Hey guys, I’m Alexandra from Ukraine and I’m here on Cyprus doing my 6 months EVS. I live and work with other 14 fellow volunteers from Portugal, Italy, Romania, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Slovakia and Armenia. And we already feel like one big family.
Organization I’m working for
I’m working for Nautilos Sar non governmental, non profitable organization located in Nicosia, capital of Cyprus. It was founded in 2009 for the purpose of protecting and rescuing human lives, but at the present moment it also hosts volunteers, who help them to organize different activities for local youth. We are working at Nautilos Youth Center, where we fulfill our daily responsibilities and work on personal projects. 15 of us are divided in 3 teams: Youth for Sports (sport events and healthy lifestyle), Youth for Youth (events for youth) and Youth for Edutainment (Education and Entertainment).
My work and responsibilities
I’m a part of Youth for Youth team. Our main task is organizing events for local youth. So we discussed youth problems in our countries and on Cyprus, brain stormed and came up with different ideas, such as Board games and Quiz nights, BlaBla club – a kind of a speaking club for those who want to practice foreign languages they’re learning with native speakers (us, volunteers), Movie nights, and workshops on different topics (mostly about freelance jobs, internships available in EU and educational platforms). All these events are supposed to help youth socialize better, practice foreign languages, improve their professional skills and find out where to look for a job. We also hosted an intercultural Christmas party with traditional food from 10 countries, where we compared traditions and lifestyles, shared travel tips.
Volunteers from other teams are organizing football tournaments, aerobic classes, cycling tours, karaoke nights and art workshops.
Except for events we are also hosting radio shows (each person at least once per week), where we discuss topics of current interest and play our favorite music. You can enjoy our shows from Monday to Friday from 10am till 12am and from 3pm till 5pm here.
Moreover, all of us are participating in a cooking project, which means that we cook different recipes in shifts for the whole team using kitchen of Youth Center. So in this way we don’t have to cook t home and get 3 meals per day.
One more project we’re working on is iMap – we spend around 6 hours per week exploring the city and marking attractions (theatres, cinemas, libraries, museums and galleries, sport spots etc) on the map and writing articles about them.
Weekly Greek lessons is another great bonus. But the main thing is that in addition to participating in mini-projects, we are constantly working on our professional skills development - we film and edit video clips, create banners, develop promotion strategy of our Facebook and Instagram profiles.
Accommodation and transport
15 of us share three rented apartments not far from Youth Center. As public transport is very poor in Nicosia, our organization has provided us with rented bicycles so we can to get around the city.
As my working schedule is from 9/10am till 5/6pm from Monday till Friday, I have some free time in the evenings and on weekends. Usually we spend time in the city center or explore the island. It’s only 1-2 hours drive from Nicosia to other cities, and I’ve been to Limassol and Aya Napa so far.
From time to time we also hike in the mountains around Nicosia with our Hiking club. When it gets warmer, we will definitely explore Cyprus beaches as swimming season starts in March. There are also cheap flights from Larnaka to Georgia and Israel, so I look forward to spending my holidays there.
Oleksandra Voronina, 27 years old, Kyiv