Category: ESC
February monthly resume – Лютий щомісячне резюме

From February we decide to write a monthly resume about our volunteers’ activities in the local area, to have a general view of our service, but also to inform you all and keep you updated about what we do.

So, in the month of February, our group of ESC volunteers went on with the activities they have been doing for a while already. 

Such activities include holding a French class in the KMDSH school, a Spanish club in the school Shkola-Sadok “Sofiya”, and different workshops in “Ekoland” school, all situated in the district of Sykhiv in Lviv.

Also, they have started holding an English club every Friday for the children belonging to large families in library #33 in the district of Sykhiv. So, we try to give the opportunity for them, first to interact with an international group of people, and then to use and improve an important tool for their future – the English language.

As well the volunteers went into Oriana school, to make a short workshop on human rights to the students, make them approach such an important subject.

We hope next months will be full of other different activities. Stay tuned to our webpage and our Facebook page for more updates about events and activities.


З лютого ми вирішили щомісяця писати резюме про діяльність наших волонтерів, щоб ви мали загальне уявлення про нашу місію та діяльність.

Так, у лютому місяці наша група волонтерів ESC продовжила свою діяльність. 

Такі заходи включають: проведення “Клубу Франції” в школі КМДШ, іспанського клубу в Школі-Садок «Софія» та різні майстер-класи в школі «Еколенд», які розташовані в районі Сихова у Львові.

Крім того, щоп’ятниці наші волонтери розпочали проводити англійський клуб для дітей, які належать до багатодітних сімей, у бібліотеці № 33 району Сихова. Отже, ми намагаємось дати їм можливість спочатку взаємодіяти з міжнародною групою людей, а потім використовувати та вдосконалювати важливий інструмент для свого майбутнього – англійську мову.

Крім того, волонтери пішли в школу Оріани, щоб зробити короткий семінар з прав людини для учнів та поділитись знаннями з цього предмету.

Ми сподіваємось, що наступні місяці будуть сповнені інших різних заходів. Слідкуйте за нашою веб-сторінкою та нашою Facebook-сторінкою, щоб отримати більше інформації про події та заходи.


Hey everyone! Our polish partner “Inni association” is searching for 4 participants to join in a European Solidarity Corps project.

Here you can find some information.

If you are interested, please remember first to send your CV to the mail


“Inni association” is an organization from Poland (near Katowice) that works in the area of local cultural animation, managing local cultural center with a lot of activities for kids, families, adults, connecting with alternative cinema, organizing several film festivals and regular movie presentations. Also, they organize concerts and outdoor music festivals.

The project itself will take place in the period from May 2020 to April 2021 (12 months), and it will be about cultural animation (movie & cinema, music, and dance, cultural animation and work in the local community).

The deadline for applying is the 1st of April.


cover’s pic credit: @freestock/


Hello everyone! Our Italian association partner “ALA Associazione Liberi Artigiani” is searching for participants to join in a European Solidarity Corps project!

Here you can find the main information about this experience.

If you are interested, please remember first to send you CV, specifying in which project you are interested in, to the mail


Project duration: 8 months, starting from April 2020

Project topics: reinforce the spirit of local solidarity, encourage the opening of the community towards knowledge and cultural and intercultural exchange and bring young people closer to volunteering activities

Volunteer profile: 4 positions are available. The volunteers have to be flexible and capable to follow the association in the different aspects of their own activities. Each volunteer will be followed during the first part of permanence to develop personal skills and competences with an educational approach base on non-formal education

The application deadline is February 21th, 2020

For more information, please ask to have the info pack.


cover’s pic credit: @kovacsz1/


Hey everyone! Our German partner “Die VILLA” is searching for participants to join in European Solidarity Corps projects.

Here you can find the opportunities, with the main information and the requirements.

