Hello everyone 😊
My name is MARTYNA and I am from Italy.
Last year I graduated from the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, with a Master’s Degree in International Security.
Since then, I began to send applications for jobs, Internships, and volunteering opportunities.
One day, around the second half of January, I received a contact request from the Active Bulgarian Society through the European Solidarity Corps portal. I decided to jump on this new experience!
If not NOW, then when, right?
Bulgaria is a wonderful place, there is a lot to see, learn, and discover. However, the culture, the way of thinking, and the lifestyle are different.
Want to survive? Learn some basic daily words:
Good Morning: Dobro utro!
Thank you: Blagodaria!
But, most important:
ACTIVE BULGARIAN SOCIETY
I was selected for a short-term volunteering project “ESCAPE: European Solidarity Corps Active Participation and Education”. This youth network is based in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, and promotes European and International youth mobility and training courses.
Our task is to help and involve the local community! How?
- Chat club discusses fragile topics that are still taboo in many countries
- Cleaning campaign in the city
- Presentations at schools about youth mobility
- Personal project
When you are young, you need to do as much as you can! Don’t be afraid to try new experiences. They can be good or bad, but they will always enrich you.
I wanted to contribute with the knowledge I acquired during my academic and professional time.
Participating in volunteering projects, you learn how to benefit from DIVERSITY, always following the scheme of INCLUSION. It also takes you out of your comfort zone. That is something AMAZING ❤️
I met people from different countries: Eduardo from Spain, Enorah from France, Adam from Ireland, Yaroslava from Ukraine, Konul from Azerbaijan, and Irakli from Georgia. 🌐
As you can see, you will ALWAYS be in an international environment. We share information about our countries and our cultures. In the end, we will be EXPERTS in 7 different countries (maybe even learn some basic words). Of course, I am also trying to delve deeper into Bulgarian culture, even if it is difficult (especially the Cyrillic alphabet).
Bulgaria is in a strategic location. For this reason, I tried to visit different places every weekend, until coronavirus stopped me. 😭
- Skopje (North Macedonia) ⇒ I was interrogated by the Macedonian border police for 20 minutes, because of coronavirus danger
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER?
I know that once back home I will be sad and nostalgic for a couple of days but, after that, I will realise that I have been greatly enriched and I will remember this experience FOREVER.
I will stay in touch with my new INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS.
This story is from a volunteer Martyna, participant of the ESCAPE: European Solidarity Corps Active Participation and Education project co-funded by the Bulgarian National Agency of Erasmus+ Program Human Resource Development Center.