My EVS story

Thinking about a short description for my previous year in Germany, looking back at my journey that started due to APY and continued in LandKunstLeben e.V., I often come to this title – EVS ruined my life.  Most of the time, people get confused, was it that bad? The answer is in my short story.

My story is not about crazy travelling through Europe (visiting more than 15 cities, 6 countries), making amazing, lifelong friends, nor it is about foreign languages that I learnt from basics or improved or got the interest to start learning nor it is about new cultures, new skills, new experiences that I gained, participating in the coolest workshops, competitions, trainings, getting better in my hobbies ( cooking, baking, SMM and many more).  My gratitude to EVS project is not even for the opportunity to experience for the first time in my life things like ecological gardening, planting, working in an office, even biking, eating Bretzel, meeting Finnish people and breaking the stereotype, that they are not funny ( they can really be) and many other things.

My story and my gratitude is not about all this wonderful, life-changing experiences, it is all about getting lost in the stations, breaking my leg ( while learning to bike), facing hardships, it is about destroying ideas and beliefs that I never questioned, destroying dreams that were fake to be brave enough to realize the real ones, my gratitude is about finding myself,  learning to learn, it is about ruining the life that once was full of fears, stereotypes, complexes to fill it with self-understanding, love, respect, friendship, honesty, strength, ability to fail, empathy, support, solidarity and happiness…

Was it that good, you might ask…

No, of course not. ( Because of constant happiness and delicious food, there is a high possibility of gaining weight).

My EVS story

I am Ani from Yerevan, Armenia and I did EVS/ESC in the heart of Vienna, Austria. Yes, I was a lucky person.

I applied for the EVS because I wanted to change my life for better, making it more interesting and diverse, to become more independent, do career and make new friends from all over the world. Now, when my ten months of EVS are over, I can say that I have accomplished that mission.

It has only been ten months but I learned and accomplished a lot of things during that period: I learned a totally new language from basics, German, I met new awesome people from different countries and with different background and became good friends with them, I was exposed to the culture of the country that hosted me, and the more I learned about that country and its people, the more I loved them. I miss Austria sometimes, as it became my second homeland or a country that I am quite familiar with and if being dropped there one day again I will not be lost there, for sure.I worked on my language skills, developed my social skills and career.  And I definitely became more independent. I was a volunteer at Kindergruppe Butterbrot. I was working with 2-6 years old kids. My work at the kindergruppe was very beneficial for me as it gave me an opportunity to grow, I gave as much as I could and I learned new methods of working with kids from my co-workers and I hope I can apply that knowledge one day here, in my country. And what is most important- I once again realized that I love kids and will be working with them in the future. And I really miss my kids there.

I had to work there for five days per week, for six hours a day. My tasks would include taking care of kids, reading books to them, playing different games with them, preparing food, putting the plates in the dishwashing machine, sometimes telling kids interesting things, doing crafts with them. My kindergruppe would also organize some excursions to museums, theaters, celebrations of some kind of festivals together so I would join the kids during the excursions as well and enjoy the theatre performances with them.

While being abroad, traveling becomes easier and one of my tips for the next volunteers is to travel as much as possible. I managed to visit two new countries while volunteering, but I know that I could allocate more time for traveling. It broadens one’s mind, and I had a feeling that I was a small piece of a whole; it gave me a feeling of integrity.

Volunteering is a responsibility, but at the same time it is fun. Now, already back to my country, I feel that I have left a piece from my heart in Austria which was just another European country for me before I did my EVS there. I wish it was possible to do another EVS/ESC again:) Of course, I don’t want to say that everything was smooth, without any problems. I have encountered some challenges but I was able to overcome them because I never felt lonely there, I was always surrounded with kind people, people from my hosting, receiving, sending organizations and NA, who were always next to me, ready to support. I would like to express my special gratitude to all these organizations and people involved in them who made my life so beautiful during these ten long months.

Although being in a pre-designed project which is supposed to go smoothly, it is a part of real life, where you have certain roles and you have to make decisions for yourself, perhaps for the first time in your life. And that is challenging and at the same time so wonderful.

I want other volunteers to put their doubts aside and apply for EVS without fears, being open to changes. You can do that! Don’t be afraid to do EVS, EVS is for everybody, EVS is for you!


