Volunteering Makes You Find Value in Small Things in Life – Ivilina from The Sunny house

Ivilina, holding a painting made during their workshops in the day center.

Today we meet you with a sunny girl called Ivilina! She’s a volunteer in a program of the European Solidarity Corps in a project with our partners from Association “Day Center Maria” The Sunny House!

Hello Ivi! Tell us who you are?

Hello, I am Ivilina and I am 28 years old. Last year I graduated with Social Management in Technical University Varna. Currently I am part of the team of Day Center The Sunny House in Varna as a part of the project “Solidarity and social inclusion for all”.

Is this your first voluntary experience?

This is my first time being a volunteer, yes! I found this opportunity as I was browsing online looking for “social work Varna” – the first thing that I opened was a website with the ad. I saw what it was about and I know right from this moment that this is my place! That was the ideal option for me to see whether or not this kind of work is for me, and that’s why I am here. There were two options – either I walk in and I see this is not for me, or I walk in and I fall in love with the work – and that’s how it happens. The second option.

Can you tell us what your tasks are as a volunteer?

At first when I started the center was closed due to the covid lockdown, so I got to know the material base of the place, I went on mobile work meaning that during the lockdown we went to see people privately in their homes and we did all kinds of different activities like that.

What challenges do you face during your work?

Every day is different, unique and memorable. It can bring you many great moments, but many challenges as well. In order to understand somebody with verbal or communicational problems you need to put a little bit more effort. However, even with the youngsters that cannot speak – when you ask them the right question you can read from their reaction and find out the answer. That being said, non verbal communication, although challenging is extremely important.

Share with us what were the most inspiring moments during your voluntary service so far?

During my voluntary service I got assured that I want to develop myself in the field of social work. Here you do feel the small moments that we often see as insignificant in our everyday life. You come in here and you find out that what me and you do easily every day – a lot of people cannot do without somebody else’s help. And when you start helping them you see that they are so happy of their success. This is because when we do something together, we don’t say that we are doing it together. We say that they do it – and that helps them to develop and feel confident in themselves.

Can share a fun or interesting story of your everyday life in the day center?

Recently we started organizing disco parties every Friday and it’s very fun because everybody gets involved. We sing and we are having so much fun, even though I can’t sing in front of people, I stopped being shy and I started involving in karaoke. It’s a very friendly environment as a whole!

What would you say to people to motivate them to get involved in the European Solidarity Corps?

Volunteering is one of the greatest things that can happen to you! When you come here you come by your own desire and meet with many interesting and amazing people! I think this is one of the things that everyone needs to do in their life! The service in ESC gives you many contacts that are quite valuable and experience that you would have not had anywhere else.

Ivilina, together with her coworker from the day center The Sunny house, behind the corktable full of handmade holiday cards.