If you are interested, please remember first to send you CV, specifying in which project you are interested in, to the mail


ESC in Media laboratory in Social Culture Centre »Die VILLA« (one place)

Project dates: September 1st, 2020 – August 31th, 2021 (12 months)

Project topics: one ESC place: media laboratory (work with children and youth within media pedagogical projects, the assistance of preparation, process, and follow-up of courses and workshops)

Volunteer profile: age 18-30 years/language: basic German knowledge is required (A2 / B1) / interest in working with children and youth/active and interested in social and cultural work/interest in media and media technics

The application deadline is February 11th, 2020


ESC in Social Culture Centre »Die VILLA« (one place)

Project dates: September 1st, 2020 – August 31th, 2021 (12 months)

Project topics: one ESC place

Volunteer profile: age 18-30 years/language: basic German knowledge is required (A2 / B1) / interest in working with children and youth/ active and interested in social and cultural work/interest in media and media technics

The application deadline is February 11th, 2020


ESC – international youth work: »Kindervereinigung Leipzig« (one place)

Project dates: September 1st, 2020 – August 31th, 2021 (12 months)

Project topics: international youth work (support and take part in international youth projects), youth work like creative games and sportive activities, cultural youth education

Volunteer profile: age 18-30 years/languages: basic German knowledge is requested (A2 / B1), good English knowledge/interest in social and cultural work / some practical experience in the work with children and youths is welcome

The application deadline for the ESC projects is February 11th, 2020


ESC – open youth club Rabet (one place)

Project dates: September 1st, 2020 – August 31th, 2021 (12 months)

Project topics: afternoon activities with kids and youth (age: 10 to 18 years; sports, music, games…), creative activities

Volunteer profile: open-mindedness for all religions and social backgrounds, interest in working with youths and some practical experience in this field, assertiveness, friendliness, and humor, German knowledge is needed

The application deadline is February 7th, 2020


ESC – cultural youth work: »Kinder- und Jugendkulturwerkstatt JuKuWe« (one place)

Project dates: September 1st, 2020 – August 31th, 2021 (12 months).

Project topics: artistic youth work (theatre, ceramics, art, literature, pottery, drawing, photography), leisure time activities with children and youth, creativity and culture, pedagogy

Volunteer profile: age 18-25 years/language: basic German knowledge is a plus/interest in our social and cultural work/some practical experience in the work with children and youths is welcome

The application deadline is February 4th, 2020


cover’s pic credit: @spurs/

Feeling vulnerable – Paul Lorentz

Most people think that the sacrifices you make to volunteer are about money. That they are only very grounded things. Clothes, restaurants, cigarettes. Peripheric things, that don’t affect your inner sphere. And indeed, it’s one aspect of it. But it is only a very superficial one.

As a matter of fact, my time in Greece was quite surprising for me.

On 2 occasions, some itinerant reporters interviewed us to create documentaries about alternative lifestyles. Because we were that very small NGO, living and working in a shared flat, 6 in a 50meters square flat. A volunteer legal advice NGO managed by a former theater actor that had planned to stay in Greece for 2 weeks, 3 years ago. An NGO having no idea how to survive the next 3months, unable to buy a new washing machine, despite the old one favorite hobby being randomly burning some clothes, or to buy a new set of keys. I remember my boss hugging me out of relief when I told him I saved 30euros. Leaving the keys to a hidden place and praying no one would notice and rub us of the few things we had. But an NGO standing together, for the best, and sometimes for the worst.

I met professional poets traveling Europe to gain knowledge, to witness the conditions of migrants or to diffuse their energy to other queer poets, or kuir as they prefer to write it. Versatile, being silent for hours, just witnessing our day, or creating a bubble of craziness at 4 am, exploring the arcane of Bradburry while playing a randomly composed song on the guitar. Staying, at 75 years old, in a dark cave on the rock-hard sofa of an afghani asylum seeker, not out of lack of money, but only to spend the few hours a day Abdullah could spare, after all the volunteering he was doing, talking about his feelings and trying to understand better his perception of his world. Giving up some of their personal spotlight time, to allow others to express themselves. Telling them their voices are worth being heard, and that no matter who will pay attention to it, writing is a liberating process.

I spent hours playing Syrian card games, not being able to speak with even one person out of 4, but only communicating through cards and a few expressions I learned without even understanding what they actually mean. Sharing, at 6 am, a chicken cooked for you by 2 of those 20 refugees staying in a house for 4 people when you had actually planned on going to bed at 10.

I saw stars shining over the harbor of Thessaloniki, while refugees and volunteers gathered to dance their way to dawn.

