Dušan Berdnik

Dušan from Slovenia came to Samara for five months with the EVS and volunteered at Samara’s Regional Down Syndrome Society. He learned more about Russian culture and about adapting to a new way of life in a foreign country.

Why did you go to Samara, Russia?

I decided to go to Russia because I wanted to get to know the country and its culture and also because I like the language.

Tell us about your project

My project was working with children with Down syndrome and I worked in a kindergarten. I assisted the teachers, I looked after the children, I played with them and I took them outside. I also cleared leaves and snow from the area around the kindergarten. However, my project didn't start immediately after my arrival in Russia, so at the beginning, I helped children study at their homes and I also played with them.

What was your biggest challenge being a volunteer?

The biggest challenge was working with children with that kind of problem and also adapting to a completely new way of life in a foreign country.

What did you like the most with being a volunteer?

The thing I liked the most is that I had a chance to meet other volunteers from other countries and local people, as well as having contact with Russian culture.

Would you recommend volunteering in Samara to someone else?

I would recommend this project to people who don't have a problem with adaptation and who want to get to know the Russian culture. However, I wouldn't recommend it to the people who are not used to a standard of living which is below their own country's standard.