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.