EVS opportunity with APY in Italy

APY offers a fantastic 6 months EVS opportunity at our partner organization AMBECO’ in Italy.

Project title: Growing awareness for the environment
Start date: 01 March 2018
Duration: 6 month
Where: Coop. AMBECO’ – Avezzano (Aq) – Italy

Aim of the project is to involve the volunteer in the realization of information and sensitization campaigns addressed to citizens and students related to sustainable development through environmental education.

The volunteer will be involved in the planning of activities and projects, in the participation, organization and management of environmental education activities and events. The volunteer will be involved in communication activities, preparing articles, updating the website and social media, will support AMBECO’ in its weekly activities and ongoing projects.AMBECO’ guaranteed that the volunteer will receive assistance from a working, educational and social point of view during all phases of his / her stay. It is very important that the volunteer learn new things, improve their skills in foreign languages.

Location: The organisation AMBECO’ is in Avezzano, a town of 40.000 citizens, in the Abruzzo region. We are about 100 km from Rome. Our offices are in the center of Avezzano and the volunteer will stay in an apartment, on the top floor of our offices.

Here you can find more information about the location and the staff: Foto accreditamento SVE

APY and AMBECO’ have certain requirements to the volunteers:

  • Good command of English
  • Experience and interest in Erasmus+ projects
  • Sensitivity towards environmental issues
  • Knowledge of web 2.0 tools (for creating and sharing content online)
  • Promoting AMBECO’ activities in social media (fb, instagram, youtube etc)
  • Supporting AMBECO’ in its weekly activities and ongoing projects
  • Developing own initiatives and implementing them

Check for more information about AMBECO’.

If you are interested please send your CV and Motivation letter to the following e-mail address [email protected] until 15 February, 2018.

The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Community, cooperation, communication, co-existance – you will be able to discover your own meaning



WHERE – The project is volunteering in integrated school in the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius.

The school „Versmė“ („stream“ in english) has 544 schoolchildre   n from 6 to 18 years of age. It is primary and secondary school and is specified as an integrated school. They welcome children with mental and physical disabilities, as well as emigrants in their school and do a lot for integration in society. It is based on human and christian values. All teachers and administration tries to develop habits of tolerance, respect and solidarity. Non formal education takes place in their village house in country side near Vilnius – camping, day actvities, etc. There are different national and international projects going on at school and local community, so everyone is more or less used to work internationally, to welcome volunteers.

WHAT – the help of volunteers is needed during lessons of foreign language; during art, geograpghy lessons for children with special needs; in organising activities for children during breaks and while waiting for transport to go home; help in value education programm in the village house twice a year – create and organize the camp; and other possible activities such as helping students in Parliament acitivities, prepeare school feasts, developing school‘s website together with students, help prepearing different excursions, trips, activities, rallies, different help for students with disability in crafts, art and other lessons, etc. Maximum 36hours in a week, sometimes during the weekends, but then, having a day off on working day.

WHEN – 2017 September till 2018 July (10 months)

CONTACT[email protected] , [email protected]


Call for One Armenian EVS Volunteer in Bulgaria

Association Alternativi International is looking for young people aged 18 to 30 to join our team in Bulgaria for European Voluntary Service /EVS/.

We are currently having a placement for one Armenian volunteer in a 8-month EVS starting from 1-st of June 2017.

The project “EVS Academy” is already APPROVED and will take place in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

Project Objectives:

  • providing local youth access to quality youth information and counseling on career development, mobility programs, volunteering, personal development;
  • providing alternative to local youth for organizing activities for their leisure time by organizing thematic clubs, summer camps, cultural workshops, youth festivals;
  • promoting volunteering and EVS and inclusion of local young people to the values of volunteering.
  • organizing the free time of youth; there will be thematic workshops organized according to the interests of the volunteers such as music, cooking, culture, traditions, sports to be an alternative for local youth on their free time spending.


