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"That’s why becoming a volunteer was my best decision." (by Veronika Simó)

Hi, I’m Veronika. I should write about my volunteering experience. But let me talk instead about the best decision of my life that I have made this far. Long story short, before EVS I was an average girl with average life: high school, university followed by working years, comfort zone...and boredom. Basically this was my life before I decided to change something. The idea of volunteering was born in a bright autumn morning. The same day in the afternoon I already knew what I’m going to do, because I saw the post on A.T.A.’s Facebook-page, that they are looking for a volunteer in England.  I applied without hesitation. So that’s how I came here to Dudley, UK for 6 months to do volunteer work at High Oak Youth and Community Centre.  I work and live together with 4 other volunteers from Austria, Germany and Spain. Our task is to support the staff of the organization, in other words we lead different youth clubs, we do some office work, organize activities for the children and young people in the local community, we help in a soup kitchen and we also run our personal projects like dance workshops (Hector from Spain) video-editing (Elisabeth from Austria and me) or alcohol awareness sessions (Miriam from Germany). It’s very inspiring to work in this multicultural community.  And not least, England is an amazing place! Yes, it’s cold indeed, real summer is non-existent, but it doesn’t rain every day. Instead, you can experience 4 or even more seasons in one single day. You are everybody’s „darling” and „sweetheart”, no-one will refuse you in case you need help, and though they use the „wrong” side of the street, they also tell you in which direction to look when crossing the road.

Not only the economy is large and strong, but the cultural life as well. Numerous museums, galleries and events are available mostly for free. The little towns in countryside, just as the big cities are astonishing especially for me, coming from eastern-Europe.  This country has a special atmosphere, the evergreen landscapes and old castles sometimes take you back in time, imagining the life in the past just like in a Jane Austen novel.  And if you still have questions and doubts about the worthiness of EVS, I can tell you that volunteering isn’t only about doing something for others. Volunteering is about learning about myself, from myself and from others, meeting new people from different countries, building friendships, collecting memories, knowledge about cultures. Volunteering means improving in every aspects of life! Volunteering is challenging yourself and succeed. It’s about experience, travelling and learning.  Doesn’t sound this great? That’s why becoming a volunteer was my best decision.

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by Veronika Simó