During summer 2018, Lisa participated in the workcamp “Summer is in the City” as a European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteer through the project "V.I.P. - Volunteering is Possible" with the financial support of the Erasmus+ Programme funded by the European Commission.
“My name is Lisa, I am Belgian and I participated in 2018 in the ELIX workcamp “Summer in the City” which took place in Greece in Magoula.
With this workcamp, I wanted to have the opportunity to live in another linguistic context, to meet new people, to do something interesting during my vacation. I didn’t have much experience in handling kid activities. I was interested to join this workcamp to have the opportunity to learn new things by being supervised by competent facilitators.
Before the beginning of the project, I was invited to join a Facebook group where I could talk with the other volunteers. I have contacted some of them and we met at the airport. Then, we took the train together to the workcamp. It is not always easy to understand the means of transport in a foreign country. For example, in Greece, they didn't point out the stops but the region where the train goes.
During the workcamp, we woke up every day at 7am and then we had breakfast. We welcomed the children until 9am. It took a few days for the volunteers to invest themselves in the “work”. We did welcome activities, we taught the children a few words in English, we taught them also to say “hello” in the languages of volunteers. The children were divided into different classes by age group and we organized many different activities: activities about the continents, the recycling, gender equality, discrimination, ...
Once the children left, around 15h, we had free time. We had time to rest and also to plan the activities of the next day with the kids. We also did lots of group activities. One day, we climbed above the hill next door, or we went to the seaside...
The accommodations were correct even if we had no hot water, but the volunteers get used to it very quickly.
For the organization of the meals, the volunteers helped in turn, when they are registered in the “hometeam” (2 people)
It was a very interesting experience to learn to live in a group, to make concessions, to work with other children… It's also rewarding to share moments with different nationalities.
The experience has largely met my expectations, it was as I had been explained or even better, because the group life was extraordinary.
PS: I had forgotten my student card in Belgium, and it was a terrible mistake because this card gives serious discounts for public transport and admission to museums. For example, the full price of acropolis is 20 € and it's free for students. It's 10 € to get out of the airport by metro and 5 € with the student card. If you are going to Greece, do not forget your European student card!”
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