Hello! My name is Madalin and I am ESC volunteer in Latvia, in “Radi Vidi Pats” association.
This article should be made a long time ago, but because of different reasons this didn’t happen. Now, meanwhile I am writing this, more and more reasons come to my mind why to write more articles about my project. In this moment I am in my 9th month of the voluntary service, out of 12 months. Returning back in time I would like to tell you why I choose to be part of this project, why in Latvia and most important: why for 1 year?
A year ago I was in my last year of high-school and my focus was on the baccalaureate exam, that was coming at the end of the school year. But I also had a long background with Erasmus+ programme. In January (2019) I participated in my first training course in the field of youth. The situation was a bit different then with the Youth Exchanges that I was used to, but everything was fine. I made new friends and I learned a lot of new and useful things, this was the most intensive project. The trainers of the project was Alex from Romania and Linda from Latvia. This training course was part of a bigger project taht included 3 courses in total: in Romania (Galați, the city where I was living, in January), Latvia (Liepaja, the city where I am living now, in April) and in Slovakia. After the project in Galați I went with some of my class colleagues to Cluj-Napoca, to get information about universities where we wanted to study. I still hadn’t decided what to do in that moment.
In Cluj I meet Alex (the trainer from the project in Galați). I knew already before about international volunteering projects, even if it wasn’t a option for me after finishing the high school. Alex suggested me to go for this type of project and to check with Linda about any vacancy in organization where she is. When I heard about a project in Latvia, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. I searched projects in another countries like Italy, Spain, Malta, Greece and I found some projects there.
In April it was the 2nd training course in Liepaja, Latvia, where I met “Radi Vidi Pats” association and their activities. I was pleasantly surprised and I started to think about the idea to do my volunteering service in this association in the summer period. When I asked Linda if she has any vacancy for the summer, she told me that they have a vacancy only for 12 months. This changed my plans to do a summer project.
Then I had to do a pretty difficult choice: to come in Latvia for 12 months or to choose another project for the summer period. After a awhile I made the decision to come in Latvia. I never regret this choice and I suggest for all the students who finish their high school to do some volunteering before they go to university.
The “Solidarity Seekers” project is funded by the European Commission's European Solidarity Corps program, which is administered in Latvia by the Agency for International Youth Programs. The article reflects the views only of the author.