Volunteer in Greece: New month, new vibe

December started with me remembering about my country, this time because the 1th of December is Romania’s National Day. I felt good to realize that I am part of a nation and that I had the chance to see a broader picture about the world and the world’s problems.
In this month I had set the goal of being useful in any way I could. So, I started. The first thing that I was doing was helping one of the formers social workers from the House of Arsis to paint a wonderful tree. From my point of view this tree is the tree of hope because on one hand it is in a place where many children are finding their hope for a better life and in the other hand because it has been painted in December the month when we are full of hope for a better upcoming year.
The social worker that I was working with the most, Maria, came with some great ideas for Christmas decorations so I helped her doing these with the children. In this way I could see how she talked to them and how she proposed the activities to the children. I learnt that there was enough to make the activity attractive for one of the children and if he or she had fun, the others would join immediately too. So, this is how we started making small Christmas trees and it was so fun to see them painting and being satisfied about their creations.

December was a month full of joy. I was accompanying the children to an activities organized in another center of Arsis where I learnt from the entertainment team that the best way to keep the children focused could be by making the activities dynamics. Also, I was participating in two school celebration of the children. There I felt that I became part of their small universe and I felt all the enthusiasm of the children before the celebration, all the emotions that they had, all the relief after they played their role and all the amusement that they were part of the celebration.

All this month I started to know better the behavior of each child, to understand how they are reacting, I was observing, listening and trying to understand. Until the holiday came, I continued helping the children with the math homework. I was working especially with one girl that could be easily distracted by any other external factor during the homework time. So, I tried to make the calculations more visuals. We were making the calculations using oranges, in this way she could see better the amount of things and what it meant to add and to decrease. Of course that during all these many exercises am sure of at least one thing, she learnt the numbers in English and I learnt them in Greek.  

Talking about learning English, during December I tried to combine the few Greek words that I knew with their English translation in order to use them in everyday activities and to make them familiar for the children. We listened songs about the alphabet and danced for learning the parts of the body. It was indeed a month full of songs and smiles.

In the end of the month I left for spending the Christmas with my family and recharging myself with positive energy for the upcoming year. Then I realized how lucky I was to have the chance of being a volunteer.
First of all, I value more what I have, my family and my friends and what I am doing. Secondly, it is the best way to learn, to learn from the children, to learn from my flatmates, to learn from my coordinators, to learn in general from everything. It is a challenging thing to be a volunteer, but it is definitely worthy to try it for the improvements that it brings in your way of thinking and seeing the word. So, I am sure that now I am more prepared for new situations and I am expecting that the New Year to be a wonderful one. Let it be magic!
Corina Chircea,
ESC volunteer in Arsis (October 2019 – April 2020)

Corina Chircea is doing her European volunteering project in Arsis organisation under  the project “Solidarity Actions, Empowered Volunteers: Solideers” - 2019-2-EL02-ESC11-005130, funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.



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