Aude's 4 month volunteering service in Ioannina

I’m Aude, I’m 25 years old and this year (January 2020-April 2020) I decided to do an EVS! I started with a two months EVS and after these two months, I applied for a second two months EVS (so, to be clearer, I made two EVS in 4 months).


I wanted to come in Ioannina to do my EVS because I knew this city already and I love it! It’s always alive, full of bars, coffee places, good restaurants and you’re never alone in Ioannina! Even though it’s not a very big city, there are a lot of foreigners living there. It is very well located: one hour from the sea and 30 minutes from the beautiful mountainous area of Zagori.


So here I came to volunteer in the accommodation facility of Agia Eleni (10 minutes from the center of Ioannina), managed by an Italian NGO, Intersos. The main mission was to organize manual, cultural or sports activities for the children (such as drawing, painting, origami, creations based on recycled objects, dancing, board games, outdoor games, ect.) in order to develop their creativity, their tolerance for others and also for them to have a better time in Greece!


The first day was quite a shock, because a lot of children came, we didn’t know each other and I thought I would never be able to remember their names, theirs nationalities or even their faces. But day after day, I got to know them better, and they got to know me and communication became much easier! Some quickly became confident and very friendly while others needed more time to trust me, but in the end, they all seemed happy to come every day. 


EVS was also about meeting volunteers from other countries of Europe (Italy, Spain, Ukraine etc.) and sharing a great time with them (mostly drinking coffee during the day and tsipouro during the night!). 


I was about to start giving French lessons in the Youth Center  but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish my EVS due to the corona virus pandemic. But I had time to enjoy a lot anyway and I hope I will have the opportunity to do another (long term) EVS as soon as the situation gets better!