Volunteers 2012 - 2013

January 26, 2018

During my project, I supported the work of the Day Care Centre for children with autism and the Youth Centre of Kalamata.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my project and I think that it was a great experience. When I arrived I did not know what autism was, apart from the stereotypes, and working with autistic children allowed me to learn more about this and see how a centre for children with autism works and the therapeutic activities that they offer. In the Day Care Centre, I managed to find my own place. I was designing things for the children and I did creative activities with them that allowed me to feel useful and to improve my artistic abilities. Together with a local volunteer, we also took the initiative to create some videos for behaviour in social situations that will be useful for the children. I am very happy also because the atmosphere in the Day Care Centre are creating a nice atmoshpere, because they are very young and they love what they do.

I am also very happy by the support that K.A.NE. Social Youth Development provided to me and by the Greek lessons. Finally, I loved the Youth Centre of Kalamata, as we had the opportunity to organise cultural activities and workshops and learn about mobility projects. Also, I am grateful that I had the chance to participate in the workshops of the Youth Centre of Kalamata, which are offered for free to the public by volunteers.

Finally, I am very happy with my relationship with the other foreign and local volunteers, with whom we became friends and shared this experience.

Gianluca, Italy, 07/04/2013

My service was to participate at the coordination of the youth center of Kalamata. It means:
• help in the daily life of the youth center,
• support the Workshops,
• coordinate some workshops( Children activities, French Language exchange workshop),
• to create some communication tools for the youth center, to organize events ( Concerts,Exhibitions)
• Help to the organization of one youth exchange
• Cleaning the youth center
• Write articles for the newsletter
• Support the organisation of seminars
• Making video for the promotion of the youth center
• Help local organisation (Sos children’s Village,Cleaning Beach)
• Give the information for public of the youth center
• Organize EVS cafe for give information for local people about EVS
• Organize Intercultural night
• Organize party for Carnival
• Organize movie Projection on the youth center
• Support the organization of the Street festival
• Organize and Exchange with Graffiti Artists

My expectation before to make EVS was to learn more about a new culture, to take experience on the youth worker, to meet new people, to improve my english and to learn more about the European programme for the youth people. All of these expectations were achieved. For me my project was a real success, It surpassed my expectations, I really took part in an interesting project, wiht the impression to be really useful for the organisation. I was also involved in the organisation of a Youth exchange with 60 people. It was a crazy experience, where I learned how to coordinate an intercultural group. I was satisfied with the daily tasks of the youth center, it was exactly like the description that I received before the project. 

Loic, France, 28/08/2013

During my EVS I was supporting the functioning of the Youth Centre of Kalamata. This included daily coordination, running the info-point for the youth, cleaning, participating in its environmental activities, etc. Together with the other volunteers, we were also assisting in the organisation and planning of different events, such as parties, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, presentations, EVS info-days and activities for children. Additionally, I was doing the Serbian language exchange workshop and helped to develop a system for the library of the youth centre. Finally, I was also contributing articles for our LinK newsletter.

For me, this project was better than I expected, more active and more interesting. Our daily schedule was well organized, and I never felt as if I had too many things to do, or that I had too little things to do. In general, I believe that this project is very successful. It gives different opportunities to the volunteers and it depends also on them how they will see it and use these opportunities. I am very satisfied with my tasks and activities in this project and I can see clearly the learning outcomes. My collaboration with the hosting organisation was excellent.

Jelena, Montenegro, 05/11/2013

I was a general volunteer at the youth center of Kalamata. My duties were many and diverse. Throughout the spring (february to june) I worked on a scheduled rotation inside the youth center during its opening hours, assisting with workshops, working at a info desk, taking care of a café and facilitating my own English workshop. I was also involved with contributing to the organization’s newsletter, planning and managing various events in relation to the youth center (concerts, themed parties, projections). In the summer my responsibilities shifted as the organization and the long-term volunteers helped host a group EVS where I facilitated another workshop in photography and we prepared the organization’s yearly street festival in the town’s park with hundreds of foreign and local volunteers and artists being involved.

Considering I had very little idea of what to expect when I came here (other than a general description of the project, which only tells you so much), I’ve only managed to be pleasantly surprised. The general aim of any volunteer project must be positive social change in some way or another, and I consider my organisation’s work and the social outreach of the youth center to be a success by that criteria. The tasks I performed and responsibilities I held throughout the year were varied and mostly engaging, some of which I considered myself qualified for and some of them not but all with some sort of learning outcomes. Throughout all of this I felt I had more than adequate support from my host organisation and I felt comfortable to communicate any problems or misgivings that I had in order to work towards a solution. All in all I feel extremely satisfied with my project here, and although there might be things I felt I could have done better on a personal level I don’t consider myself to have been let down in any way on my host and sending organisation’s end.

