Ups and downs
Interview with K.Ch. - who quit his EVS project
Before starting our EVS experience we already knew one thing for sure: our experiment will have ups and downs. Of course we all are dreaming especially about positive adventures, but unfortunately not everybody can be that lucky.
K. Ch. was born in East-Europe and after his graduation he choose this once in a lifetime opportunity, called EVS, to meet a new culture, make friends and learn a new language. To reach his aim he chose a hosting organization from Germany. But things started to become more and more complicated and weird after the first weeks of his volunteering period.
Please describe me what was your project about (practically).
- There were two shifts: the morning- and the afternoon shift. With the working time there was no problem. The main bug with the whole organisation and its working policy was the fact that they just used us, the volunteers. I spend my whole day in the kitchen: cooking, cleaning, cooking, and cleaning again. I also had to work on the weekends and it was not allowed for me to host guests, friends. I barely had language courses and I didn’t have the opportunity to meet any youngsters from the village. Luckily there was another EVS-ler, and we could do some things together when we had free time.
What did they promise you before?
- I was aware of the fact that sometimes (!) I have to cook for the house-guests and that I have to clean near the house, but they said I have the opportunity to run my own project. But this never happened, even though I asked them several times. Besides they said I will have to create posters for some events, but there were no events. It was like a hostel and I was the kitchen-boy.
Did you try to talk about these problems with your mentor?
- I didn’t have any... and my boss was a little bit strange. I tried to talk to him, I explained what bothered me, but he did not try to change it. I just had to adapt myself to the situation. On my on-arrival training I talked with the leaders, but back then I was still optimistic. I thought things will change, I just have to be tough.
When did you decide to quit the project?
- I decided to spend Christmas with my family. I told them about my problem and they said if I think it is better for me to stay at home, then I should. And since I hated to be the cook and the cleaning boy, I chose my hometown.
And what are you doing right now?
- I am working in a Youth Club and I am studying for my upcoming exam for the University. I am really sad and disappointed, because I could have learned a lot, but unfortunately for me it did not work out in a good way. I felt that they took advantage of me, but I didn’t get anything in exchange. It is a pity, but I still think and feel that I made the right decision coming home.