Natasa and Panos

Natasa and Panos, from Greece and Sweden, joined a ESC voluntarism program in Ioannina, at our organisation, Youth Center of Epirus. Their main activities were to help to run the youth center, offer montly activities to young adults (18 - 30 years old), plan and manage small scale events (discussion topics, workshops etc) and work on online content creation especially related to the people and culture of the city and region of Epirus. Below, you can read some of their testimonies and see photos of their experience in Ioannina!

Natasa:

Hi! I'm Natasa and I'm from Greece. I have been living in Ioannina for the last 5 years due to my studies and now I had the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. The interaction with people from other cultures has provided me with invaluable experiences and stimulated me to discover myself through different values and mindsets. The intercultural events, my Personal Project, and the daily contact with the other volunteers were a source of inspiration and equipped me with civic skills and emotions. In my free time, I had the opportunity to explore the city and the natural landscapes around it. This place will never cease to inspire me. 

 

These three months of volunteering at YCE went by very fast. With the help of George, Marta, and the rest of the volunteers, we made unique memories and worked creatively and enjoyably. I can't believe how many things I learned during this time and how much this experience helped me in improving my communication skills. I met incredible people, and we shared a lot of great moments. I hope these months with you will be the beginning of a lifetime of travel, new experiences, and volunteering. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.

 


Panos:

I have been living in Ioannina for six months and the least I can say is that this experience has been one of the most positive ones in my life. In my first weeks here I was the only volunteer in the office and I had nothing to do outside of office hours. I was also scared that I would get lost in the city and never be found. I actually got lost sometimes but thankfully they found me. But when the other volunteers started coming everything changed.

 

I got the chance to meet some incredible and unique people, with whom I have shared many experiences. I can even say that I have grown with these people and with some of them, for sure we are going to meet again. The city of Ioannina is for me a hidden gem in this world. It is so alive, sometimes chaotic, but at the same time it can have a positive and calming effect on the soul. Here I have experienced some of the funniest and more surreal moments of my life. This city is now a part of who I am, and I will visit it again (something tells me I will come here many times). Working for YCE has also been amazing. It has given me the chance to learn new stuff and evolve new competences. George and Marta are so good at coordinating. I'm very proud of my personal project and I will never forget the funny moments in here. 

 

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this amazing experience, the other volunteers, the people at YCE and also the amazing locals of Ioannina. Although this experience ended, I prefer to think of it as the beginning of something new.

This project was co-funded by the European Commission.