Iliana: EVS volunteer in Spain


European Voluntary Service in Padron

It cost me seven months of project searching and sending countless CVs and motivation letters, and of course many rejects. Dear reader, if you are thinking about doing EVS you have to grant yourself with a lot of patience and positivity. That way you can go wherever you want, you will feel good and complete. My situation was the following: it chose me and I chose it. As I was doing my daily check for a project I encountered one announcement from Cristina’s sending organization – Paideia Galiza and I immediately started to fix up my documents. I was sure that they already have received hundreds of applications so I had to be representative. Elina and Cristina were kind enough to write recommendations for me which helped a lot. What happened was that they needed someone with good Spanish for this EVS project in A Coruña so I couldn’t go. However they said they like me and offered a place as volunteer in the small village of Esclavitud (slavery in Spanish) where Paideia has an office as well. I said to myself “Why not?” And here I am four months later.

Interesting fact – Paideia is one of the biggest and most famous organisations that hosts EVS volunteers not only in Galicia but also in Spain. The president Rosalia Mera is one of the richest women in the world and owns half of Inditex corporation(Zara, Stradivarius, Bershka, etc). Paideia has numerous activities and projects mainly aimed at integrating people with disabilities. The main office is in A Coruña and the other one is in Esclavitud. Here our field is more rural development. Thanks to our projects small firms were established where local people who were long unemployed work. But the most important project where the EVS volunteers take part is called LA IDA. The purpose is to provide opportunity for work experience to young people from Germany. The same to Spanish young people. This explains the extensive presence of German speakers around me. Later you will find out what I mean. Oscar, Loly and Paca work in the office. They are very cool and help me a lot, and Oscar is always there for the volunteers if we have problems in the house. I feel lucky that I am here and in this organization especially.

Volunteering with people with disabilities

Ok – this is two days a week. In the other three days I work in this wonderful place called AMIPA, which in my opinion has to be an example for all the organizations working with people with disabilities. This center gives the chance to disabled people to feel useful and important, to spend time with friends, to CREATE. They have several workshops. One of them is art workshop, IT workshop, cooking workshop and maintaining garden workshop. Everyone has a personal schedule for each day of the week. The director of AMIPA gave me the opportunity to choose in which workshops I want to participate. The AMIPA crew managed to create a lovely environment where it feels like everyone is one big family.

(to be continued)