Preslava from “SOS – families at risk” tells us about the positives and challenges of working with children!

Today we will present you- Preslava – a volunteer at the SOS Foundation – Families at Risk . She tells us about how our plans don’t always happen, but sometimes it leads to even better results that change our views of the world :).

Hello, how are you?

I feel good! Today was extremely dynamic and exciting.

Introduce yourself in a few words.

Preslava Nedyalkova, 20 years old, I am studying psychology at Varna Free University. I am currently in my 3rd and 4th year, that is to say, I will be graduating in a few months.

How did you find out about the possibility of this position?

I was looking at ads online and thus I saw the possibility of SOS – Families at risk . I really liked the way the position was described and I wanted to give it a try. I was very happy when I was called for an interview.

Have you been a volunteer before?

I have volunteered at festivals, events for one or two days, but I have never participated in such a large-scale project. It’s quite interesting. I have not participated in the Erasmus + program so far, but I plan to join it in the future.

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

My main task as a volunteer at the center is to organize activities for children during their free time. I am in a crisis center for children at risk and my task is to come up with different activities for them and to help them with homework. Especially in this period, with the pandemic, it is quite difficult. Given the confidentiality they need, they are not allowed to participate in online training, to be photographed and recorded on camera. Schools send out the homework and the volunteers are busy helping with it. I take on the role of a teacher, it’s interesting, it’s new, it’s difficult, but it definitely teaches me a lot of things.

Have you ever wanted to deal with children and social work? What motives you?

Actually, I wanted to work with adults, but it is not what happened, and I had to work with children. At first, I took it as a big challenge, but later I saw that it is not complicated, especially when you find the right approach. They begin to trust you as well as respect you. I’m really starting to think that maybe I would like to keep taking care of children even after this project.

What are the challenges at work?

The challenge is to find the approach with these children. Each child is a small personal mission. When a new child comes to the center, he is not familiar with the rules that have been created so far and it is a challenge to put him in order. The inclusion of some children is difficult sometimes, but it is not an impossible task and anyone can handle it.

Do you have a favorite thing you did during the project?

Something I liked about the project is that I took part in the making of a film, where the foundation and the project are presented. It was really interesting for me. Another favorite thing that happens every day is the love of the children who are there and the way they express it. At home I am full of many cards, gifts, scraps of them and I continue to receive more. This makes me extremely happy because it shows that I am doing a great job.

What inspires you the most in your work?

The recognition from the children motivates me and inspires me to move forward every day. I put on a smile before a working day because I know I will feel good. Whether we sing songs, do homework or watch a movie, play or go out – we do everything with a smile. Of course, there are times when the situation is a bit critical. There are times when there are quarrels, but the important thing is to really take action in these situations. 

D id the pandemic affect your work?

It affected only the homework, as I said. It is easier when children go to school and come home with homework. It is quite different when you are obliged to give teachers the material, given that I do not have the necessary education or experience. The first months took a little longer to find a way to teach them the material , but in the end, you find an approach, you have the notes from the day before, you know what to do and the children are happy. The director is happy, so are the teachers…

What would you say to other young people to motivate them to join the ESC?

Even if at the beginning they do not find it so interesting and attractive, each project hides its small subtleties and secrets, which are the stones that turn the cart. These are the moments that will teach you to be a better version of yourself and that is why it is worth it. Moreover, the projects that are under Erasmus + are held abroad, you can travel to other countries and discover new cultures. The most important thing for me is that you learn to change, to adapt, and to be flexible.

Have you thought about creating your own project in this position?

Given my hectic daily life, it’s a bit difficult at the moment, but we’ve considered different ideas with the other volunteers. In general, we even thought of making our own show in which we will present various actions related to the project. But with the current situation and the fact that we have no places to do it for the moment, it is very difficult to work on it, but we have many ideas that will come true one day!

 

Just a reminder to all the young people who are wondering what decision to make, I can give you my example. When I found out that I was going to work with children, I had a hard time. Eventually, I realized that this was one of the best challenges of my life and I am glad that I took the risk.