Category: EVS

Наші партнери громадська організація AIDE association запрошує взяти участь у довготерміновому волонтерському проекті у Румунії “NON FORMAL enlights RURAL”, що відбуватиметься від 15.07.2019  та триватиме до 11.01.2020.

Детальніша інформація англійською мовою нижче.

About the organization:

AIDE association is an youth organization from Ramnicu Valcea, Romania, it was founded in 2016 by a group of youth determined to make a positive change in community through European projects of volunteering.

What is the project about?

NON FORMAL enlights RURAL – project that aims at developing intercultural skills for the 6 six volunteers from Greece, Ukraine and Austria during 6 (six) months through educational non formal activities aiming at improving communication in English of students from rural areas of Valcea county.

What are the activities?

  • Non-formal activities of developing communication in English and entrepreneurial behavior for children from rural area of Valcea county;
  • Media activities (publishing the pictures from the activities with description of the activities);
  • Intercultural workshops about each country;
  • Campaigns about the European projects in the high-schools from Valcea county;
  • Making new youth programs in community aside the local volunteers and youth workers;
  • Supporting the organization in implementing the projects approved, IT support by promoting the web page of the NGO , social support by making a blog with their opinion about Romania and the life in Ramnicu Valcea, a hashtag of the project with photos and videos from activities and their free time;
  • Active participation in local community regarding sport, arts and social networking for local young people;
  • Workshops of informing young people about European mobilities especially EVS stages.

What about the costs?
The participation in the project is free of charge. The costs for accommodation and travel are covered by Erasmus+ program; the volunteers will receive money for food and pocket money. Accommodation will be provided in apartments with separate rooms in the little Ramnicu Valcea city, surrounded by mountains.

How to apply?
Please, send us the CV and Cover letter to 

Deadline 10.05.2019

More information about the organisation you can find here:

Final Thoughts

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”  – Murakami


When something comes to an end, we often struggle to find the meaning of what has just happened. Precisely, how we got into it, what was our motivation and expectations, which challenges we had to face and where they have led us. And most and foremost, how much pain and joy at the same time this experience has brought to our hearts and why.

So for me, this time spent in Ukraine was like getting pregnant without searching for it. It happened, and it meant to me a lot of struggle and acceptance. Of myself and the things I was not be able to change. Despite all of my efforts.

During this long journey, I have met on my way a bunch of diverse people. Sometimes extremely deep and thoughtful, sometimes completely crazy, sometimes rude and arrogant, sometimes cold and distant, sometimes simply lovely and caring.

And this is precisely what this journey has meant to me. People.

As all the persons we encounter on our life path do often represent a mirror, when we look into and discover more about ourselves. And I have seen myself in so many different ways through their eyes. I have realized my limitations. And starting from there, I have learnt how to rely on my strengths and appreciate my inner beauty.

Confronting with a foreign and extremely different culture, has been for me a precious gift and opportunity to reborn again. I have much more clear what are my goals, what I really like about people, what it is my purpose and how I can achieve it. I can say for sure I am not the same person who arrived at Sykhiv on a silent and freezing morning. In the middle of a winter storm.


And this is precisely what our journey and in particular my journey has been all about.



Equalize: Youth Peace and Security

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” (Preamble of UNESCO Constitution, 1945)

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I decided to design a project on the role of young people in the peacebuilding processes. Everything begins in our minds and our thoughts create the reality we are living in.

When people ask me what I like most about Ukraine I always reply that I am happily amazed by the activism of young people and their will to improve the society. In the last 8 months I met several representatives of youth-led organizations and their commitment to create positive change in Lviv made me feel optimistic that good things are going to happen. However, they are often not recognized and their voice is not heard at the high-level tables.
For this purpose the United Nations Resolution 2250 has been created: to encourage UN member states to acknowledge youth contribution in the creation of peace and give them a greater voice in the decision-making.