Bjartur, Iceland, 27/08/2013

My service was to help in a therapeutique horse riding school of Kalamata. My tasks were to take care of the children, leading the horse in a safe way, and also preparing and training the horses. A part of my project was also to help in my sending organisation as a French and dance teacher, and also help for the organisation of some eventsduring the year. My service involved me in a short-term EVS project as a mentor for 3 volunteers during 5 weeks.

The extend of my EVS exceeded my expectations, which were at least to have an experience abroad, to learn how to be volunteer, to learn another language and to be more open-minded. Finally I was not only living in Greece, I was also living with people from a lot of different countries, and I met many people from many countries (for sure more than 20!). I also wasn’t feeling like I’m a volunteer, which made me like I know more now who I am and what I would like to do in my lfe (for example, I’m sure that I’ll continue to be a volunteer in my own country). For the language, I can now speak english, and also can communicate in greek if needed (my level is not anough good for have a deep conversation infortunatly). All this experiences exceeded my expectations about my EVS, and made me for sure more open-minded. I also learn some technical stuff, like how to be a dance or french teacher with the lessons I gave in my hosting organisation.

Dorian, France, 04/09/2013

I worked at organic farm. Daily tasks consisted mostly of physical work, such as planting, removing the grass, sorting seeds, ect. Also, part of the project activities included supporting other farm practises, such as cleaning compost boxes in the city or helping on Re-Think (recycle, reuse activities). As it’s an educational farm, several times we were able to intercat with excursions from schools, help to  lead workshops for them. Aside of that, I was teaching Lithuanian language at the youth center once a week.

Overall, the project was a bit disappointing, as it didn’t match the description (we didn’t do most of the mentioned tasks) and was quite disorganised (incomplete activities, no schedules, meetings about daily work) . The coordinator of activities obviously did not have enough knowledge about EVS programme, I mostly pursued same activities as other workers. However, at the end of the project, she became more aware of YiA values and hopefully, it stays like that when future volunteers come. Despite the disappointments, it was still an enriching experience, specially after the working hours when I had the chance to explore the new culture and environment on my own.

Ieva, Lithuania, 05/06/2013

I was working in the Youth Center of Kalamata where I had to give French lessons for beginners and advanced and guitar lessons for four Greek children. My tasks were also to take care of the center: working in the information point to guide the public of the Youth Center, to inform them about different programs and youth exchanges (EVS café; Leornado, Grundtvig), to take part and organise its cultural events (Street Art Festival, intercultural nights, cinema projections etc.), to work in a café which has been created during the year, to coordinate the other volunteers for the maintenance and to cooperate with the Greek volunteers who were giving lessons. In general, my tasks were connected with cultural, artistic and social activities by taking initiatives and being motivated. I worked every day in the Youth Center except during the week-end from 4pm to 10pm with a working day in the morning for preparing the lessons and to reflect about a personal project. 

I have been entirely satisfied by my EVS experience in this organisation. The description of the project on the database reflects the tasks I have had, that is to say: organisation, communication, information, workshops, taking initiatives and the inter-cultural dimension of 15 volunteers from different countries. I could meet a lot of people who helped me to feel integrated and to have a very nice experience. My organisation gave me the opportunity to take initiatives and to do many projects with different bodies (local radio, second chance school, cinema festival etc.) which enriched a lot my EVS project and my education.  

Ines, France, 05/08/2013

My main tasks in this project was to maintain the web sites, blogs and other means of electronic communication of the organization and its projects in order to support the EVS structures in Greece.

The main outcome of the project is to develop the websites (www.ngokane.org, www.evskalamata.blogspot.com, new website of the Youth Centre of Kalamata, Facebook page, www.evsgreece.org). Those websites are the support measures for EVS volunteers in Greece and Kalamata. Also they are the way to promote the Youth in Action programme and volunteer work for the Greek youngsters. I was also responsible for publishing the bimonthly periodical LiNK.

Before coming here I did not have much expectations, but in the end I learned many new skills conserning e-structures like facebook, webdesign in wordpress, publishing e-periodicals and editing them. Also outside of that I got more experienced on dealing with people, communication, project managing etc. Although not everything went as planned from the beginning I could say that experience itself was one in a kind and very-very instructive.

Taaniel, Estonia, 04/09/2013