Become an European Volunteer with us

The difficult part of being a volunteer


Being a volunteer is not always a pleasant experience, sometimes you need to face different challenges and to overcome obstacles.

by: Alise Vilcina (LV) and Marianna Martirani (IT)

For some of us this volunteering project has been the first work experience in their adult life. Working on ourselves we have been able to discover our new passions, strong and weak personality traits as well as what kind of employee we are. 

    In the time of our volunteering experience in Szczecin, Poland we have learned that we are responsible for our work outcome and our actions. During our stay in Szczecin we had the opportunity to work in a team to develop an idea that would be helpful for the local community. One of the teams decided to create a video about mental health spreading awareness about the topic. The main purpose of the video was to share the contacts of local Polish organizations that help and support the community about topics related to mental health. Through the process of filming and planning the project we dealt with diverse issues such as communication problems inside the group and the challenging task of writing and running a project by ourselves for the first time. This experience showed us how sometimes reality can differ from our expectations and we need to learn how to evaluate our abilities to perform certain tasks. 

    Also the kindergarten work has been useful to understand our strong and weak sides. Working with kids everyday we have been able to be more honest with ourselves and to realize our limits. In the beginning of this project some of us thought that working in the educational environment with kids and youngsters was their path but turns out that the work requires specific skills such as a lot of empathy, passion and patience that some of us don’t have. It has been a journey of self discovery and becoming more mature than we were before. 

    In addition to the work related challenges we have discovered that it is not that easy to create a good connection with everyone. We have learned to accept that not everyone is compatible with you and that the different points of view can be a further challenge to find a compromise. But finding a compromise is crucial in the work environment and daily life. Through the volunteering experience it is very common to share a flat with other people from unrelated cultures and backgrounds therefore it is important to agree on a set of rules to avoid conflicts and to make this time and unique experience as easy as possible. It is a great opportunity to become more flexible and to escape our beliefs .

    Although living abroad is an experience full of bad and good aspects that can help to improve yourself and to create the best version of yourself. During this time we are forced to face our fears and to realize our limitations both in the personal and the professional sphere.