The Youth Peace and Security Initiative that I coordinated aimed at raising awareness about this important resolution among young students in the 3 main universities in Lviv and involved them into discussions around 3 main topics:

– Youth Peace and Security as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
– Women Peace and Security
– Preventing Violent Extremism

The Initiative ended with the final event “ Youth Talks”, where young leaders shared their experience and showed that youth have the right to represent their concerns about peace and security.

Working for the Youth Peace and Security Initiative is one of the highlights of the year, and  a great personal achievement. The process for the realization of the full project has been challenging  but has been important for the professional growth I was aiming for.
I have learnt that not everything is under my control and that sometimes I have to let things go. I have learnt to believe in myself and that my skills go beyond what I thought.
But above all, I have learnt that when I feel like giving up  that is the time to keep going. Even if you are scared of the obstacles you could encouter in the path, keep in mind that you have to reach the top of the mountain,no matter what. Wear good shoes and  climb!


Мальта, море, EVS

Мій досвід з EVS почався з радісного стрибання по кімнаті після отримання листа від ІСІ. В ньому мене запрошували стати EVS волонтером проекту на Мальті на 2 місяці. Час перед від’їздом пролетів як одна мить – і от я вже прямую паромом від Мальти до другого за величиною острову країни – Гозо, де і мав проходити мій проект. До слова, Мальта складається з трьох островів, і на третьому живуть всього три людини.

Моя приймаюча організація – Emergency Response and Rescue Corps займається наданням першої медичної допомоги на різних подіях та завідує рятувальниками на пляжах. Я вважаю, мені дуже пощастило з організацією, адже протягом проекту я отримала справді життєвоважливі навички з надання першої медичної допомоги, що підкріплювались сертифікатом європейського зразка. Крім того, так як організація займалась також підводним порятунком, мені та іншим волонтерам випала нагода спробувати дайвінг і трохи дослідити дно мальтійського узбережжя.

Після отримання сертифікату волонтери працювали на різноманітних подіях: кінних перегонах, мотокросі, музичних фестивалях, різдвяних ярмарках. Це допомогло зануритись в життя острову, краще зрозуміти його культуру та життя місцевих мешканців. Щодо останнього, то тут знадобилося трохи часу, щоб звикнути до розслабленого стилю життя та звичок місцевих. Звичайно, українці не можуть похвалитись педантичністю, але для мальтійців запізнитися на півгодини, а то й на годину, – звичне явище:) Ніхто не поспішає і не нервує. І чого б це? 300 сонячних днів на рік, море, неймовірна природа. Лише й хочеться дивитись в синю далечінь і дивуватись, наскільки прекрасне життя.

2 місяці пролетіли непомітно – в роботі, довгих прогулянках островом, подорожах  і нових знайомствах. І я дуже вдячна програмі Erasmus+ та ІСІ за можливість отримати весь цей безцінний досвід.

І раджу всім, хто досі вагається, перестати це робити і почати шукати свій проект. Адже цей досвід, отриманий з EVS, неодмінно збагатить ваше життя!

Ольга Кутиніна, EVS волонтерка на Мальті

Мій EVS у найщасливішій країні світу

Ми часто переїжджаємо в пошуках чогось. Щоб знайти роботу. Знайти кохання. Знайти стабільність. Знайти себе. Мене звуть Уляна, мені 28, я українка, з Тернополя, вже понад півроку завдяки проекту EVS я живу та працюю в місті Орхус у Данії. На власному прикладі я переконалась, що переїзд, хоч і короткостроковий, із рідної країни може змінити вас на краще!

Про існування EVS волонтерства я дізналась випадково від своєї молодшої сестри Нати, яка минулої весни намагалась мене всіляко стимулювати до кардинальної зміни життя. З вибором проекту все склалось неочікувано просто. Прочитавши про історію і мету програми EVS та ознайомившись з тим як працює її платформа, мені одразу ж спало на думку шукати можливості у Скандинавії, клімат та стиль життя якої мені давно були до душі. І ось на початку списку проект у Данії із надзвичайно коротким дедлайном для подачі заявки. Один стресовий день для заповнення мотиваційної анкети, допомога Ані з Інституту Суспільних Ініціатив, в неділю ввечері видихнула з полегшенням коли прийшло сповіщення що мою заявку таки прийнято, а вже наступної середи моя співбесіда із командою проекту була позаду, та в четвер того ж тижня я знала, що мене обрано і на початку вересня мене чекатимуть в Орхусі.

