Erasmus+

Erasmus+ Ευρωπαϊκό Σώμα Αλληλεγγύης.

Τον προηγούμενο μήνα τη σκυτάλη του προγράμματος Erasmus+, Ευρωπαϊκή Εθελοντική Υπηρεσία έδωσαν οι πέντε Ευρωπαίοι εθελοντές μας που από το Μάιο μέχρι το Νοέμβριο του 2019 προσέφεραν εθελοντική εργασία και ενίσχυσαν τις δράσεις διαφορετικών δομών της ΑΡΣΙΣ, στους επόμενους πέντε συνεχιστές τους. Οι νέοι μας εθελοντές ανήκουν επίσης στο πρόγραμμα κινητικότητας Erasmus+ και συγκεκριμένα στο Ευρωπαϊκό Σώμα Αλληλεγγύης (όπως θα ονομάζεται το πρόγραμμα εθελοντισμού από εδώ και περά) και τους υποδεχθήκαμε για το διάστημα μεταξύ Οκτωβρίου 2019 και Απριλίου 2020. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, η Raquel, ο Ander, ο Martin και η Aida από Ισπανία καθώς και η Corina από Ρουμανία συμμετέχουν ήδη στις δράσεις του ‘ΚΥΝ Πτολεμαίων’, στο ‘Κοινωνικό Τσίρκο’, στο ‘Σπίτι της ΑΡΣΙΣ’, στον ‘Ξενώνα Ασυνόδευτων Ανηλίκων Πυλαίας’ και ενισχύουν το έργο της ΑΡΣΙΣ καθημερινά με την παρουσία τους και την πολύτιμη συμβολή τους.

Σε τακτά χρονικά διαστήματα θα δημοσιεύουμε εδώ τις μηνιαίες αναφορές των Ευρωπαίων εθελοντών μας στα αγγλικά με σκοπό να μοιραστούν όλα όσα βιώνουν στα πλαίσια της Ευρωπαϊκής Εθελοντικής τους υπηρεσίας.


Last month our five European volunteers who offered voluntary services from May to November 2019 and supported ARSIS’s activities in various facilities, handed over the program Erasmus+, European Voluntary Service to the next five volunteers who will continue their work. These new volunteers are part of the mobility program Erasmus+ and particularly the European Solidarity Corps (as it will be called henceforth). We welcomed them for the period October 2019 to April 2020. More specifically, Raquel, Ander, Martin and Aida from Spain, and Corina from Romania have already started volunteering at activities within KYN Ptolemaion, the Social Circus, the House of ARSIS and the Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors at Pylaia. They assist ARSIS’s work daily with their presence and contribution. 

In frequent intervals we will be publishing here monthly reports of our European volunteers in English in order for them to share their experiences within the framework of their European voluntary service.

Corina Chircea_June

The last 20 days

Every story has an ending, every stage has a final point and every volunteering project has a final term. The last 20 days before the final term of my project were supposed to be on April, but a global pandemic decided to change this and June was actually the last month of my adventure in Greece. 

In the beginning of the summer, the life began to move again in a rhythm as close to the one before as possible. With a lot of enthusiasm and many protection measures, we restarted our interaction with people and the reintegration in our projects. From the first day of June, I started a new activity within the Youth Center, the mobile school. It was a great pleasure to work with children again. I was able to see another kind of vulnerable group from Greece and from Eastern Europe in general. The Roma community, especially the part of this ethnic group that is still living in a nomad way. I was able to see how important can be the help offered by an NGO in the integration of those children in the society. Most of the children were learning to speak Greek language, to read and to do basic mathematics calculations during the mobile school program. I was happy to be part of this program even if for a short amount of time and to see more faces of the informal education.

Coincidence or not, first of June is the Children’s Day in Romania and this year, the month of June was the month in which I was working exclusively with children. I was happy to be back for several days in the place where I actually started my journey as a volunteer, in House of Arsis. I was able to meet again the children from there and to catch up with their news and plans during my last days as a volunteer.

Finally, when the last 20 days of the project ended, it came the hardest part of the month, saying good-bye. It was hard to say good-bye to an amazing team that did everything possible for us to have a great experience and to be safe during this Corona crisis. It was hard to say good-bye to all the people from the centers, which are making possible some great initiatives and try hard building a stronger protection environment for children and refugees.  Finally, it was hard to say good-bye to the people with which I shared the last eight months of my life. To the three of them I had to say a hurried good-bye due to the pandemic that made them leaving earlier form Greece. With the other two volunteers, Aida and Lars, I shared this uncertain and difficult period and made unforgettable memories.

of the month, saying good-bye. It was hard to say good-bye to an amazing team that did everything possible for us to have a great experience and to be safe during this Corona crisis. It was hard to say good-bye to all the people from the centers, which are making possible some great initiatives and try hard building a stronger protection environment for children and refugees.  Finally, it was hard to say good-bye to the people with which I shared the last eight months of my life. To the three of them I had to say a hurried good-bye due to the pandemic that made them leaving earlier form Greece. With the other two volunteers, Aida and Lars, I shared this uncertain and difficult period and made unforgettable memories.

At the end of this experience, I feel lucky and thankful for everything that I lived and after several days in Romania, I am very aware of the opportunities and the development of my life thanks to the European Union’s programs. 

I hope that the people that will read these lines to take advantage of the opportunities like European Solidarity Corps and to try them, to try to do something good for the society and to have their own life-experience. I wish them to transform the problems into opportunities, to go out from their comfort zone by experimenting their own work style, and to live every moment of this journey with happiness! 

Best wished to you all and good luck!

Corina Chircea

ESC volunteer in Arsis (October 2019 – June 2020)

Corina Chircea_May

The month of retrospections

May have been a month in which the measures for going back to normal started to be established slowly and surely. It was a month in which I reflected on my activities are undertaken so far and in which I gained digital skills. As the restriction regarding the educational activities were still in place, I had time to create materials that showed my experience here and to write about the stories that marked my experience as a volunteer. I realized once again the importance of the European Union and thought about its evolution on the 9th of May. I always believed that I benefited from a European education and after this experience, I can fully convinced say that I benefited from European life experiences in general. I had the opportunity to understand better the world, to face different and sometimes difficult situations, to learn, and to grow in diverse environments.

Corina Chircea_April

The lockdown and still a volunteer

The month of April was marked in most of the European countries as a lockdown period, which for a volunteer, that work and interact with other people, can be a challenge. However, this was a great moment for rediscovering passions, trying to have nice digital projects, and adopting a healthy lifestyle by the end of the quarantine. 

Moving a little bit the perspective in the digital filed, we tried to gather data from other NGOs with a similar activity or purpose, from our own countries, in order to create a base for a future network. It was surprising to find out that the protection of children is a very sensitive topic in both countries, Greece and Romania, and there are quite a lot of organizations that are trying hard to provide the necessary support for this vulnerable group.

Aida Nicolás Pérez_March

About gratefulness

Being grateful for how lucky I am is one of the most important things I have learnt during my volunteering service, and especially during this uncertain time of quarantine. I’ve realized that in my life I always had something to feel grateful about, and probably I will always have. 

Just some days after the Greek Government started to take the most restrictive measures, around mid March, Ander, Raquel and Martin, my Spanish flatmates who were in the volunteering project, decided to go back to Spain due to the uncertainty about the future of our stay here in Thessaloniki; even knowing that things were not so good at home. Corina and Lars decided to stay and I decided to stay too, thinking that everything would go back to normality soon.