ICYE Volunteer at the Gamleby project Folkhögskolan in Sweden

Many years I was active in social and cultural volunteer projects in Russia. Often there were difficulties in the organizations. Out of those problems in Russia the idea of seeing alternative variants of realizing volunteer projects was born.

In October 2015 I found the homepage of the volunteer organization “Lastochki”. There I got much information about the various projects.

The duration of the process of getting all necessary documents needed less than one month. These were documents, which I needed in Sweden and also the acceptance of the school in Sweden was necessary. This process was so easy because of the good work and cooperation of “Lastochki” and “Peaceworks Sweden”, after that step the search of the living place in Sweden began and this process lasted again 4 weeks.

All together, I can say, that the process of getting all necessary documents was very easy and fast.

At the beginning of the project it was a little bit difficult for me, I had to get to know the new culture, the new country and of course another language.

The first week, I would say was the hardest week of the project for me, but the organization and all people helped me very much and this made the process of the adaption easier.  This week ended with various excursions and I got to know the culture and the traditions of Sweden.

After a week in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, I finally arrived in Gamleby.

From the beginning I felt myself accepted here. Everybody was very friendly and helpful and the people in Sweden speak also very good English, which made everything easier and more comfortable.

 The school was not far away from my living place, near the northern border of the city. Only 10 minutes away of the center of the city at the Baltic Sea.

One of my tasks in the first months was the organization of various types of events for students and guests of the school. I also made open trainings, competitions of various kinds of sport, evening’s table games, internet games and culinary evenings. I was part at the open day of the school and gave information about Russia and the culture of Russia. For that I prepared myself various types of Russian bakeries and I made a presentation with photos and information about Russia.

Every day the students helped me and answered all my questions. In the next weeks I assisted at the planning for the production of a film about the school.

I also would like to say, that I wanted to learn the Swedish language and so I made a language course.

After these 3 months at this project full of emotions, I received some experience and only can recommend this project to future volunteers.

 Vitali Cirosch, ICYE volunteer in Sweden, 19.05.2016