Моє рішення залишити дім, роботу, друзів та доволі облаштоване життя було цілковитою несподіванкою для близьких. Як? Чому? Задарма? Так далеко? Говорити данською? Однак все закрутилось так швидко, що й часу на сумніви та хвилювання не було! На свій день народження, 14 серпня, в подарунок від посольства Королівства Данії я отримала візу, а вже через два тижні з моєю новою сусідкою із Австрії ми думали де б то знайти меблі щоб заповнити нашу пусту данську квартиру.

Мій EVS проект базується в муніципалітеті міста. Оскільки Орхус у 2018 році є Волонтерською столицею Європи, я разом із Франческою, ще однією EVS-волонтеркою та моєю тепер хорошою подругою, допомагаємо із міжнародною комунікацією, організацією подій та різноманітними інтернаціональними ініціативами – study trips, конференціями, відкритими лекціями. Також завдяки проекту, ми стали частиною фестивалю для дітей “Film in the Forest”, основна мета якого – зміна погляду на кіно та зближення дітей з різним культурним бекграундом; їм ми допомагаємо із пошуком партнерів та фандрейзингом, проведенням воркшопів і побудовою команди волонтерів, та власне й на самому майданчику фестивалю у лісі під час фестивального вікенду.

Зараз мій типовий день – це робота у офісі 5-6 годин, декілька зустрічей та дзвінків, з десяток email, написання статей чи спілкування із студентами та волонтерами, курси данської мови, заняття спортом (тут усі такі спортивні, соромно відставати 🙂 та вечеря з сусідкою, бойфрендом чи тутешніми друзями.

Попри те, що по натурі я інтроверт, в Данії я зрозуміла наскільки важливо бути соціально активною для облаштування життя на новому місці. І в Орхусі для цього є нескінченна кількість можливостей! Лекції, виставки, покази фільмів, концерти, фестивалі, волонтерські проекти на будь-який смак, це дозволяє дізнаватись нове, зустрічати цікавих людей та відкривати для себе ще більше цю маленьку та надзвичайно милу країну.

У Данії усі, починаючи з трирічних діток і закінчуючи пенсіонерами, чудово спілкуються англійською. Все ж для кращого розуміння культури та навколишнього життя, я вже близько пів року ходжу на безкоштовні курси данської – так це складно, у них дивні букви і вимова наче в тебе гаряча картоплина в роті…однак, є перші результати – я можу підтримати розмову з касиром в супермаркеті, вже прочитала дві книжки для малят та на 30% розумію про що говорять мої колеги 😀

Якщо ви почуєте, що Данія – країна із найщасливішими у світі людьми, знайте, – це правда! Тут все наче створене для комфортного і розміреного життя:  усміхнені люди, які завжди готові допомогти, гарні вулички, красиві будинки, зручний громадський транспорт і мережа велодоріжок, що покриває все місто, смачнюща випічка і культурні заходи кожного вікенду, безліч курсів і майстер класів на будь-який смак, зрештою море і ліси навколо міста, – і ти ніколи не відчуваєш, що Орхус це друге за розміром місто у Данії, настільки воно затишне!

Ще й досі невідомо яка доля чекає на програму EVS, швидше за все її повністю замінить European Solidarity Corps, нова ініціатива ЄС. Однак поряд із цими ініціативами, існує й величезна кількість інших безкоштовних або ж цілком доступних кожному можливостей подорожувати, навчатись та працювати закордоном, варто лиш бути допитливим і не боятись ризикнути. Справді, життя за кордоном – це одна з найбільш приємних та водночас складних пригод у вашому житті. Проте гарантую, цей досвід кандинально змінить ваше бачення себе та світу навколо!

