “Dare to Dream” from the center Jaunuoliu Dienos Centras from Panevezys (Lithuania).
After I was selected in other project of one association from Ukraine too but I decided to no participate because previously I was selected in the project from Lithuania.
3. How was the beginning of your EVS (easy, hard, what problems did you have, what things did you make happy, how did you solve your problems...)?
The beginning was quite hard.
When I arrived Lithuania, my English level isn´t very good (I could understand writing and reading but I couldn´t understand listening and speaking).
For listening I had many conflicts in my job and my first flat.
I also had conflicts in my flat because I was much disorganized in the house keeping.
It was my first experience I lived out of the home of my parents and I hadn´t custom to do those tasks.
During the first month the situation of my flat were horrible (each day was worse than the previous) and my mentor and the director of my job decided I should to move other place.
(It was the best solution to everybody).
I recognize my behavior wasn´t right but the behavior of two of my roommate wasn´t right neither (I think they have should been more understanding).
After it, I was improving day by day with the language.
I need more time to improve in the topic of house keeping
(This is one great weakness for me).
During the second and third month I had conflicts with my ex- roommate and some of the social workers in my job but now the situation is more calmed.
I knew to see my mistakes and try to not have them more step by step.
One situation I felt happy was when I met my friend Leon from Panevezys.
He was a ray of hope during my first month and the next’s.
He was one of the persons that helped me to improve my listening and speaking English and he was patient when I had problems with both things in the first months.
In this moment Leon (and also me) has very good relations with the majority of the European volunteers that live in Panevezys.
Other reason that made I improve my English was I decided to go English lessons in Kalba.lt (One language academy from Lithuania that was located in different cities and towns of the country).
From January, I´m also going to the English lessons of one European volunteer in one of the library of Panevezys.
4. What did you do at JDC in your EVS Project (witch activities did you organize, how was your feeling with the students and how did the students feel with you...)?
In the first month I knew the different groups of the center.
There are 8: Sport, Housekeeping, Technology, Art and Theatre, IT, Music, Ceramic and Alternative Communication.
Each group is coordinated by one social worker and one assistance, except Alternative Communication (it is coordinated by one assistance and now, from January 2015, it´s also coordinated by other assistance).
As I said before, I had conflicts in my job because I had problems with my listening English and, for this, I didn´t make the tasks very good and I didn´t go some of the workshops because I had to fix some things with my mentor and the director.
In the next month, October, I was in IT.
The experience was the first step that helped me to know the ambience of that place.
I had still some conflicts but only with my ex- roommate, no in the group I was working.
In November, I was in Sport.
At the beginning I was quite good and after I didn´t feel too much good because I felt as one student more (no one volunteer that helped in the different activities).
Also, the social worker and the assistance were more confident with one of the ex-roommate I had more problems and sometimes, when they were absents, they placed confidence in this person.
For those two reasons, I didn´t feel very comfortable and I didn´t do the activities very well.
In December, I returned to It Group.
In this month, I introduced one new idea (one little radio program called “Labas, Jaunuolai!”) and I began to work along with four of the students of this group.
In January, I continued in this group and with the idea of the radio program.
I showed the final edition of the first program to the people of this group and to everybody four days later.
They really liked it.
In the third program one student of Sport group participated and in the fourth that same student and two news (one girl of the house keeping group and one boy of ceramic group)
In the fifth (and in the next’s), I worked with every students that had interest in this project.
I started this new format on the first Monday of February.
In that month I changed the group (Alternative Communication).
At the beginning Egle (the name of the main person that coordinate this group) showed me the activities she made with the students.
She worked with the students in two ways:
a) With only one student (She made different mind exercises with the low-level intellectual students).
b) With the different groups of the center.
After Egle gave me freedom to offer ideas in different activities and sometimes she gave I worked with the students as individual way.
I really liked it.
In this game, they speak only in Lithuanian to I learn it.
I think I enjoy my participation in this group and I´m going to continue in this group till the end of my project.
On February too, I talked to the coordinators of Music Group to coordinate the small discotheque that the center organize in the hall every Fridays at 1 p.m.
They accepted and now I´m the responsible of this activity.
The students of the center are very happy with me and the other volunteers.
They are very grateful and transmit quite love to us.
I remember one very nice experience with one of the students:
The concert of an important Lithuanian band “Lemon Joy”.
I was with my mentor, the social worker of IT group (Egle) and one student of this group (Paulius).
We spent good time and I bought two CDs from the band (One for me and the other for the student).
Now I feel very good.
I really like this experience. I think it has helped me to grow as person and to open my mind.
After my EVS project, as I said in the question nº2, I´m going to finish my studies of Artistic Photography in my hometown and later I would like to continue to study because the economical situation of my country is not so good.
I think I would study Journalism because my favorite kind of photography is photo-journalism and also I performed several radio projects that I really liked them.
If I study this degree, I will be able to improve in both fields.
6. Do you recommend EVS for young people? Do you think that this is good experience?
I don´t think it´s a good experience, I think it´s a very good experience.
Every young people between 18 and 30 years should participate in this project.
It will be one adventure they won´t forget.
JDC darbuotoja Aistė P.
Voluntieer from Spain - Javier Gutierrez Lopez