Stepping into the change – The story of Pranvera, ESC volunteer in Romania
So, at some point in our life we all have the feeling that we need to run away, make a change in our life, and this change has to be the biggest we can imagine in that one moment. Right after the new year celebration I had this feeling of doing something big, change myself and what I’m doing. In that very moment I had no idea that volunteering abroad would have made the change on me that I feel today.
The way of making this decision was not easy; especially because it took very long time to actually arrive. It took so many emotional moments of doubting if it is the right thing to do and the right moment. A lot was happening around in the world during the beginning of last year, and everything was changing – besides that it is never easy to travel as a Kosovar person even in normal conditions. It made it even harder and not only taking the way out of the country but also so many prejudices facing on the way. Like why volunteering? Don’t you have something better do to with your time? And so many other questions by the ones I surround myself with most of the time.
After one month in my project, the town already was feeling like home. The people were coming and some already going, yet it was great to meet other volunteers and hearing the stories of their life in the town I have started a new life already. Back then I had so many expectations on my mind, so many plans on how I’m going to spend the time here. I even made a plan and put it on the wall for everyday activities and self-development goals. Well, plans are good but they don’t always work out as we expect sometimes our plans are less good than what there actually is waiting for us outside there.
Apart from the feelings and goals volunteers might usually have working in the project itself will play a very big role in the process of learning where you want to be. Our project is mainly focused to work with the Roma community, young people who drop out of school, people with disabilities and so on.
There were many challenges on working and living with different cultures and different perspectives from each of us who were part of the project. The good thing is that every single day there was a new adventure, and we learned from each other and from the people we were working with.
In the school there are kids of different ages attending the same class, where the children are so excited to only speak and see other people that are from the outside of their own community. We became a bit of hope for them to experience a little difference from the daily routine they are used to live. While the schools were closed, we went to the community itself and continued with adapted activities, which were not planned to be so – but it turned out so good for the both parts. While these are my very last weeks of being here, I can see the change on them and this makes me feel that I have accomplished much more than I have expected, I have not only did this for myself but also for the others around me.
While volunteering we had the chance to also travel a bit and enjoy our time during weekends, very restricted but there was always a way to have fun also. Nature around the town of Resita is very rich with high mountains, lakes and a river that passes in the middle of the city. From time to time we were away for the weekends, and coming back to schools and kids was the feeling we were looking forward to, no matter what. Maybe this was not really the best year to try something new for everyone but for me this was a life-changing experience, the experience where I am happy to be part of a big family with people from all around, the experience where I learned so much in such a short time from everyone and with everyone who was part of this adventure.
Pranvera – April 2021