This year the Volunteering in Humanitarian Aid (VolinHA) project brought together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and different countries such as; Slovenia, France, Ireland, Latvia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. In total we are six volunteers, six girls who were and are still very inspired to change step by step our own impact in society.
If we take a quick look back, the VolinHA project began in September 2015, with nine volunteers from across the EU, with the aim of supporting their organizations in the process of becoming a certified organization in order to send EUAVI volunteers across the EU borders in the future. In order to support the project’s activities now in its second year, new volunteers have been recruited.
Each of us newbies are very excited for the opportunity to work as Civic Service volunteers on the technical assistance consortium in the Volunteering in Humanitarian Aid (VolinHA). We all are highly motivated. As Alexandra Vasila (Greek, Volunteer with Humanitarian Logistics Association) said: ‘’The greatest motivation is knowing that from your work there is a chance to improve the life of some people.’
The VolinHA project unites people who have strong belief in nongovernmental organisations, believing the NGOs are the driving force of the society. NGOs are the most flexible, updated and active organizations, created by citizens’ free will and not because of extra finances or in order to make a huge business. ‘’It’s very important that I can work for things that I believe in, and all the volunteers do so, this way I can meet wonderful like-minded people.’’ Reka Kovacs (Hungarian, Volunteer with Hungarian Volunteer Sending Foundation).
Along with strong motivations, each of us has wide experience in volunteering. Although in the VolinHA project we are newbies, all of us have been involved in volunteering in some way before. For example, Maja Pisljar (Slovenian,organization – Zavod Volunatriat) has been volunteering since she was in primary school – volunteering at home with elderly people. Latter, in high school Maja worked with young immigrants and then at the community based organization – working with people with mental disabilities. She has also volunteered overseas.
‘’It was the first time that I made a connection between my biggest passion, traveling, and doing something useful for group of people outside my country.’’ Says Maja
Moreover, Charlotte Toner (Irish, organization – Comhlámh) had worked with vulnerable children for five months in Darjeeling, India, with a small grassroots NGO that provides education, nutrition, counselling and residential services to vulnerable children and young adults. She has experience in immediate response, when she engaged in emergency relief work in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquakes in 2015.
‘’ On completion of my degree in International Development and Food Policy in UCC, and work experience in Darjeeling, I am eager to get involved and learn more about humanitarian work’’(Charlotte Toner).
Overall, the VolinHA project involves not only young volunteers, but also people and organizations with more experience in given fields, who have contributed to the success of the project, which provides a good combination of enthusiasm and energy of young volunteers.
I guess everyone could agree that working in an environment with many different nationalities, experts and volunteers from a variety of backgrounds is definitely a colourful and exciting experience!
By Ina, Volunteer with ‘’Esi labs!’’, Latvia