P.S. Доволі складно розповісти про враження від життя, роботи і подорожей у новій країні у короткому пості, тому якщо у вас є питання чи коментарі, буду рада продовжити спілкування у facebook.

Уляна Башняк, EVS волонтерка в Данії



Sometimes on your life path you meet people that don’t care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They seems to soften their heart only in specific situations, with specific people. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don’t see beyond their ability to judge who is trying all his efforts to be kind and compassionate.
At See Beyond I finally met some people who gave me the feelings of caring for Others. People who accept and are sincere with their own emotions and therefore can perceive and embrace others’ emotions.
I have always known that people who are not afraid of showing their weaknesses and their feelings are the stronger ones. And I got the confirmation of this during the Art Residence. I really needed to meet people who do not have masks, whose eyes are sincere and express their own world. People who reply to your kindness with other kindness; people who appreciate you and tell you about that.

I love to see beyond eyes. But this is possible only with certain people. Through performance, I understood that some people are “naked” in showing themselves, others have a mask of naivety which has no audience, other than their own kind. The curious thing is that this mask takes on a different colour according to the situation, the only thing that remains is the steady hand to hold the mask up.













At SEE BEYOND I took my shyness off and I enabled my soul to see beyond . Beyond my own world, beyond my guilts, beyond my insecurities. To see myself through other eyes.

I looked through others’ eyes and I discovered new worlds. I found out new words. I understood that everyone has a story to tell, but when you read it through the eyes it worth twice.

EVS as Art Theatre

In this article, I would like to talk about linguistic and cultural barriers. As you might know, living in a country where you have little or no-knowledge of the local language can be a real challenge. And that it’s definitely my case, as my expertise in Ukrainian language is not enough to understand informal conversations and discussions about complex topics. This very often results for me in feeling excluded from the external environment. Your perceptions of reality change a lot, as you don’t understand things as they really are, but as your imagination thinks them to be. Also people are not real, but they are the result of your mind processing information is not sure about.

Moreover, very often you feel invisible as for other people you simply don’t exist. And despite your big efforts to be open, helpful and smiling with all kind of people you encounter in your way, sometimes you don’t receive the same attentions. Better said, you receive them only when someone needs you. So that everyone will turn to you extremely kind and polite ( sometimes even not) asking you to perform a great variety of actions as for example validating others’ tickets on the tram.

In other words, it seems that people consider you only because they need you to be there at that precise moment. And that’s all. So my question very often has been “how to feel appreciated for who you really are?” Such a big one, you might think. Right, totally true, I am sure I am not the only one struggling with this questions. And when I am abroad, far from my family and closest friends, I think this feeling is even stronger due to the desire of fitting in and very often due to the frustration resulting from trying to merge with locals.

However, the event I am participating in, that is See Beyond Art Residence, gave me the answer. Better said, all beautiful young people participating in this workshop gave me the answer. And this is precisely Art and Music. In fact, both kind of arts involve a bunch of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and context without having to speak the same language. And they will understand and feel understood. And that’s because, as one girl told me “You don’t need to understand Art, but to feel Art. So I will just imagine my EVS experience to be an Art Theatre Performance. People surrounding me to be pure Music and Art. I will be both Spectator and Protagonist. Because only through this way I will be close to the True meaning of this experience. And I will finally understand it and get understood.


Photography: a new way of looking at reality

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety”. Ansel Adams

Some weeks  ago Anna, our coordinator, came up with the idea of providing us with a Media Workshop.
A series of interactive meetings on photography techniques, videomaking strategies and composition basic skills. When I heard this, at first I was perplexed, I am sincere.
I like art and photography but I have never considered to be involved in a media course or develop my knowledge in this field. I have always admired  other friends of mine who are excellent photographers, but I have always lived this art at a certain distance. I have just replied yes to Anna’s proposal because one of the things I learnt in life is never say no to new opportunities.