There is incredible beauty in living this life.

And it is challenging, on a personal level. Finding a way that is not the common one. Finding satisfaction in what you do instead of what you have. Sharing and being shared with.

But sometimes, life just comes knocking at the door. Reminding you how fragile you are in this kind of life. Because you have no safety net there. I don’t know how many of the long term volunteers I saw so far just weren’t able to afford health insurance. Because that’s not really an option when you get about 200 euros a month for a living.

Not to mention that the organization you work for is actually depending on other’s people generosity, and is very rarely self-sustained. If you have to summarise, you rely on the fact that other people are able to sustain themselves, and, in the remaining margin after they fulfilled their needs, consider more important to help you, as an organization, than to spend this money elsewhere. And the part of this margin they decide to dedicate to your action, has to be enough for you to sustain your organization and by this, yourself. Of course, you also continuously and constantly have to convince them that what you’re doing is worthy of their involvement. And that, to say the least, is a highly volatile material.

Without any real back up plan.

And it’s also true for the ones you love. Shall they be sick, you cannot rely on what you are doing to be able to visit them or support them. To help them in this moment of pain. You also cannot really be in a conventional relationship. Because you simply don’t have the intimacy needed to build it. You have to take a leap of faith, believe and invent other ways of being together.

And in these moments, when life comes knocking at the door, reminding you of how vulnerable you are to its caprices, you just feel like the first one of the three pigs when he saw his whole straw construction being blown away by the wolf. Running away to a safer building, that might not resist much more, but that is definitely better than standing naked in front of the sharp teeth that are smiling at you.

There is not much you can do to counter the discouragement that comes in during those moments. Food doesn’t really fill you anymore, and even a shot of sugar (or several) cannot really satisfy your starving for reassurance. Every little effort becomes hard to make it your own, to identify yourself to. Small pleasures you are used to relying on to feel better just taste like cold tobacco, even though your last cigarette was 5 hours ago. Your body doesn’t seem your own. Being so fragile as an individual just bounces back to your body and makes you feel so feeble. Your hands start shaking when you write to your loved ones because you are struggling to find any solution to bring them the support they would need. Your stomach keeps warning you not to eat too much because he might writhe just a little bit too much if you overthink. So you can’t really think, because the thoughts you’re trying to avoid are always awake, ready to poke you, those tricky tricksters. Just like you are.


cover credits: Pantos

News – Francesca Rossi

One of the difficulties that I found, although it may seem of little value, is precisely this blog, because I always have so many ideas and I never know how to put them in writing. I could start by saying that I’ve found my routine, I can’t say I make the best use of my free time, but I always try. The great news is that we will change the apartment and it will be quite a challenge to settle in a new place. Everything that happens here is really useful in my opinion because I am experimenting with all the different skills of settling in different places and situations. The other challenge is the economic one because I have to admit that I haven’t made much effort to manage the money I have at my disposal, but the experience is not over and I have plenty of time to learn how to organize myself better.


With the association, we are continuing with the weekly projects related to the discussion of human rights issues, extrapolated from general culture issues such as books, films or festive celebrations and we are evolving the project that, if accepted by the so-called “major forces”, will see us engaged in a week of organization and management of social issues, for volunteers from different parts of the world. I will return for a short holiday, so to speak, at home and I think it will be fun to walk the streets and immediately understand what people are saying when they walk or read the signs scattered around. In my free time here, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’m going to do in September and I have a lot of ideas. For now, I’m waiting for the new activities that we’ll be doing and also the news about the new house!


Week 11

Here we are! Came back from the longest holidays I have ever had (I challenge someone if spending two Christmases and a New Year are not considered long holidays).

Talking seriously, it was my mind that designed everything, never letting time go by, dilating it in an almost aberrant way, transforming minutes into hours, hours into months and days into years, and the only thing of which I couldn’t wait for those days to end. Being away from loved ones on the days when you have been used to spending them together for twenty years has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Or maybe yes. Maybe I would recommend it, but only when I will see the results of all this, to physically detach itself almost completely from what I used to call home. I say almost completely because my mother’s voice scolding me for how I speak I keep hearing it. Like every two days.

So I hope to recommend this to someone, to encourage someone else to do it, since it will mean that I will have seen the results and that those have been positive.