Part of these activities will be conducted in small town and rural areas and include youth who do not have much access to information and opportunities. The project will offer young people an alternative for leisure time activities to ensure access to quality youth information, activities to promote EVS and Erasmus +, trainings and workshops for career development, Academy of success -3-month activity with various modules such as personal development, acquisition of soft skills, entrepreneurship, information about mobility programs, etc. which will improve the chances of young people to enter the labor market. As part of the project we will organize a youth festival associated with the arts, culture and expression of the talents of local youth. Each month the team will issue online youth magazine with a variety of development opportunities and valuable information for young people. Using the tools of non-formal education, we believe that this project will give new opportunities and will have a positive impact on personal and professional development of many young people by providing access to quality youth information, including young people from small towns, encouraging participation in mobility programs, promote their activity and social responsibility, will inform and motivate them to become volunteers will introduce them to new cultures, will raise the level of their knowledge, skills and competencies.


The volunteers will be accommodated in a flat in Blagoevgrad sharing a room with another volunteer from other country but same sex.


The project is financed by Erasmus+ program thus it covers the volunteer`s accommodation and utility costs, pocket money/70euro/ and food money /110 euro per month/, travel costs/2 way ticket based on the most budget way of travel/;  medical insurance; support from the organization by providing mentor and coordinators; Bulgarian language course.

2 EVS Placements in Belgium

Primary school De Appeltuin

(1-st Project)

Native City: Leuven


Activities and mission of the organization:

De Appeltuin is one of the 40 Freinet Schools in Flanders. The Freinet Pedagogical concept is part of the larger pedagogical project of Community Education in Flanders. Its aim is the total development of a person, with attention for the optimal development for each child personally. De Appeltuin is a kindergarten and primary school.

The aims of the school are:

  • to have a constant attention for natural learning, based on the experiences and world of interest of the child, keeping in mind the established development goals and school
  • to work together, based on cooperative and democratic consultation instead of one sided Children are one of the three stakeholder groups in our school. This way, we want to stimulate independency in children.
  • to experiment and learn-by-doing instead of applying rules and regulations, because the learning effect is much larger when a child can convert self-discovered material into new
  • to work usefully and Working useless in a school leads to following without thinking and a lack of satisfaction.

The groups of children are structured in a way that there are always 2 age groups together. This stimulates that older children learn from the younger ones and the other way around.

There is a lot a thematic approach – so called projects – especially in the kindergarten. Their kids can explore together different themes that are of interest in their world. In primary school, these projects are larger and more elaborated in time and space. The learning area of ‘world orientation’ is treated in these projects.


Sector of the organization: children – non-formal education


Location of the project: The school is located in the center of Leuven, at 20 min. walk from the train station. Leuven is one of the most popular cities in Flanders for students. It is one of the oldest university cities of Belgium and has a wide range of cultural and social activities. Students from all over Belgium and Europe live here during the academic year. Leuven has a very rich history, which can be seen in the many historical buildings and sites. Leuven has a small center but counts several parts, which are nearby and are more quiet and green.

Office environment:

De Appeltuin has a staff team of 23 people, which includes kindergarten teachers, primary school teachers, pedagogical support team, after care, administrative staff, coordinator,…

Another important factor in this school is the involvement of parents and thematic working groups within school the education of the children. This can be in the classroom (projects, practical work,..), class responsible, working groups in the school (reading support, logistics, music, communication,..).


Benefit from the volunteer:

The school sees project education as the important working method. Having an international volunteer could in this context be a perfect challenge for everyone involved to apply this form of non-formal education. The presence and cooperation of a foreign volunteer can mean a serious extra value in our school. One of our goals is to form our children to be active citizens with respect for every other human being, for nature and for other cultures.


Tasks of the volunteer:

The tasks of the volunteer will evolve from practical help in the classroom to the setting up of a specific project. The velocity of this evolution will depend on the growing language and practical skills of the volunteer. The volunteer will be assisting in classes of toddlers or primary school children, depending on the level of Dutch.


