Daiana from Cyprus, Florian and Mehdi from France and Alberto from Spain started their ESC voluntary service in Ioannina with Youth Center of Epirus in the summer of 2019. They did 6 and 2 months voluntary activities which included working with children of refugees and asylum seekers, cultural activities, personal cultural and artistic projects and other assisting activities for EDIC and YCE. Below, you can read some of their testimonies and see photos of their experience in Ioannina!
Their activity was part of the project "Positive impact on community of Ioannina" which is supported by the European Commission and is under the European Solidarity Corps programme.
Hello, my name is Florian and I will talk about my two months volunteering experience (ESC) in Ioannina, Greece.
At first, I was a little bit scared because it was my first time that I had to leave my parents, family and friends for2 months (my biggest travel) and I was by " my own". This experience, after this two months, will be beneficial for me because made me to be more talkative and sociable and to understand more about the refugee situation.
The object of the project was about volunteering in refugees camp and provide support to young children by doing activities with them. My sending organization was Eurasianet and the hosting organization in Ioannina city was the Youth Center of Epirus (remarkable people with humanity, people that you can talk about everything with them).
During my volunteering service there we were 3 more volunteers who worked with me in the refugee accommodation facility in Ioannina city. It was a beautiful experience with lot of kind children, some of them are very kind and you really want to hug them….but we could not because they had a difficult past and we did't want to remind them any abandonment, as our stay there was for a small period. One of our tasks was to prepare different activities for the kids such as crafting, workshops, games etc.
Also, we were helping in different ways at the organisation. One of them was to help with our services to organize a concert called ''Zaravina Festival'' (and we had some t shirts). It was a concert of traditional Greek music, and some guys danced the famous sirtaki. Except the different activities, we were by our own so, we had free time so we could discover the city, the culture of the country, the people, their lifestyle, their language. And so, I learn a lot ( humanity….) and I made new friends… Before, I was shy but now my only wish is to travel again.
My advice for you will be that : Behind each situations that you are scared of, there is an extraordinary opportunity. And don't hesitate to go to new places, people… You never know what will happen. I recommend you to do the same like I did and enjoy your life.
Hello everyone! My name is Diana and I did ESC service in Ioannina.
Doing ESC is a great opportunity to meet new people and yourself! You go to a new place, away from your family and your friends. At the beginning you may feel weird, but after some time you find out that new people can care about you and be your "new family" and new friends. You will not only meet new people during ESC, but you will also have a lot of time to think -or reflect- on your life goals and long-term plans. That's because you are far away from your daily habits. I highly recommend to everyone to take the opportunity and join European Solidarity Corps!
This project was co-funded by the European Commission.