Sonsoles, from Spain, decided to live new challenges and join an ESC volunteering project in Romania. She share with us her feeling after 5 months living this experience
Hi Sonsoles, tell us about you so our readers can know you a little bit.
Hello guys! My name is Sonsoles and I am a sensitive, hardworking and activist person. I am 31 now, but I feel younger. I love practising sport, reading, hanging out with my friends and fight again injustice and again fascism. I am Math teacher and I like working in education. I think education is the base of everything, and the society has to work hard in it. This is one of the reason because of I chose my volunteer project.
Right now, you are doing an ESC project in Romania, can you tell us more about this program and your project in particular?
ESC is a program from the European Union that let you do a project in another country. They help you with pocket money and house, and an organization take care of you and support you in your learning process.
My project consist in help students from high school to use storytelling and film-making to express the concept of solidarity and work with them about what is solidarity and why it is important. We have prepared a Solidarity International Film Festival where the student can present their final composition. We decide to do this festival able to participate whoever want in the world, but we have a special category for our student.
Why did you decide to do this experience? What were you expecting and what happened in reality?
I wanted to live a new history in my live, discover what you feel living in other country, know new people and new cultures, improve my English, my communication skills and face a new situation in my life.
I think that at the beginning you have great expectation, but I think this expectation is going to be real if you choose your project well and you have lucky with the people and the organisation. In my case, it is going difficult to connect with the others volunteers, but I know I am very exigent, and I am 31, so I am more exiting now.
Regarding another way, I felt alone in my english learning at the beginning of the project and I think my organization could have had this more in account. I think I needed a preparation course before coming. But I don’t regret to come, I regret to not study harder English before in my life. But now, 5 month later, I feel really better with this and at the end, I can follow the rhythm of my project.
Did you face any difficulties? How did overcame them?
Yes, I have had to face a lot of difficulties (English, communication with my mates, connection with the people, culture change) that make me feel hard moment, but I worked really hard to overcame them, and now, 5 month later, I can feel I am able to understand all is happening around me.
Tell us a funny anecdote happened to you during the project.
All the volunteers during the first month have to do On Arrival Training, that it is a training where all the volunteer coming to Romania meet during a week. One day, during lunch, I sat down on a table with other three volunteers being really sure this another three girls was two from German and the another one from France. I was really overwhelmed with English, and I felt really lost. I couldn’t understand nothing of the conversation and I was thinking that I was really tired because of the day. They looked at my face and they apologised for be speaking German. I was really confused, why are you speaking german if you are from France? The girl start to laugh because she was from German too.
Is this experience changing you somehow?
Of course, besides because I am making an effort very big and I personally am working a lot. I am preparing my mind to communicate with other people in English and in other ways, to understand other cultures, other points of view. I think that this period is a long period to reflect on about my life and an experience different that I think is interesting to life, above all, if you like to try new challenges.
Leave a message to all people that are wondering if join or not European Solidarity Corps and give one advice to choose the right project.
I think you should taking the necessary time to find a project that totally suits your tastes, the conditions you expect, and I think it is very important to do an interview in which you speak well in detail about the organization, the type of project, the conditions… Although I think that until you start trying one, you will not know if you were right or not, and that expectations are always somewhat different from what it will be. In my particular case, I didn’t have much reaction time because I was at the age limit, and I didn’t take long to search.
I personally expected more from my project and my organization, it must also be said that I am a very demanding person, older, and everything has also depended on the connection with the other colleagues and people in the organization. But I also know, and I say this because I have seen it with my eyes, that there are organizations that give their body and soul in their projects and their volunteers (Miriana de Mille Cunti has shown it to me) and make them live unforgettable experiences.