But let’s start from the beginning.
At the end of March I discovered the project on the European Youth Portal, which offers volunteering, employment and learning opportunities to young people in Europe. I had frantically been going from one website to another, looking for a summer project with refugees and immigrants,until I found it.
EVS stays for European Voluntary Service and an EVS project can be described as a partnership between two or more promoting organizations. Volunteers, who should be between 17 and 30 years old, participate through a sending organization in the country where they live and the receiving organization will receive and host them during their period of service.
Projects last from 2 weeks to 12 months and can be divided into short-term and long-term projects. Short-term projects continue from 2 weeks to 2 months of service, while long-term projects last between 2 and 12 months.
The project description, even if quite brief, immediately captured me.
I immediately started to do some research about the organization, the city and how refugees were living and being treated there. I wrote a couple of e-mails and I had a phone call with the Italian organization (Scambieuropei) but, inside me, I had already decided that I was going there.
I started revising my CV and writing my motivation letter. And unexpectedly for me, it took really a long time to get a clear answer from both organizations. Compared to my previous experience of working with very small NGOs, communication was very slow and disjointed. It was like a chain, which was not really working smoothly all the time.
I first had to send my application to the Italian sending organization, and I then had a telephone interview with them as they wanted to make sure that I was aware of the kind of project and the political instability in Turkey. Once they considered me suitable for the project, I then had to finalize the whole application process directly with the Turkish organization (GEGED).
And that was one of the best things I could ever do.
For now, I’m still amazed at how signifcant and unforgettable 45 days can be when you allow yourself to be taken on a journey.
To be continued …
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