In July 2018, Andrea left Slovekia to participate in a workcamp of 2 weeks, as a European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteer through the project "V.I.P. - Volunteering is Possible" with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Programme funded by the European Commission. She supported children with disabilites throught “This summer is ours“, a project organized by ELIX in Elefsina. Discover what she wrote about her experience.
"Hello! My name is Andrea and I am from Slovakia. Last summer I participated in a volunteering project in Greece. It took place in Elefsina near Athens and the aim of the work camp was to help and entertain children with disabilities attending a summer camp.
I got the idea to participate in an EVS when I was on my first Erasmus project in Sicily in autumn 2017. They told us about EVS and I immediately knew that I need to take part. Later that year I was searching for more information and I found a perfect project for me – short-term, during summer, in beautiful sunny Greece and work with disabled children. I wrote an email, had a Skype interview with my coordinator and when I got the vacancy: I could not believe it! I was both happy and worried. I took it as a challenge. In general, I am a shy person and I was wondering how I was going to communicate with the kids. And of course, it was a step out of my comfort zone.
All of my worries disappeared at the moment I entered the school in Elefsina where we stayed and met our camp leaders and other volunteers. A group of smiling people from different corners of Europe. I can say, that the team spirit was there from the very beginning to the very end. And that was one of the precious experiences I got there. Team work!
Another day, we met the pedagogues who were managing the programme for the children. They explained us what we were going to do. Those women are most energetic and positive people I have ever met!
When we finally met the children, all of us fell in love with them. We realised how easy communication is even without speaking the same language. We played games together, had art classes and prepared a performance that was about to be the last day of the camp. Children were really amazing, having a great time playing and learning. It was an amazing experience to meet such kids and interact with them.
Besides the "work", we had with kids, we had a unique opportunity to experience a real Greece, to eat the delicious food and to take some trips to wonderful places. Almost every day we went to see some new place around. Our camp leaders were wonderful, helpful and they showed us interesting and beautiful places.
This camp was really one of the most wonderful experiences in my life. I stepped out of my comfort zone, met amazing people from different countries, made friends, learnt that respect, team work, tolerance, love and support are the key elements when we want to work and exist together in peace. I cannot really put into words what it means to me that I was able to take part in this camp. You just have to try it yourself to understand!"
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