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_December

New month, new vibe

December started with me remembering about my country, this time because the 1st of December is Romania’s National Day. I felt good to realize that I am part of a nation and that I had the chance to see a broader picture about the world and the world’s problems.

In this month I had set the goal of being useful in any way I could. So, I started. The first thing that I was doing was helping one of the formers social workers from the House of Arsis to paint a wonderful tree. From my point of view this tree is the tree of hope because on one hand it is in a place where many children are finding their hope for a better life and in the other hand because it has been painted in December the month when we are full of hope for a better upcoming year.

Download the whole report here.

Corina Chircea_November

And November came

The beginning or November was the time when I truly realized that I was in a foreign place leaving everything behind and jumping in a new life. As you can imagine there was nothing easy in the beginning and I had my “cultural sock“ in the first few days.

Let me explain you what it means. It is that state of mind when you realize that your life changed radically and everything is more difficult to be done. For me it manifested as finding very hard to live in a place with more people around and to work in a totally different manner. I expressed from the first beginning my intention of working with people and when I found out that I would work with kids I was very happy, but I never knew how it would be. When I realized that I could not see the immediate results of my work and that there is a very strong language barrier, that my time is somehow not as productive as in the past and that I need to strive even to understand what the children are asking me, I felt very frustrate and disappointed. But what I also found out is that IT IS NORMAL. It is absolutely normal and the majority of the people goes through this phase in a new environment.

What I did? First of all, I had to relax.  I started with setting my mind that I need time, after a discussion with the project coordinator. And the time was the answer. But not letting time just to pass, no, no. Taking time to think and to learn. I started learning Greek to solve the language barrier and this is for me a good motivation to keep studying it.

Ander Jimenez Serrano_October

First month. Ander Jimenez Serrano.

I consider that every beginning of a journey of these characteristics is always complicated, however, I would like to point out three determinant aspects in the decision making. Firstly, the motivation to know the reality where refugees live, trying to contribute to the improvement of their situation. Secondly, the first contact with the organization through my coordinator Maggi, who knew how to transmit me all the strength and energy to start this adventure. Finally, a call home, in which my mother told me “This is exactly what you were looking for, take advantage of this opportunity”.

On October 17, I arrived in Thessalonica. The reception by the association was magnificent. On the other hand, the accoodation and lunch conditions exceeded all my expectations.

In the following days, I got to know the projects in which I was going to participate for the next six months; mobile school and social circus, focused on children wit risk of exclusion, roman population and refugees. Both projects are based on non-formal education and direct contact towards population, which fits perfectly with my understanding of social working.

Aida Nicolás Pérez_October

First steps in Thessaloniki

It was 26th October. After what it seemed a very long trip, I arrived to Thessaloniki. And there were they, Ander and Corina, two of my new flatmates, waiting in the airport to bring me to my new home. Soon they became a real family for me.

The first days I didn’t feel nervous at all, I really wanted to be here, I really wanted to become a volunteer. Despite this, the reasons why weren’t that clear. I suppose I wanted to help, to contribute to the society, maybe I felt in debt.

Slowly I started discovering Greece. It was crazy, it was great. I just fell in love with Thessaloniki. The food, the people, the culture, the diversity, the atmosphere around all this was incredible attractive.