What else. Thanks to all those who made me spend these holidays even for just a second making me think of something else. Thanks to everyone I was able to talk to openly without feeling judged. And thanks to those who have also been there silently. But now it’s enough to act like someone is dead,  that period has passed, there are still many months ahead to face, and the projects to be implemented are only starting to take shape. This only means one thing: that you will not get rid of me soon! (also because guess who is going to receive the residence permit).


I feel like I’m living in a movie. For New Year I came back to my city, Madrid, to see my family and friends again, and my first hours with them was really misplaced. After living a month and a half in Lviv, surrounded by a totally different culture, with a totally different weather, being part of a totally different aesthetic, where the grayscale predominates, return to my city, full of colors, with sun even when it was 1ºC, with people on the streets, on the terraces, I really missed it. But after just 5 days, I went back to Lviv, went back to my black and white movie, and came back with the little family that is being created here. Honestly, I missed my movie, I think I am increasingly linked to this city, and little by little I stop feeling completely foreign here, little by little I become an extra character.

In spite of the fact that I am getting more and more used to life here, and I am creating great ties with the small family that is being created among the volunteers, it is quite complicated to manage the bad days. Those days when nostalgia permeates me, I am filled with unanswered questions, I need to vent and express myself, but again, I have the language barrier. There are many opportunities to contact my family and friends, through social networks for example, and although I can call and talk to them, it is not something that really helps me these days, I need physical contact with them when I speak, not through a screen, in order to let off steam. It’s complicated, but I’m also finding my own alternative ways to let off steam, given the circumstances.

‘My own alternatives’ reminds me of independence. I am proud of myself because I really feel that I am creating a more independent Carla, capable of doing things by herself without depending on another person, and it was one of the main things that I decided to leave Madrid, so when I think In this, I remember why I decided to leave my comfort zone and what my goals are here, and it really comforts me to know that little by little they are being fulfilled.

Not Everything Has To Last – Sarah Azevedo

According to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, what seemed to be an absolute value in the world of physics would be in reality relative. Depending on the speed and the gravitational field, time can dilate or on the contrary contract. One week for one can be one day for another. A month can change into years. One minute, one century.

The perception of time is also relative. Einstein said it himself: “When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.” If I never experimented in a conscient way time relativity on a physical level, those last few months made me realize how time can be a matter of perception.

Far from the people you love, from your comfort zone, when you start to miss your old life, weeks can turn into years. This is what I felt during the last days before going back to France for the holidays. I was only expecting one thing: being able to hear my mother’s voice again, hug my best friends, kiss the one I love. The days never ended. I counted the months, the weeks, the days until I could get into the plane I had been waiting so long for.

I arrived in France. Two weeks that could have been two hours. Because there is the trick: the moments of inactivity, of waiting, seem to last forever. But the happy ones, they slip away in the blink of an eye.

It’s been almost three months since I started my volunteering project in Ukraine. To put words on this experience is complicated, I don’t have any step back, only my biased perception to lead me.

In the hard moments, it is easy to find refuge in a past that seems prettier, in a hypothetical present we imagine more pleasant. We get away from reality, we count the days until a future we hope will be easier, a future that will disappear in a snap. We forget to live the only thing we will ever be able to experiment fully: the present. The past only exists in our heads. Its reality is not tangible, it is only a perception, a fake perception distorted by a comforting nostalgia. Because the past is not necessarily better than what we are currently living. In the same way, nothing indicates the future will be easier than the present. The only thing one can be sure of is the present, the events we experiment day after day.

According to Epictetus, all is a matter of perception. Happiness only depends on us; our sadness resides in the judgment we carry on external events. If we are indifferent to causes beyond our control, the sadness will never reach us.  I find in the philosophy some comfort. If our happiness only depends on us, it depends on our choice to modify our perception of events beyond our control. In the same way, our perception of time only resides on our choice to live the present moment instead of trying to find some comfort in a fantasized past or a hypothetical future.

Time passes, no matter what we do. And to wish to go back in time, forward in the future, or to stop the present is to refuse to live. If we cannot change our situation, we must keep in mind that time, even if it is relative, is an unstoppable force. Not everything has to last, not even the good moments. Because the fact that they are ephemeral makes them more valuable.