Thus, I approached the workshop with some skepticism but I tried my best to put the teachings into practice. The first task was to go around our neighborhood in Sykhiv and take pictures of different patterns and elements. My perfectionist mindset helped me to not take the task as a game but take the photography strategies seriously.
The techniques our photography expert Piotr explained to us were clear to me at the end of the theory part and I didn’t wait a minute to take my mobile phone and experiment them.

At the end of the first meeting I found myself completely in love with this practice. I took 60 pictures of different things that looking back I would have never considered to take photographs of, before the workshop.  I learnt that beauty is in everyday life, in the small things, in stupid things that we often take for granted. I learnt that behind every photograph there are thousands of meanings. I understood that different perspectives are fine, that “what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly”.

Photography is more than a picture. It is more than the representation of a single object, of a person, of a landscape. It is a state of mind, it is a story that tells life, it is a declaration of feelings. Photography is subjective and this makes it even more fascinating.
I have never liked objective things (maths, first of all!). I like that one object is explained in different ways, according to the viewer’s opinion. One element, thousands of meanings. One element, thousands of memories. It is like life, isn’t it?
Photography is the philosophy of life. How you perceive what is in front of you, it is just a feeling you have inside you.

Kiev: the voiceless city

Last week-end,  I had the opportunity to go to Kiev to visit my aunty from Ukraine, newest member of my big and crazy Italian family. Soon after starting our reunion with a delicious pizza, we went to the city center for a walk, making slowly our way under a quick and unexpected rain.

As soon as I reached the heart of the city, I have been conquered by the majesty and beauty of its buildings and churches. Rus-Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture, colorful frescoes and mosaics, baroque churches, terraced gardens, my eyes were flattered by the mixture of different cultures and styles. Moreover, in occasion of the day of Europe, government buildings were even more shining and flashy.

However, since the beginning, I noticed there was something unusual: big shops flaunting luxury and richness were almost empty inside, as well as government buildings, as they  were not opened to the public. In fact, as the guard said  “something was going on  between Brussels and local representatives of the Institutions and visits  were not allowed”.

What is more, my Ukrainian aunty seemed not to be aware of  the beauties of Kiev city center, as if she had been there only few times. Indeed, she asked me to let her know what I wanted to visit since she told me: “ I don’t know where else  to go, I come to the city center only to meet my daughter who lives at the university residence and to have lunch with her”. And again “ City center is only a very touristic place: only tourists and business men come here”.

In other words, there was a voice unheard behind the high rise apartments, government buildings  and  expensive shops. And it was the voice of all the people who could not access the beauty of Kiev city center: those  living in the outskirts of the city, those earning a low level salary to sustain all the expenses for a living, those who don’t participate in public life and those whose the monthly pension is the same price of an expensive hat.

This experience left me a bit sad, but even more willing to keep working towards a more sustainable and equal society, where wealth can be accessed by the majority of population and metaphorically, the city center can be opened to everybody.



A special birthday in the woods

A lot of people get really homesick around their birthday and I was one of them. I was thinking that this year I wouldn’t do anything particular during my special day, but at the end I was wrong.

My birthday was on Sunday, so I thought it was nice to organize a picnic in the park in order to enjoy the good weather and spend some nice time surrounded by nature. As always, weather is crazy and do not follow rules and that morning it was not so sunny as I expected. But I didn’t give up and I decided to challenge the clouds that appeared in the sky. After the picnic, my colleagues organized a very special barbecue in the woods, something that I have always dreamt of doing. We had some meat, vegetables and mojitos to cheer us up and they even brought a cake with candles!

I sincerely did not expect anthing of this! As I have just arrived 2 months ago I didn’t expect my flatmate and colleagues to arrange anything and I knew they had really busy schedules .
It was a big surprise for me to have the opportunity to spend my birthday with them and having a little party in such a special setting.

Spending the birthday away from home seems quite strange. It is strange but at the same time it is funny and emotional. It’s completely different and this makes it even more special.
From this experience I learnt that it does not matter how far you are from home, there’s always a way to celebrate your birthday with new “adventure mates” that make every effort to make you happy.
I understood that people make everything better. And above all, I understood that you are never alone.