My name is Alise, I come from Latvia, but since October 2017 I am a European Voluntary service (EVS) volunteer in Samara.
My project, called “Unity in Diversity”, is a large scale (12 month) project in social care field- in an organization for children with special needs called "Parus Nadezhdy". The project is carried out, in a partnership between 3 organizations: “Raibais Kaķis” ( Latvia), "LASTOCHKI/ ICYE Russia" (Russia) and "Parus Nadezhdy" (Russia).
My main tasks in this project are related with assistance to parents. By assisting them in daily activities , I provide them and children with a moral and physical support.
Every week I visit 3 families. It seems unbelievable, that a few moth ago I didn't know about them, but now they have become as a close friends to me. Once or twice a week I go to “Parus Nadezhdy” , where I am assisting to teachers and communicating with children, teenagers and adults. There I can see how much work staff of "Parus Nadezdy" puts in, to run this organization. Sometimes I am wondering, from where do they get so much energy? By sharing our stories and exchanging cultural issues with teachers, children and their parents in organization and in families, I believe we are give a positive impact to each other.
Whenever it is possible, I take a chance to participate in different kind of local events .
Last October I started to go to russian national dances and took a part in Kuzminki celebrations ( Кузьминки осенние) in a local school. In this way I learn Russian culture, traditions and local society. But with a help of a dance I am trying to catch a feeling of “Russian soul”.
During my project, I meet other volunteers as well. For example, last November, we went to Nizhniy Novgorod, to participate in “on-arrival training” . This training gave me a better understanding of my project and cultural differences we have to take an account. With some of volunteers I celebrated a New Year in Moscow. It was unforgettable beginning of the year, for sure!
I am truly happy to be here, I enjoy every day of my project and I enjoy Russia. I have attached to parents and children with whom I am working. I appreciate that they are in my life, because we can learn so much from each other. With this project, I consider myself as a lucky!
The project “Unity in Diversity” was financed with the support of European Commission’s “Erasmus+: Youth in Action” administered in Latvia by the Agency for International Programs for Youth. This publication reflects only the author’s views, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.