Jau trīs mēneši Latvijā, ESC brīvprātīgās stāsts

The start of the new year brings with it the desire to look back to the experiences I’ve had in the last three and a half months as a volunteer in Ventspils and also to set goals for the upcoming months and the rest of our project.

Going back to late October, the event that stands out is definitely the horror path that the youngsters organised and we participated as actors. I enjoyed it so much, because I practiced my acting skills and interacted with lots of local people, since the event was also very successful in terms of attendance.

Then, November came and with it, the challenge of visiting many schools and organising non-formal education activities and team building games for students. Each class we met was different and some pupils were very restless and loud, but thankfully in every class there were pupils that were eager to participate and be introduced to a new type of learning. There were moments where I felt discouraged, especially because of the language barrier between us and our audience, but quickly I discovered that when you persevere and search for solutions, there is always a way to communicate and connect. Also, it was fun to attend the celebrations for the Independence Day of Latvia on 18th November in Riga and be indulged in Latvian traditions.

One of my most memorable experiences has been the lectures we held at the Tehnikums, related to tourism in Greece and France. There we prepared non-formal education activities to introduce tourism and hotel management majors to important sightseeing objects, popular holiday destinations and various hotel types from our countries. It was exciting and fulfilling for me to see the students getting involved with our culture and being fascinated by my country’s beauty and history. Even though there is always stress before starting to talk in front of an audience, I believe that with every time we do presentations or activities in schools, I improve my public speaking skills, thus gaining more confidence.

As we got to December, we wore our festive mood, organised and hosted Christmas related workshops with youngsters, baked loads of gingerbread cookies, made Christmas cards, ornaments and candles. At the same time, we took part in Christmas themed activities at the 6th highschool, where the Youth House is now located in and even helped to organise and host a Christmas disco with the school’s students parliament.

Moreover, me with two other volunteers, Jana and Gerasimi, started helping at the support centre for people with disabilities “Cimdiņs” every Friday. There, we have the chance to assist kids and adults with disabilities, cook with them and take part in their educational activities. Especially for Christmas, we put up a Christmas play for them, where we showcased Greek Christmas folklore and I was very proud and pleased to see that the audience really enjoyed it. It was the best end of a wonderful and eventful year for me!

I am thrilled to organise and host even more activities and events in 2023 and to become an even stronger team with the rest of the ESC volunteers and co-workers from the Youth House. My wish for the new year is to succeed in involving youth with Ventspils Youth House and mobilising the local community!

Projektu “Youth of tomorrow” finansē Eiropas Savienība. Šī  publikācija atspoguļo vienīgi autora uzskatus un viedokli, un ne obligāti Eiropas Savienības, Eiropas Komisijas vai Nacionālās aģentūras (Jaunatnes starptautisko programmu aģentūras) viedokli, kuras nav atbildīgas par tajā ietvertās informācijas jebkādu izmantošanu.