My EVS – Kathrin (Germany)

My EVS was a 12 months project called “PlayRide” with the Organization “Mirakolix” in Brasov, a beautiful city in the middle of the mountains in Romania, together with 6 other volunteers from 6 other countries. So far about the official part, my personal experience in this project was a lot more, learning various things about social work and myself, having fun, experiencing a new culture and last but not least living a new life.

During the project we worked in different schools, primary schools in small villages as well as gypsy primary schools and high schools in rural areas. We had non-formal education activities with the children during school time, like crafting, dancing and playing games, learning about geography and tolerance in non-formal ways, assisting in English lessons.

We worked in an orphanage all year long and had afternoon activities with the children, like crafting, playing, going outside, doing sports and in the end we practised small theater sketches with the children that we performed at our festival.

We explored a lot of villages around Brasov, in order to build a touristic route, which includes local traditions and beautiful places in the nature and the villages which people from the city and tourists could explore by bike, by car or by foot. For the things we discovered we created a webpage and I hope that this route will be more developed and promoted by the next EVS volunteers!

After this we concentrated more on organizing small events like an intercultural evening for Christmas where all of us presented traditions from our countries and prepared food, doing board game evenings in bars in a village. We took part in the “Non-formal-education-week” in schools where all schools all over the country tried new methods of teaching for one week. We organized park afternoons with games and workshops for families in Brasov, also in order to promote EVS and our events. For the International Children ́s Day we organized an event to play a big version of the board game “The Settlers of Catan” with more than 100 people in a small village called Holbav, where we also worked in the schools. After that we were really busy organizing our big festival “Ceva de Vara” (translated “something summery”) for the end of the project, which was a great success, with a variety of workshops, sports, contests, water fights and games during the day and concerts, star gazing and campfire with music in the evening.

All in all for me EVS was a great experience, by getting so close to people in another country and meeting international people I learned a lot also about myself, things I could not have learned in my own country. Having time to think about what to do with my future, while doing a different kind of work and being out from my comfort zone helped me to develop myself and my way of thinking. Romania is a beautiful country to experience all these things and I will miss this time of my life and all the people connected to it!

Kathrin Schmitz

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