Nothing can stop true motivation

“I don’t want a goodbye party because I want to continue the activities here” said Nikolia some time ago, when she finished her EVS (European Volunteering Service currently named European Solidarity Corps) project of one year. And she did, because she has found a home in Romania, in Târgu Frumos. Nikolia came from Greece in an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange in 2018 called Rroma HeArt and she fell in love with Romania, the activities that we were doing at the Youth Center and the Super Tineri organisation. So she decided that she needs to escape her ordinary life and do something new, that would fulfill her soul and would help her grow both personally and professionally.

Back in Greece, Nikolia was unemployed and she says that she couldn’t find a job that she liked. She has been a volunteer in a youth center in Ioannina and the Red Cross, but she confessed that nothing was like the experience from Romania: “In one year I did completely new things than in my previous life”. She came with an open mind here, to experience what is a youth worker, to become a facilitator and to try project writing, so under Building Bridges project funded by Erasmus+, Nikolia had the opportunity to evolve and get knowledge about this new field that she was about to discover.

“I learnt that I love to do activities with children, I love to speak in public and I don’t feel ashamed, I feel more courageous!” says the Greek girl with a big smile on her face. Whenever you meet Nikolia, she will have this huge happy smile almost like printed on her lips, that can make your fears and insecurities disappear. Maybe it grew naturally, after all the projects that she has done among young people and activities where youngsters participated as well as students from “Petru Rareș”, “Cucuteni” and “Trinitas” schools.

When asked about the most important projects done, Nikolia giggles and says they were too many, but she recalls "Fapte Bune", Cucuteni campaign and Sports Activator, among many others. Nikolia is 30 years old and she wasn’t afraid to change her life completely, even if she comes from a different environment, she says that here is a safe place to experiment, where you won’t harm yourself doing different types of activities and discovering what you like. “I found out new things I didn’t know I have” she answers, because Nikolia didn’t have any major plans and she took things as they came, accepting the changes happening in her life with optimism.

In Romania, Nikolia got impressed by the culture, the fact that people are very close to nature, and they are very friendly to foreigners. She came for the first time in August and the weather was very hot, which contributed to creating a feeling of safety similar to what she had back home. “I learnt to try to fit” she says pointing out that it’s not so difficult nor different to live in Romania. Even if she doesn’t have the Greek yogurt, the homemade bread and the specific milk from Greece, she has found here something different that impressed her, like our typical “căruțe, Cucuteni culture and papanași” which she still struggles to pronounce correctly.

Even though sometimes it’s difficult for her to communicate, the body language was a real help, so nothing was actually a barrier for Nikolia to continue and to find more. She even has a piece of advice for the young people in Târgu Frumos: “Don’t rush to grow up, fight here, for your education, for your rights here!”

Now, Nikolia is studying at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași, proving that age, differences, culture or language can never stop you from pursuing your dreams. All it takes is the initiative to get out of your comfort zone and to do something new, that you maybe never imagined experiencing at all. That’s the turning point from where you can get pretty amazing memories, that will help build other incredible memories which will definitely be the base of an adventurous life.

Interview by Ioana Ursache

Building Bridges is a EVS project funded by Erasmus+, with the support of European Union.  


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