EVS - a changing life opportunity
EVS – A changing life opportunity
Every time I start writing I take a few minutes to reflect a bit about what I am going to communicate. I believe every word matters in a different way and I am aware of the multiple readings a text can have, especially when you are writing for different cultural contexts.
My name is Inês Marinho, I am 23 years old Sagittarius and I come from the north of Portugal, Arcos de Valdevez. I can call this village my home but I also consider that home is wherever you want to be. Now, I´ve earned a new one. Since the first step out of the train in the city of Seinäjoki I felt immediately at home. In fact, more than a physical space, home it´s a feeling I consider that we should take within our heart wherever we go. Sometimes you just need to open your mind and embrace the fact that you belong to this amazing world, not just to a local place.
Saturday morning, 4th February, I started a new journey in an amazing place and country: Finland. I arrived to start an EVS (European Voluntary Service) project in the city youth department. Since I have a bachelor and master degree in journalism, I will be helping in tasks related to communication such as interviews, videos, events coverage, opinion texts and communication strategy. Regardless having studied journalism and communication, EVS projects are not about what you have studied because it´s not a job application. However, the skills you have can always be useful to projects. Moreover, EVS projects are also about what skills you would like to improve and new things you would want to learn. For this reason, it´s better if you choose something you really like and, most important something, that challenges you.
How have all this EVS idea started? Well, life can be truly amazing! One day I was at home recovering from a surgery and I found out this opportunity of participating in a youth exchange to Carcassone, in France. I decided to apply, the project goals really impressed me (the exchange theme was about healthy life) and a couple days after I had been one of the chosen ones to participate. This experience allowed to meet amazing people, make friends (one of them is nowadays one of my most close friends); get to know new cultures and starting to be aware of the European voluntary service. I can´t describe how this exchange changed my life and my perspective of all things in my daily routine. When I returned to Portugal I was certain of one thing: I wanted to continue to travel and to know new countries and, if possible, turning myself into a volunteer.
A girl from this exchange group introduced me the Portuguese youth red cross EVS projects and I was delighted with the amount of volunteers they send all over Europe. I immediately started to think more of applying to this project for several reasons. First of all because I had been in school since I was five years old until last year… Therefore and although having several extracurricular activities, my all life was about studying and graduating. At this point I realised I needed to start living more and not only surviving by the rules of society. Besides, this last year was rough in many different ways and I didn´t have the time of enjoying life because I was overwhelmed with the beginning of my journalist career and with finishing my master thesis. For these multiple reasons, I found out that I wanted to calm down and just discover life in a different way.
When I started to get involved with my sending organization I felt cherished and putted all my trust in my coordinator Cintia. The rest just happened naturally and today I am very glad I have the chance of saying I am an EVS volunteer in an amazing country like Finland. My expectations are high and I believe I will learn great things with people I am working with. To sum up, this new challenge has just begun and I already feel like it´s changing my life in a way that you could only live it.