My name is Sadna, I volunteered for the Youth Center of Epirus in Ioannina, Greece for 2 Months from Mid- September to Mid-November.
When I arrived in Ioannina my first week was a bit strange. There were already 3 other volunteers in a flat that arrived before me . After my first week, they took a new flat and I could move in the new flat. There were two flats as we were supposed to be at least 6 or 7 volunteers.
After this first week, I met my two wonderful flatmates, and we fell in love at the first sights. Indeed, Juliette and Arthur were the best flatmates I could ever dreamed of. This was just an introduction to talk about my first week in Greece ! I started with a negative point, but it was the only and the one negative point as the rest was AMAZING !!
So let’s focus on the EVS now. Our mission was to plan activities for the children living in the accommodation facility for asylum seekers and refugees. It was a big camp, the family had their own rooms in each « houses ». Those asylum seekers were from many countries (Syria, Turkey, Pakistan … and even Morocco). During the first month, we were going every morning from 9 to 13 am, we were planning activities for the children aged from 6 to 12 years old. I loved spending my time with them, they really were full of joy and they were eager to learn, to play cards, to play basketball, to paint, and to participate to the « Do It Yourself » activities, so that at the end of the activity they can return « home » with the objetcs they made in order to show it to their parents.
After 4 weeks in Ioannina, we started to go in Agia Eleni in the afternoon, from 2 to 5, as we were also taking care of the smaller ones, aged from 1 to 5 years old. I will never forget some of those kids, and they will stay in my heart forever !! They are so lovely !
During my free time, I was also giving Spanish classes for the Youth Center, once a week for 1 hour and a half. I was also spending my time helping in a dog shelter. Indeed, in Greece, unfortunately they have many street dogs and cats. So, every morning I used to go and give food, play, cuddle and take care of those adorable dogs with Susanne, a Dutch woman, who originally started this association alone.
For more informations and if you want to help you can contact her threw this facebook page, I guess : https://www.facebook.com/AnimaIoannina/
During those two months my routine was amazing ! Indeed, I was going to Agia Eleni every day, then we were going out with all the volunteers, sharing moments together. During the weekends we were planning trips.. This is how we met new people, and new friends. I had the opportunity to visit Corfu with a friend, and with my flatmates and other volunteers we visited Parga, Meteora, Vikos, Papingo Rocks, Lefkada, Stravoskiadi, Patra, Kalarites. I will always keep those precious and wonderful moments in my heart.
We were enjoying Greek Culture and Food : We loved and enjoyed Vegetarians Pitas and their cakes inspired from the turkish culture.
We tried many nice dishes and on top of that our favorite food were LOUKOUMADES and ICE CREAMS. I can affirm that those two places were like our meeting spot every afternoon after work.
This is my resume regarding my two months in Greece : Here are some pictures I wanted to share. Enjoy this reading !