The volunteer will:

  • Assist in mainly one classroom (depending on the language level). This can be individual guidance of children who can’t follow the lessons as good as the It can also be to assist when the teacher is using a method where they need assistance, for example when they want to do an educational game to teach them something; then the volunteer can help in preparing this and guide it. It can also be to help with the classes when they are drawing, making something creative, or doing work-shops, such as drama and theatre or teaching them new songs.
  • Take part in out-door activities with the children: go swimming with them, excursions, thematical workshops,… For example, going to the forest in autumn to learn about this season, going to a museum and they have interactive workshops, going to a theatre or a movie and later in class having a de-briefing about it, going to the seaside and learn about the typical vegetation there, going for a week somewhere together…
  • Next to that, the volunteer will organize own activities and workshops, depending on the interests of the For example, to set up a project about her home country, to teach the children about the differences and similarities between cultures. A lot of time of the volunteer’s work will go to this aspect.


Working hours during a normal day:

The volunteer will do voluntarily work for 5 days a week from 9AM until 4PM (Wednesday only in the morning). School holidays are free.


Specific skills volunteer should have:

For De Appeltuin motivation and interest in the themes the project is working with, namely education and children, is the biggest criteria. The learning possibilities of the volunteer are also important. Since it is needed in the work with children, the volunteer needs to like to work with children and should have interest in pedagogical methods. We strongly advise volunteers to read about the Freinet-philosophy and educational methods before arrival.


Level of language skills: intermediate English and very motivated to learn Dutch


 Volunteer’s benefit:

The volunteer will be as an extra in the team of the teachers of the school. She/he will get the opportunity to assist in different classrooms (mainly one, but some others) and to get a close look on the educational tools and methods of a ‘Freinetschool’. The principles of the Freinet-philosophy are related to ‘non-formal education’ and ‘experimental learning’. This means that the children have to work on a variety of projects with different themes.


Steinerschool De Sterrendaalders

(2-nd Project)

Native City: Lier


Activities and mission of the organization:

Education for children between 2,5 and 6 years old (kindergarden) and children between 6-12 years old (primary school) based on the Steiner pedagogy. The Steiner pedagogy is focused on the personal and social development of children in a well-balanced and free environment. We provide education for children, irrespective of race, descent or philosophical convictions.


Sector of the organization:

Non-formal education – children


Location of the project:

The project is located in Lier at the border of the city center. The school is located next to a residential area.


Office environment: approx. 18 teachers


Tasks of the volunteer:

We are looking for a volunteer to be part of our staff in the kindergarten (21/2-6 years) and more specifically in the first class of kindergarten (21/2-3 years old). The volunteer will be actively involved during her/his whole stay. The tasks will all be related to the follow-up and supervision of the children during their school day. The following tasks will certainly have to be performed:


  • taking care of the preschoolers getting (un)dressed for the outdoor activities (we do a lot of outdoor activities even under bad weather conditions – in order to be able to do so, we’ve rain&mud equipement that our smallest children gradually need to learn to put on themselves, this is one of the skills they learn in the first class)


  • Recess duty: We have moments of free playing and directed playing, during both moments not only supervision but also observation of the development of the children is an important task of our staff. If interested it could be a possibility for the volunteer to prepare some directed play moments (with coaching of the class teacher)
  • Helping to prepare the fruit and soup meals: Healthy food is part of our education, Therefore our day starts with a fruit plate where the fruit is brought by the children and then peeled and shared between the pupils. 3 times a week we also prepare soup with fresh organic vegetables in our kindergarten classes together with the children.
  • Preparing and supervising the after lunch nap: We’re enthousiastic about the positive impact of a resting/sleeping moment for our kindergartners. Therefore until 6 years old they all have a moment of rest on their mattresses after lunch.


The volunteer could start a personal project under coaching of the class teacher. Eg of a possible project: Prepare and supervise a directed play moment where his/her culture is integrated in order to be able to share and transmit some of this to the pupils. This could be on a regular base (e.g. weekly), in order to create interaction and interest with the children towards this specific intercultural playmoment.


Working hours during a normal day:


The volunteer will work 5 days a week from 8.15 till 15.30. Monday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon is free. School-holidays are free.


Specific skills volunteer should have:


  • open minded
  • patient with children
  • motivation and determination to learn more
  • communicative and sociable
  • interest in Steiner philosophy: we advise volunteers to read more about the Steiner education method before arrival


Level of language skills: intermediate English and strong motivation to learn Dutch

Volunteer’s benefit:

You’ll get to know a vivid community of teachers, parents and children that will give you the space to experience our culture. With the contacts you make at our project, you’ll deepen your knowledge about our culture and our country also outside the workplace.

