Elis from The Sunny House shares how it feels to be a volunteer!

Elis with a painting made by the participants in the daytime activities of The Sunny House.

How great it is to get the inspiration for volunteering back in your life? Elis, who is part of the Day Center “Sunny house” in Varna, tells us a little bit more about her experience in the European Solidarity Corps. She’s part of the project “Solidarity and Social Inclusion for All” , and she actually decided to extend her service to 12 months. Find out why in her answers!

Hello Elis! Tell us who you are?

My name is Elis, I am 23 years old and I just graduated from University of Economics Varna and I am very proud of myself! I feel great with what I am doing in my life.

Is this your first time being a volunteer?

Actually no, I have been volunteering for more than 10-11 years, so this is not new to me. I have volunteered in my hometown Targovishe with The Red Cross where we did all kinds of different social activities – everything from first aid help, to psychological support and others. 

And how did you find out about the voluntary service?

I found about it while I was browsing online, looking for a job and I saw the ad posted by Association FOR YOU. I thought it’s going to be something interesting and different from my previous job and here I am 6 months later!

Can you tell us what motivates you?

The activities related to volunteering have been familiar to me but I had a period of my life when I stopped doing any voluntary service. When I saw the ad from Association FOR YOU I realized how much I have been missing this! The energy and the emotions you feel during volunteering were my main motives that made me apply.

Can you tell us what your tasks are as a volunteer at The Sunny House?

My first task when I walk into the center is to greet everybody individually and everybody welcomes me with lots of smiles and they are happy to see me as I am happy to see them. The next thing I do is to gather everyone from the group and then our morning activities start – each month there are different themed activities. This month for example the theme is the change of time and the upcoming autumn. Our tasks also include helping the therapheths. We work with youngsters with the method hand with hand, we create different applications, Montessori games, and other games that help improve the fine motor skills.

Can you tell us about some challenges that you have faced?

Voluntary service has never been hard for me, I’ve never felt tense. And even if they were hard moments, they are expressed in the fact that most of the youngsters we work with are non verbal – meaning that if they have some problem or difficulty, or they feel pain we are having trouble to find out what exactly is happening and what’s causing the discomfort. However, during our time spent working we have become more empathic and understanding of their experiences and we can help them better this way.

Overall there is not a thing that is insurmountable and the social workers and social therapists are helping us a lot in this, so we keep evolving and learning each day.

What is most inspiring during your work in The Sunny House?

The most inspiring moments in our work is when we finish a certain activity and we see the end result even if it’s not in the perfect way we want it. We see how much effort these kids are putting even in the most simple tasks as gluing some applications or building a tower. They are very excited in the beginning of each task and very happy at the end – no matter the result. There are moments that they are also being stubborn, however we always manage a way to cope with this.

Can you share a fun moment of your daily work?

Absolutely each day, every moment is fun! Of course there are some personal situations with the participants involved and these are confidential. 

You will continue your voluntary service, right? What would you say to people to motivate them to join the European Solidarity Corps?

The social work is not for everybody – you have to be charged with a lot of patience and a desire to help people. As a motivation I could say that I think it’s good for everybody to try something different, to see the things from another perspective of the reality around us. Fact is that people with social problems exist, fact is that they are a part of our society and it’s good for each person to give their fair share in the process of making these people feel more useful in our society, as well as a part of the group.



The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.