Dani and Clark

Dani and Clark, from Spain and Germany, joined ESC voluntarism project in Ioannina, at our organisation Youth Center of Epirus. Their main activities were to implement recreational and non-formal educational activities for asylum seeker children and teenagers, and to work on digital content creation on asylum seeker integration related themes. Below, you can read her testimony and see photos of her experience in Ioannina! 


The activity is part of the project "Agios Athanasios" which is supported by the European Commission and is under the European Solidarity Corps programme. 


My time in Ioannina, Greece, volunteering to help young people seeking asylum, has been an eye-opening and enriching experience. At 24 years old, I never imagined that I would be immersed in such a significant and moving experience. 


At the Youth Center of Epirus, I enjoyed the time and had direct support from the workers. Soccer is a weekly tradition, creating laughter moments with the young asylum seekers and us volunteers. And to mix things up even more, we host cooking sessions where we all share and prepare dishes that represent our diverse cultures.


My life here is a mix of a lot of good moments. Walks around the lakes are moments to disconnect and reflect, a good contrast to the party and time with company and friends. In addition, I joined a local basketball team, where I discovered and met a lot of friends who integrated me in a great way in the city.


But the most amazing thing here is the people I have met everywhere, in the office, in the facility and in the city. Very good people who have made this experience unique and who have made a difference, making me feel at home.



My name is Clark Windmueller and I was a European Solidarity Corps (ESC) Volunteer sent by an organization in Dortmund, Germany to the Youth Center of Epirus in Ioannina, Greece. I spent roughly 10 weeks volunteering with the Youth Center at the Agios Athanasios accommodation facility for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.


At the facility I helped to organize recreational activities for the youth living there. Along with my fellow volunteers Hasan and Dani, I had a great time organizing and playing all kinds of different sports, board, and card games all while getting to know people from all over the world .


This aspect, getting to meet and form relationships with people from different countries was by far the most enriching part of my experience in Greece. The asylum seekers came from countries as varied as Syira, Somalia, and the Congo. I lived and worked with ESC volunteers from Spain, Turkey, Sweden, and France; at the facility I met and befriended many of the Greek workers, and through Erasmus+ I was able to meet and interact with students from all over Europe. Getting the opportunity to talk with all of these people and to learn more about their lives and homes was absolutely incredible.


While the friendships I made in Ioannina were by far the highlight of the experience, there were many other aspects I thoroughly enjoyed. Ioannina is surrounded by incredible nature. I tried to take advantage of this as much as possible by going on hikes, walks, or simply by sitting and looking out over the beautiful lake or staring off at the distant peaks of the Pindus Mountains. Ioannina, despite being a city, still possessed a quaint and charming feel and I enjoyed strolling around town, stopping at my favorite pita gyro place or bakery for a quick bite to eat. Ioannina is also rich in history and I appreciated the opportunity to learn about the history of the region at the local museums, including at the castle.


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my volunteering experience here. I am very thankful to all of the people I have met here and am excited to return to visit sometime in future.

This project was co-funded by the European Commission.