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Volunteering with the elderly of the town of Porec, Croatia

Here is when my cloudless EVS came to the end. The year filled with opportunities and fun. The year when a brain can relax and take time for personal inner thoughts. You don`t have to think about accommodation or food, no stress after hard working day, no thoughts about how to make ends meet. You actually LIVE at EVS. And I wouldn't call my work “work”, because it is more like help. You help people with what they are not able to do themselves, or what you are really good at. And I'm very happy I had such a year in my life, the year I will be always recalling. I wish everyone have such an amazing EVS as I did!



On the other hand, EVS is a challenge not everyone can venture for. You have to leave friends and family, all that you have in your country and absolutely come out of your comfort zone. As a reward you get lots of possitive emotions, meet lots of new interesting people, will have a chance to travel. Indeed, you get what you came for.

Many things have changed throughout this year. I have changed. First of all, I became older and self-sufficient. I was not the only volunteer, I have to share time and responsibilities with the other volunteer – a girl from Spain, this helped me be more patient and tolerant. But searching for compomise was always the hardest thing for me. That is what I learned. Moreover I traveled a lot alone and this made me more confident, I began to believe in myself more. Now I'm ready for many more challenges in my life and I'm sure I am able to find a way out now.



My English impoved a lot. I had have basic skills before the project, but phychological barier didn't let me talk easily. Now I can start and participate in almost every conversation. Yes, I may do some mistakes, grammar is still far from being perfect, but I'm no longer afraid to speak out.

Also, I`d like to share about how my volunteer work influenced me. I worked at the elderly house. My responsibilities were holding workshops, trainings, trips, decorating rooms for celebrations and other small tasks. The atmosphere and environment there were absolutely heart-warming. The people were very kind. There were about 90 people in total. The whole year I felt I have 90 grandmas and grandpas!



Also relationships with organizers were important. Mine were the best! Edita, a social worker, was my coordinator. On holidays she invited us to celebrate them with her family. She helped to negotiate for free sightseeing tours for us, bicycles rent, swimming pool visits etc. She helped with all questions / hardships I might have and she really took care of me.



Throughout this year I traveled the half of Europe and met dozens of interesting people. I hope I will continue opening the new countries for me.



I will remember this year forever.

I wish others also find their amazing EVS projects!


Daria Zelenska, 23 years old, Kyiv