Hello! My name is Anna and I know how to take care of people with disabilities. However, 6 months ago I almost didn’t know who are those people. Now I am a Euroean Solidarity Corps volunteer, living in the Netherlands and having contact with these special people every day. Moreover, they are my friends and they take care of me as much as I take care of them. But that is my job not theirs, they have their own jobs, relationships, hobbies and families. My tasks are different: we go shopping, cook, dance, play games, draw, do sports, clean and laugh together a lot. And when they say that I am crazy, I hope they are not kidding at that moment and take it as a huge compliment that I have ever heard. These people are extremely kind, charismatic, dramatically optimistic and always honest. So if they don’t like you, you will know it immediately and still you will have a lot of chances to change their opinion about yourself. Actually, they don’t even have a choice ;)
This year we have almost 30 volunteers in our organization and I live with 5 of them who are from different countries. I thought that it was almost impossible to amaze me after living in a dorm but I was wrong. I am still learning how to live with other people. We celebrated Christmas together that was the first Christmas ever for some of us. We are learning how to take care not only about people with disabilities but about each other as well. We are changing together and that is a great process!
Being a volunteer is such a great experience. We are not busy with work, we don’t live with our parents, we have plenty of time for everything-we-want and we have at least the other volunteers to have fun with. I am enjoying my time here doing what I really like: dancing classes, traveling, making new friends, cooking, learning how to play ukulele (just because my flatmate is the best teacher). Also I started writing my diary about every day and a lot of amazing moments I experience here. Before this project I thought that being a 25-year-old volunteer is too brave for me. I mean what about a proper job and serious adulthood? Now I realize how wrong I was. These 6 months are the best time in my life so far filled with some challenges, priceless moments, lessons and amazing people around me. And this is only half of my project. So it will be even better ;)
Thank you NGO Stella and Rock Solid Foundation for this opportunity being here and having an incredible and life-changing experience <3
Anna Olizarivska, 25 years old, Berdychiv