Od Alp do Baltika

07 dec2017

ŠKOFJA LOKA – Vabimo vas k branju EVS izkušnje Toma Maierle, ki se je udeležil kratkoročnega EVS projekta “Multi-culti life skills lab” v gostiteljski organizaciji NGO Ookull v Estoniji. Pošiljajoča organizacija v projektu je bil Zavod Manipura.

I was always interested in doing voluntary work, but I was unaware of the possibility of international voluntary work…until I joined Project Learning of young adults program (PUM-O) in Škofja Loka.  One of the staff members there was EVS volunteer Francesco from Italy, who was helping at daily activities, who gave the program an international feeling and who inspired me. With the help of PUM-O I had completed my secondary education and then I was ready for my next step. I decided to go for EVS.

I was told that first step needed towards my new goal was to prepare CV and my motivational letter. Already one day after I did it I got notified that there is an EVS volunteer from Slovenia needed in Estonia, for the project named Öökull´s village – intercultural learning through dialogue ESTONIA*. I felt I was lucky mostly because it takes time to get selected, but I have accepted right away. I was ready for a new chapter in my life; the only thing I was afraid of that I wouldn’t be accepted by the people there. But I was wrong – I and another Slovenian volunteer Staš were very welcomed.

For those people who don’t know Estonia: it is a flat Baltic country and one of five most forested countries. It has 1525 islands, but it hasn’t got any serious mountains – the highest point is just 318 meters above the sea level. Extremely funny for a person who comes from the alpine country. I was surprised that it was bigger than Slovenia, depending on that the population is only 1,3 million people. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, has a population of 445 000 people, which is twice as big as Ljubljana. If you like nature walks and camping, Estonia is for you and if you don’t like hot weather, then it’s perfect, because the hottest it gets there is 25°C, and  the lowest is –8,3°C. During the August, when the project was going on, Slovenia was struggling with the heat wave and the temperatures close to 40 degrees, while I was enjoying fresh Baltic breeze.

There were 11 EVS volunteers in the working team up there (it is up there, literary), or more specific, in Turku. They were coming from UK, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Spain, and Italy. Our job was to take care of the children in the local daily care and youth center in the first week, cleaning up the military camp the second week, the third week was meant for sightseeing around Estonia, but the last week was the greatest because I helped to prepare military festival in Valga City.

In just one month there I improved my communication and teamwork skills. Work with children it made me be more alert, be prepared to help. The military camp helped me to work and communicate in a team.  I returned back home with new knowledge, a lot of experiences and with a strong wish to attend long-term EVS project.

The experience of traveling changes you because you don’t know what to expect from it. Someone may be scared of traveling somewhere other than around his own country because he or she isn’t used to the lifestyle there, but in the end, it’s all worth it. It expands your horizons and changes your personality for better.

Tom Maierle from Slovenia

 *Tom se je udeležil kratkoročnega EVS projekta »Multi-culti life skills lab« v gostiteljski organizaciji NGO Ookull v Estoniji. Pošiljajoča organizacija v projektu je bil Zavod Manipura.

Vir in foto: Zavod Manipura

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