Urgent Call for an Armenian Volunteer for an EVS Project in Poland

If you live in Armenia and would like to become a European Service volunteer at the Cultural Association “Postcard” in Poland, then this open call is for YOU!

(Please, read all the details before you apply)

When?! – The end of January 2017 until the end of September 2017.
Where?! – In Poland, in a small town called Hajnówka, in the region of Bialowieza National Forest.

Association’s activities are carried out by a group of independent artists associated mainly with the theater but also with photography, music, dance. Main activity of our association is organization of WERTEP International Theatre Festival.
accommodation, food and transport arrangements

We guarantee:
– financially: we reimburse the costs of visa, transportation to Poland and local transport
– logistically: accommodation, food and pocket money (85 euro per month)
– artistically: participation in small and large projects implemented by the Association and A3Theatre


Training during the project

The volunteer will participate in mid-term training in Toruń.
Also volunteer will learn Polish language and improve their English.
Volunteer profile

We are looking for
– A girl or boy
– between 20-29 years old
– who is curious of everything – new experiences, e.g. organizing theatrical festival, creating theatrical show and scenography, and at the same time – living in a small town, getting to know with local communities and local traditions
– who is eager for cooperation and working in a group
– who is interested in theatre, scenography, design, photography, design of advertising materials
BUT if you have any other interests, tell us about them, maybe we will find something in common.

For us it is important:
– willingness of being in a group with other volunteers
– openness to new challenges
– willingness of learning new things
– willingness of sharing your experience
How to apply

Please send us an email titled “Urgent call for EVS” with your CV (in English) with photo and covering letter. Please explain why do you want to participate in this project and mention Armenian Progressive Youth NGO as your sending organisation from Armenia.
All documents send to: [email protected]

Deadline: 15.01.2017.

After being positively considered in first step of recruitment process we are going to carry out a Skype interview.
We will let you know by e-mail about the results.

Once you are selected, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO will support you with pre-training before your voluntary service and visa procedure.

Özge Bozkaya’s EVS Experience in Armenia

Özge Bozkaya is from Turkey and this year has come to Armenia to do a 6-month-long European voluntary service (EVS). She tells that participating in projects related to promoting human rights in different societies has always been an important part of her life. “Because of this”, she explains, “the EVS experience was an opportunity to participate in projects focused on social development. “For me”, she continues, “being the part of projects related to human rights is  important for my self-development. So first of all, I applied to an EVS programme for the opportunity to work with what I am genuinely interested in”.

15300518_10210006931122114_1292518759_n-1“The second reason for me to be involved in this programme was my curiosity about Armenia, Armenians, Armenian culture and Armenian peoples’ perspective on the Turkish identity. Also, my master thesis was related to Armenian students and academics’ perspective on the EU membership of Turkey. EVS gave me the chance to meet with a new culture and try to promote some of the rights I stand for in Armenia. It was a really unique experience.”

Özges was involved in the “Local Events group” at APY, and her main task was about promoting human rights for minorities in Armenia. They were together creating ideas and events that would be beneficial for the Armenian society. “Participating in the events that we organized, offered me new skills and experiences for my future life.One of the best experiences I had with the APY was to shoot a video about antiracism.  16 nationalities came together with the idea of shooting video for prevention of racism. And we were really pleased to have common feelings about the topic. It was really good to get to know them.

Özge has been in many countries in the world. However, she says, Armenia was special to me. “There are some reciprocal prejudices between Turkish and Armenian identities. This I was well-prepared for coming to Armenia. My first aspiration when integrating with Armenian culture was to be an “unbiased human”. Because by breaking walls between nationalities you destroy prejudices. It was a truly unique experience for me as a Turk and an opportunity to develop myself and my skills about integrating another cultures.”

Furthermore, she remembers the social life as a big part of her experience. “I shared many amazing moments with my Armenian friends. Although my EVS programme ended 7 months ago, I still keep in touch with my close friends from Armenia. This makes me really happy.”


