Concordia Siège National
|64 rue Pouchet, 75017 Paris|
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Hi there ! My name is Sopio, I’m 22 years old and I come from Georgia. I’m an European Solidarity Corps volunteer at Concordia Auvergne, in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
In this testimony I want to share with you some points about volunteering ; what is my experience ; and try to answer the question that might be stopping you from applying to the European Solidarity Corps – is it really worth my time ?
So, if volunteering intrigues you but you still remain sceptical of it keep on reading.
Long before graduating from the university in the summer of 2022, I knew I wanted to become a volunteer. There was always something about it that intrigued me. In my mind volunteering was a symbol of free-spirited, enthusiastic people who were daring enough to cross the world to follow their passion and explore the world within and around them. For some people it is more challenging to become one than for the others. Especially when you come from a society where volunteering is not so common and popular, becoming one is an act of breaking through the ordinariness of the life as we know it.
That was the case for me when I decided to take a gap year between my studies and apply to the Corps while many of my friends either started or continued working the jobs or pursued their further studies. For many of them volunteering didn’t really seem serious enough to have been considered as an option. I hope my experience will be a good example for the other young people in Georgia, who doubt the usefulness of volunteering.
I follow my mission in the office of Concordia Auvergne. My personal mission is promoting international mobility, which means taking part in events where I can meet young people of different ages, represent mobility programs to them. Also, we do consultation meetings with young people who are interested in ESC and accompany them in the process of creating CV and preparing for the interview. In the beginning of this year we also initiated English practice lessons for the young people who are preparing to depart soon on their project. In addition to that, I’m engaged in creating content for our social media accounts.
More creative part of my mission consists of participating in planning trainings for volunteers, organising workshops about interculturality with other volunteers. Occasionally come up opportunities to participate in different type of projects, these can be formations, youth exchanges and so on. I even got the chance to try myself in a completely new field such as filmmaking.
Overall, the variety of your experience depends on your motivation and the flexibility of your hosting organisation.
What I value the most about this experience is the amount of freedom that comes with it. You can decide what aspect of your mission you want to work more, or develop new personal projects that correspond to the description of your mission. Another important point is that you can take time to acquire new skills such as learn the local language or, practice new softwares.
Therefore, if you’re someone who wants to develop some useful skills in a stress free environment then ESC volunteering will serve you well. If you aim for making new international friends, travelling with a backpack and making memories from your twenties then you should definitely consider applying to the corps.
So, to answer the question I asked in the beginning, is volunteering worth your time ?
I’d say choose the program according to your passions and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed. The variety of experience and the amount of growth you get from it in a fixed period of time is unbeatable.
Publié le jeudi 09 février 2023 à 12:02:54
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