Maewenn, Dani and Gisela

Maewenn, Dani and Gisela 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. 


Hello everyone, I'm Maewenn, I'm 21 years old and I had the chance to live this volunteering for 6 month in Ioannina.


I'm writing this text with emotion as this is my last day in Ioannina. A page is being turned on this beautiful chapter of my life.


I am grateful for the wonderful months I have spent here, a special thank you for the welcome and support I have received from the office. Marta, Teo, Thomas, Dora, thank you for helping to make these six months more beautiful.


I am grateful for this opportunity to discover a new country, a new culture. Ioannina is a beautiful, lively, student town, in the middle of the mountains and bordering a lake.


I am grateful for the chance I had to meet all these people from all over the world, and for all the moments spent with the unaccompanied minors of the Perama centre. They will remain precious memories. I will remember the laughter shared, the enriching conversations exchanged, the dances and songs learned (yes, I have a whole playlist), the meals we had together and all these mixed languages. "Sharing", I think, is the perfect word to describe what we experienced with the teenagers: powerful moments of exchange. The challenging language barrier did not prevent these moments, and even made the experience more precious: it is amazing to be able to understand someone without words, to enjoy a moment of sharing through laughter, miming and simple looks.


I am also grateful for this experience, which gave me the chance, through my personal project, which I carried out with two other volunteers, Alessandra and Gisela, to learn more about the world of migration.

Sharing these moments with the teenagers, catching some sad glances, listening to some pieces of their story made us want to study more deeply the reasons that pushed them to undertake this long journey. After several weeks of research, exchanges and readings, we decided to gather all the information we found on a map, in order to share it.


I am as well definitely grateful to have had the chance to meet the volunteers with whom I was able to share this intense experience and all those moments away from home. Mathys, Elise, Madjida, Dani, Gisela, Andrea, Clara, Maika, Alessandra, Terence and Christian: I loved spending these 6 months with you, which would have been different without you. I would also like to mention Marta, Chloé and Maria with whom we also spent a lot of time. Between trips, laughter, discussions, meals, moments of misunderstanding due to the language and never-ending games of monopoly... I think we can say that this flatshare has worked pretty well. I had a lovely time here. I leave with a head full of beautiful memories. THANK YOU!


Hi everyone! I'm Gisela, I'm from Spain and today is my last day of volunteering with European Solidarity Corps.


My volunteering has consisted of two things: on the one hand, office work, where we prepared the afternoon activities and worked on a personal project; on the other hand, carrying out non-formal education activities in a center for unaccompanied minor refugee children. Moreover, in my free time, I have had the opportunity to discover the city and to travel around the country, enjoying its gastronomy and landscapes.


Thanks to Youth Center of Epirus for giving me the opportunity to have lived such a beautiful experience, from which I take friends and learning, a lot of learning.


These photos are just a small part of everything I have lived. I leave with a suitcase full of things from different countries and with more intellectual and cultural baggage.


Hello everyone, I'm Dani, from Seville (Spain) and for the last six months I have been a volunteer with European Solidarity Corps in Youth Center of Epirus.


My task as a volunteer has been based on non-formal education activities with unaccompanied asylum seekers foreign minors. At the same time I have been making three videos that you will soon be able to see on YCE's social networks.


In these 6 months I have been able to develop as a person and as a professional, learning a lot from my colleagues and, also, the minors, and at the same time I have been able to get to know this wonderful country, learning about its culture and its very important history.


I am writing from the airport ready to return to Spain having learned a lot and I can only thank everyone. Thanks to the 10 volunteers I have been able to meet during this time, to all the colleagues in the office and the wonderful working atmosphere, and thanks to the minors for teaching me so much. Thank you for these 6 months!

This project was co-funded by the European Commission.