Even though Özge really enjoyed her stay in Armenia, there were some things that she never got used to. One of those things were the “mashrutka”, the mini vans that are used for public transport. “Me and my Italian flatmate Ester were one day going to APY by mashrutka. The mashrutka was as usual very crowded and we had to stand the whole way. When we came closer to our stop, we tried to pronounce “kankarum bahek”, which mean “stop”. Ester shouted out: “Kangaroooooooooooooooooooooo” in the bus. Everybody was chocked and they were looking at Ester and me like we are from another world”.


She describes APY as very helpful for the foreigner volunteers. “If we had any problems, the APY staff and members and the president Erik Ghazaryan always tried to find quick solutions. Also I really want to thank my mentor Tatev Grigoryan for all her help discovering Yerevan.”
“One of the main characteristic of being Armenian is their hospitality”, Özge remembers. ”I also really like Yerevan as a city. It is a city with a rich history and many inspirational places. So, Armenia and its people have special characteristics which is worth-seeing. If anyone wants a volunteering experience and at the same time to discover an original culture, I strongly advise them to choose Yerevan.I am sure they will enjoy their stay very much!”

Dave’s EVS Adventures in Malaga


“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you may just find what you need”, Mick Jagger.

Have you noticed that we always rush not to lose time? Wish to be more was always a desire for “us” which I guess is the main factor that humanity always gets better and developed on any present to compare to any past and for even better future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”.

I am a volunteer in Spain from Armenia for one year in a beautiful city called Malaga.
It’s a historical city with a history of 2087 years, yep, almost as much as the capital of Armenia, just a bit younger. To compare to the place from where I come it is more hot so you can probably associate it as “Malaga is the younger hot sister of Yerevan”.

My occupation sounds like “assistant of the president of the NGO” which involves quite diverse responsibilities some of them I never faced in my life before. But no one ever said that life is easy so I am quite getting used to it especially with the desire to learn and experience new skills. Just in this case I don’t have other choices and, to be honest, it makes me more motivated.

It has been already two months that I am experiencing this new chapter of my life and I let me publicly announce about my excitements how interesting it is becoming day by day.

Intercultural experience is always amazing if you are not afraid of changes. 21th century is full of sources to theoretical knowledge about different cultures and mentalities of seven billion people living around us. But looking at a good picture of pie and tasting it by your own are never the same, right?

Practically feeling the various aspects of any culture only shapes vision about the world and Spain is not an exception. Differences are almost everywhere: food, dances, music, hospitality etc.

But I prefer to let you know about my best experience yet: meeting people. They are warm and friendly, communicative and helpful. I am volunteering in the organization called Arrabal-Aid and in that peaceful kingdom (it is really like a big family) I could never imagine that I will have so much kindness and support. As soon as I arrived my mentor Julio, as a professional guitar player sacrificed pretty much of his time to help me with choosing a guitar and we end up with a decision to buy it from Amazon and another amazing college whose name is Ali ordered it for me. Before that I never even new how to hold one so thanks to them I am also developing some extra skills besides my obligations. I already got lucky enough to have a trusty friend who is not from the organization but still is always kind to me with any support or help.


Thanks to Javier I can feel myself as a local inhabitant even if still I don’t have a resident-cart. Punctuality of Spain reminds me my country so I will not talk about experiencing anything new but just will add that it is the reason why me and some of my other new friend from abroad don’t have a resident cart yet or they just got it (There is a hope that at the beginning of this month all of the volunteers will finally have it). Spanish people are very communicative even if they are not shining with English language skills but don’t run with conclusions because I feel my fault here as well as my Spanish language skills are even worse. So yes, I am also trying to improve one more skill which definitely will be beneficial and for me and for people around me. Spanish people have really big patience and Juan from my organization is a great example for that. During first days I bothered him so much about issues which are not anyhow connected with work in Arrabal-Aid and although he is always busy he always helped me as well, I even think sometimes he even regretted for the waste of his time on my concerns but still, he supported for which I can not be not thankful.

