The EVS project “EU Volunteers to learn” is almost at the end of its 2 years of implementation. Asociatia Lumea lui Pinocchio, cooridnating and hosting organization, had the pleasure to host and meet volunteers from Spain, Austria and Germany. One of them, Waqas Tirmizi (Germany), spent the period October – November 2017 at the Centre Pinocchio…here you are his witness about this enriching experience!
“I researched on the internet about a short-term foreign project. Then I came across the EVS in Panciu, Romania. I told my surroundings about it and they were very impressed. After a long application process including two Skype interviews I received the volunteering job.
After the effective preparation seminar, I did some organizational things and was already looking forward to it. The flight from Germany (Frankfurt) to Romania (Bucharest) was pretty short. Then I had a bus trip of 3-4 hours from Bucharest to Panciu. When I arrived at the volunteering house near by the association “Lumea Lui Pinocchio”, I got tired and was looking forward to my sleep. The volunteering house was kept simple and got everything what a volunteer needs to do his project with success. There was enough space for ca. 6 volunteers and it was still quite in its neighborhood. But: In Panciu are a lot of street dogs, so in the dark you have to by careful if you cross the streets there.
The next day I got to know my new colleagues and had an intensive work introduction. It was pretty cool and a few hours later the first children arrived. So I also got th know them and they got open with me very fast. I really liked all of them in their own way. Most of them belonged to the local Roma community and came from very poor families. I prepared, organized and acted diverse activities and it made a lot of fun, especially the “boxing project”. I took a few boxing pads and teached them (also the girls) how to box basicly and they really loved it! We also played football very intensive because I also have a 7 years soccer background. Especially in the afternoon (after the homework session) the focus was more on creative acitivities like drawing or crafting. On Friday they usually didn’t need to do their homework. Instead of it we watched a children’s movie together. After 2 months (Ocotber – November 2017), my project was already over but I actually stay in contact with some ex colleagues and children through social media etc.
Totally it was a very formative time for me and I learned a lot of new things. The Romanian language course there was very helpful and today I have another, a more authentic, view on Romania and its people and fascinating culture”.
(in the picture: Waqas and other 2 EVS volunteers attending the Romanian training course)
The project “EU Volunteers to learn” (ref. nr. 2016-1-RO01-KA105-024178) is financed by the European programme ERASMUS+, and sees the collaboration of Asociatia Lumea lui Pinocchio with its German partner IJGD.