Today we share the experience of Denica Yotova, a European volunteer who has been a volunteer in our organization for 7 months, supporting projects related to diversity of social initiatives, realised by JOVESOLIDES. Denica, coming from Bulgaria, was involved in each one of the projects: participating and contributing from her experience in improving the programs. We thank you for your dedication, capacity and desire to always make the things better.
While writing this testimonial, I realized once again that I am a very lucky person! I have enjoyed many opportunities: education, training, travelling, cultural experiences and I have come to the conclusion that I would like to something for others in return for the things that I have been given in my life. When I found the opportunity to do an EVS in JOVESOLIDES, this was the answer to my search which was happening on my way at that time. And here I am now in the middle of the project, writing a testimonial.
JOVESOLIDES has given me the opportunity to participate in various workshops, events and projects related to entrepreneurship and social innovation: Red CreActiva, einclusion in Mayores Movilizados, Empodera-T and social inclusion of marginalized groups and immigrants in the Telecentro de La Coma. Of course that my contribution in JOVESOLIDES includes tasks that have done in office and the various projects in which I participated, but as my tutor Boutaina says, except "freshness, adaptability and support," my real impact is helping young people from La Coma to believe in themselves again; they even sign up to become a volunteer in the organization". I am grateful that I could inspire and encourage someone to start a change in their life.
During these six months I could develop my creative skills, communication, my Spanish and intercultural knowledge, but what has enriched me most is that I have learned beyond the project itself. The pure and precious learning happened on Tuesday night chatting on the balcony with my flatmates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Jordan, watching the burning of the Fallas in the street, travelling with my professor of Spanish, getting lost in the city, talking with people in the subway or just sunbathing in Spain. My perceptions on myself, relations between the people and the order of my priorities in life was put upside down and this seems to be a priceless gift of volunteering.
In fact this EVS is not the same as I hoped or how I could imagine it. From the first day when I arrived I realized I had two options: to keep doing things my way, to suffer and complain that things are not going the way I want, or get out of my comfort zone and let myself go, change, transform and grow. It was not easy to choose the second, but the easiest option is not usefull at all. Looking back, I do not regret my choice. From the first sip of horchata until the last bites of paella I'm trying, experimenting and living the Spanish life.
What can I expect from the future when my EVS is over? I do not know, but of course now I'm not the same person who had arrived in October 2014. To all young people seeking a challenge in your life, I would encourage them to consider opportunity to make an EVS.