“It’s just my opinion” – Paul Lorentz

We have to get rid of the nauseating paradigm whereby all opinions are equals between them. Because they’re not. Eventually, every opinion should be considered, prima facie, as having an appearance of validity. Be given the benefit of the doubt. But only in the form of a presumption that would not be irrebuttable. Because to offer equal value to all opinions is to offer each one of them a sanctuary in which to take refuge in last resort when all reason has abandoned its cause and only the force of habit keeps her valiant. It’s giving a bedrock, an immovable foundation to rootless prejudices, the noxious whiffs of which can, therefore, claim immunity by traveling themselves into virtuous equality with every principle of reason.

American creationism is a topical example of the ideological apocalypse that can result from the misuse of methodical doubt. Recently, American politicians, from Texas to be precise, were pushing for legislation that would de facto allow teachers to teach creationism and introduce it as the equal of Darwin’s theory of evolution, in that both are theories that have not been formally proven. And the theory of evolution is indeed one, in the epistemological understanding of the term. In the sense that we will never be able to completely prove that our emergence is due to the path of evolution because it is not possible to provide direct and complete empirical proof of our evolution over millions of years. We can only provide circumstantial evidence, which is nevertheless all consistent with this theory. Without exception, over centuries of research. And that these proofs, although they do not directly trace the path, nevertheless draw more and more precise contours as they accumulate. And today, the number of indirect proofs of the theory of evolution makes it a theory with an extremely high degree of certainty, which is further supported by each new discovery. So yes, this degree will never reach 100%, as it is materially impossible unless we could retroactively create a black box of the Earth, and therefore the theory of evolution will always remain formally one. But creationism, on the other hand, is not based on any scientific data and solely resorts to mysticism to justify the inconsistencies encountered. Consequently, no, the theory of evolution and creationism are not two theories of equal value. Proponents of creationism are, of course, free to intrude into the margin of error of the theory of evolution in an attempt to demonstrate its inaccuracy, with reasoned argument. Moreover, they are most welcome to do so, because by stimulating controversy they can either further sanitize the basis of a theory, or tear down a shaky building and rebuild a stronger one. As J.S. Mill pointed out, dogmatism, one way or the other, leads to nothing but cerebral death and immobility. But if it is necessary to guarantee freedom of opinion in that it allows a permanent questioning and a continuous process, it is just as essential to guard against excessive relativism, the subsequent pitfall being a consensual shipwreck of reason.

While everyone may have a different opinion, not all opinions have equal value. The opposite case would place negationism, creationism or platism on the same level as their scientifically established alter-ego, lending them stilts that would allow them to avoid all the construction inherent to a system of thought in order to rise directly to the status of an idea, accepted by default. Including racism, nazism, and the whole range of toxic ideas that have and continue to poison the history of humanity.

In other words, while everyone is free to explore the different ramifications of his or her thinking at will when one of these reaches a dead end, one must resolve to turn back to explore others, and not force the elasticity of his or her reason to try to push back an irremovable wall.

And this applies, in particular, to human rights. If we accept ab initio the paradigm of equality between each individual, we must also accept the principles that flow naturally from it through the exercise of reason or make the open choice to recuse ourselves from it. For example, one cannot deny an individual his or her inalienable right to freedom of expression, while claiming it for himself on the basis of human rights. This includes, and even more strongly so, denials for reasons such as religion, membership of a sexual, visible or any other minority, or to deny the individual the right to express one of his or her essential characteristics, which are otherwise guaranteed and validated for those of the majority. Because, as Tocqueville pointed out, democracy should not be confused with the tyranny of the majority, otherwise the Orwellian scenario of all human beings being equals, but some being more equal than others, would be the result.

No one can force you to adhere to an opinion. But if you adhere to the principles of reason equality between individuals, you have a primary duty to guarantee, both passively and, if necessary, actively, everyone’s freedom of expression, to the obvious extent of defamation and incitement to hatred. And you have a moral duty to question, as painful as it may sometimes be, your beliefs and prejudices, to test their validity: the fact that not every idea has the same value does not mean that your own has a superior one.

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” Noam Chomsky

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