Here are around twenty people like me who decided to do EVS in Spain who are from Armenia, Ukraine, Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, France, Germany etc. Besides the program we have pretty much in common as well: kindness, educated, tolerance, goal oriented skills, motivated about Spanish culture and my favorite one – all of them also understand fluent English. Logically they were the first people with whom I was trying to explore the new city of my life and time made us really good pals and now we are living like a huge family with too many sisters and brother

But in this case some people may wonder “Does it true that you can learn also about other cultures besides Spanish” and I would say “That is definitely more than true” because now we even cook together.

is the organization which invited me to do my EVS in Malaga. The Organization is bigger than the average imagination about Non Governmental Organization. The main goal of organization Is to help and develop their community with suggesting different possibilities.

With diverse ways they are fighting against discrimination, unemployment, luck of education and/or information etc. Staff members all are unique and experienced in different fields. In our office building Arrabal-Aid invites volunteers to participate in classes of economics, computer science, management, English learning etc. outside of the building they are organizing events, workshops, training-courses, conferences and more just to rise awareness of people who want to know, learn and improve themselves. I am usually trying to think about new projects and events to implement for community and also I am always ready to help them with anything that they may need.

According to working agreement we are supported with several good comforts. We have a good health insurance conditions, nice big flat with everything necessary to live in, organization takes care of covering the main utilities costs, we are provided with free bus-using possibility. The only complain is that why the time is going so fast.

20161016_190935Describing our free time, I will try to be very short. It is usually full of adventures. Visiting nearby cities and beaches, exploring ancient places, museums (on Sunday the entrance is for free), and of course night life is Malaga is worth to try.

To be hones before applying I was full of doubts. Well doubts are always following us when we have luck of information about something.  I created so much expectations before coming, some of them happened to be true, the rest, well, almost true, or nothing like true.  I still have doubts about so much things, even about tomorrow. Will it be like I want or something strangely unexpected will happen (I am also experiencing this, not the worst feeling I might mention, but not the best as well) . Bust still, let’s be positive about upcoming opportunities and run to catch them. Of course we can’t know for sure where exactly we might end up. But maybe it is better than being stuck in one place. And maybe we should try because time is always limited? Maybe that’s why we always run to not lose a time or an opportunity. Maybe that’s why we want so much to experience our dreams, to be more in our present, better than in any past for even better in our future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Jagger?
Anyways, let’s keep trying…


French Volunteer’s EVS Experience in Armenia

Marilou Albero came to Armenian Progressive Youth in Armenia from France to do a 6 months long European Voluntary Service (EVS). We have asked her about her experience with Armenia and her EVS life. Marilou says that she decided to participate in an EVS because she thinks it is a good way to be involved in a project and to discover a new country. “Concerning Armenia though”, she says, “I didn’t really choose to go to specifically Armenia, it was more the opportunity. But I guess I was really curious about this region of the world”.

Marilou’s role in the Armenian Progressive Youth organisation was focused on communication work. She was, among others, updating the website. During the training courses she was responsible for visibility at social medias, for an example to post information about the activities on Facebook. “I learnt many professional skills related to communication skills during my time with Armenian Progressive Youth, for an example how to take good pictures and how to write an article.” When coming to Armenia, she recalls, a big obstacle was the language, but the cultural shock was probably bigger than the language problems. “For me the main difficulties were some of the traditional values of this country. As a “french feminist girl” it was difficult to learn about the differences of rights for girls and LGBT people in Armenia, compared to what I was used to. I never realized that before. Maybe, I was a bit naive.”

Marilou explains that she did not know much about European programs before she came to Armenian Progressive Youth. Because of this, she says, it took her almost three months to understand that the organisation was doing and how it was working. “I think, if I could do one thing differently, I would have studies the organisation before arriving. In this way I maybe could have understood my role better, and have taken more initiatives”. Concerning support, she says that she had everything she needed. “Armenian Progressive Youth and Armenia was very welcoming; I am very thankful for that”. Marilou received language courses like all volunteers enrolled in the EVS programs do. She says though, that learning Armenian in 6 months is not very realistic.

As for coming back to visit Armenia, Marilou already did. “I came back to Armenia 6 months after my volunteering as a participant in one of the trainings organized by Armenian Progressive Youth.” If Marilou could advise a future volunteer coming to Armenia, she says it would be to bring books. “It is almost impossible to find books in foreign languages in Yerevan.”

Interviewed and written by Edith and Tamara, 2 APY volunteers