We asked our two former volunteers – Bruno Perinetti and Jwan Sheikho – who joined in the 4° Transnational Meeting in Bulgaria to give us an insight into their experience.
Please tell us who are you and what you are doing at this moment?
BRUNO: My name is Bruno, I’m 21 years old and I’m half Italian and half Dominican; I was born in the Dominican Republic and I currently live, work and study in Italy .
JWAN: Hi, my name is Jwan Sheikho and I am 21 years old. At the moment I am a pupil at Friedrich-List-Berufskolleg in Bonn-Bad Godesberg, studying on the two-year higher course for economics and administration. I am planning to receive my college degree in Summer 2020.
How did you get to know about the opportunity of the European Voluntary Service program?
BRUNO: I heard about the European Volunteering opportunity thanks to the non-profit Babel ONLUS association. With them I participated in different Youth Exchanges (Erasmus+) and then they informed and suggested me, together with Association Porta Nuova Europa, to participate in an EVS (European Voluntary Service) of five weeks in Spain together with a friend of mine.
JWAN: In April 2019 I got to know Jugendakademie Walberberg through a project conducted by my school. I heard there about the opportunity of doing a European voluntary service and then decided to apply and start into my first volunteering experience.
Participating in the 4° international meeting of the network Europe for All in Bulgaria, what did you like the most?
BRUNO: I was really very happy to be able to participate in the Transnational Meeting in Bulgaria and the thing I absolutely liked the most was seeing the partners I had met already during the Transnational Meeting here in Pavia, Italy, in May 2019 again. It really was an honor for me to participate in it and to be helpful telling about my story and EVS experience in Spain and giving my contribution.
JWAN: From 18 to 20 November 2019 I participated as one of two ex volunteers in the international meeting in Bulgaria/Russe of the four partners (Germany, Italy, Scotland and Bulgaria). We talked about the future of the partnership and how they so far have been working together and how the cooperation in the network shall continue. What I liked most about the meeting was that we also talked about the volunteers and how other young peers can be convinced to conduct a voluntary service. The project coordinators from the four partner organizations were interested in the suggestions proposed by us as volunteers, showed appreciation for our perspective and will try to consider some ideas for future strategies.
What did you do and learn during these days in Bulgaria?
BRUNO: We held meetings in which we talked about how we could make EVS more inclusive, how it is easier for young people to get to know the opportunities, to have the support of previous volunteers and how to create a network between foreign associations and to facilitate Erasmus+ projects.
JWAN: During the three days in Russe I learned a lot of interesting things – for example about the system of cooperation between the four partners, the current activities and future plans of all the organizations involved and also Bulgarian cultural aspects. The most special thing however was that I got to know very nice and kind people.
What do you want to tell other youngsters who don’t know yet the European Voluntary Service?
BRUNO: That it is a fantastic experience to undertake in which you will see what you are capable of, in which you will learn another culture and get to learn new people or in which you will deepen your knowledge about different things. I highly recommend it, you will not get disappointed!!
JWAN: To all young people who haven’t yet participated in European volunteering or don’t even know about it, I would like to tell them from my own experience: you should really decide to become a European volunteer yourself! You will get to know a lot of new and interesting people, learn about new cultures, build up new relationships, learn new languages – and at the same time, you do something good for the world. It could even happen that you find out about your next life steps and discover your professional career goals through the volunteering experience – as I did! I think that through becoming a volunteer in the end you bring about a lot of good things for yourself. Believe me that there is nothing you have to be afraid of since a great volunteering project with wonderful people at a beautiful location are more than enough reasons which will make you have a happy time!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, BRUNO AND JWAN!!!