Sohila from France and Gloria and Juan from Spain joined ESC voluntarism project in Ioannina, at our organisation Youth Center of Epirus. Each of them completed 2 months of service; their main activities were to implement recreational activities for asylum seeker children and work on digital content creation on social issues. Below, you can read some of their testimonies and see photos, video of their experience in Ioannina!
Their activity was part of the project "Volunteering at Youth Center of Epirus" which is supported by the European Commission and is under the European Solidarity Corps programme.
Why did I decide to take part of this program at the Youth Center of Epirus? Well, being a volunteer in a program with refugees was always in my mind. When I saw this opportunity, I didn’t think it twice, and now I have to say that it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.
We were lucky that the activities with the children at the accommodation facility restarted just one week after our arrival to Ioannina. In these two months I have learnt so many things that I can not write them here. Working with children is never easy, but when you see how they have changed and all the things they have learnt only in 60 days… it is an amazing feeling.
The city of Ioannina was a great discover for me. I had never been in Greece before, but going there was one of my dreams since I was a little child. I had never listened anything about the region of Epirus, but after the 2 months I spent there, I can say that is an amazing place. You can do everything, trekking, swimming in the sea, visit small beautiful villages… Ioannina is a city that makes you feel at home the moment that you arrive, but it also helps being surrounded by amazing people.
Thanks to the wonderful people that work in the Youth Center of Epirus this experience was even better. They were always there for any question that we had or for any help that we needed (about the project or about any other thing: where to go to eat, to have a coffee, what to do in the weekend…). It is clear that without them, my time there wouldn’t have been the same.
So, if you are reading this because you are thinking about applying to any of their programs, DO IT! You will not regret it!!
I have always saw the European Solidarity Corps as a great opportunity to have an international experience and to get closer to a different culture.
I finally decided to go to Ioannina because I loved the project at the Youth Center of Epirus since the first time I read about it. But the true is that I did not know a lot about Greece and the city, so I could not imagine what I was going to find there. But I knew it was going to be a great experience. And it was indeed.
First, I was very lucky to have very compromised people around me that helped me in the process of integration and shown me so many things! The working atmosphere at the YCE is amazing and I felt very welcome since the first day I was there. I felt I was part of the team.
Furthermore, working with the children of the accommodation facility of Agia Eleni was one of the most enriching experiences I had. One of my motivations to go to Ioannina was to work with these children and help them to have some time learning and enjoying with the activities we prepared.
Besides this, I also found a city with loads of amazing places, beautiful natural environments, and charming local people. These were just some of the things I had on my mind when thinking about my ESC experience. They were only two months, but I would not change them for anything! If someone asks me if I came back again to have this experience, I would say YES without doubting!
This project was co-funded by the European Commission.