Badis and Wassila 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 their testimony and see photos of their experience in Ioannina!
The project was coordinated and supported by the organisation EurasiaNet, based in France.
Two months ago, I applied for a volunteering in Ioannina. A small city, but also nice and touristic with breathtaking landscapes. Little did I know that this place, would become one
day one of my favourite places…or can I say… my new heart city.
At my arrival here I’ve been welcomed by my two flat mates Baha and Krete who were not working that afternoon. After such a long trip, being warm welcomed is a need, and they succeeded at making us comfortable. Later that day we met Chiara and Alessandra who were working at the facility. When I arrived at the office the first Tuesday after my arrival, I’ve been welcomed with a cake, the sing, smiles and gift from everyone, as it was my 21st birthday. I didn’t expect that at all, and my tears of happiness expressed my surprise…
Our mission here was to provide non-formal education to young asylum seekers through different types of activities such as cooking, drawing, sports, and many others, … As soon as we started working at the facility, I felt like, for me, at that moment, it was my place to be. Meeting these new people coming from different countries and with unexpectable background was something I didn’t know I needed to experience. During these two months I learned a lot about myself, my perception of life, and above all, things that really matters.
Seeing those innocent faces, those eyes full of histories and those laughs spreading kindness, sympathy, and smiles… was one of the best things I had the chance to experience here. I had the chance to exchange a lot with them, about our interests, cultures, and projects also.
About the accommodation, I am really happy about the atmosphere with the flat mates. We quickly got along with each other and even though I arrived a while after all of them, I felt instantly integrated. We spent some weekends together in other cities like Preveza and Parga. Furthermore, we also had the chance to visit the beautiful city of Syvota with Giorgo and some of his good friends.
From the minors from the facility to the colleagues from the office and friends I met here in Ioannina; my two-months services were amazing. I will always be more than grateful for this opportunity. As a first experience abroad, it gives me good hope for the all the things to come…
This project was co-funded by the European Commission.