Every challenge is an opportunity for us to improve and find better versions of ourselves. After starting off with a self-help book intro, I can say, without a doubt, I have had a lot to learn since I applied to my volunteering project! Therefore, A series of unfortunate events could have been the best title for this blog, yet it ended happily so I will just go for a safe space.
I applied to my project at the end of May and my host organisation accepted me in less than a month. During my interview, Canan, a former volunteer in Camphill was there in case I needed help with anything. I did not need any help during the interview yet later, she helped by showing me around and explaining the daily routine they had there -through video calls of course- which was a great motivation.
So, I was also lucky to have a friend like herself and my project’s coordinator, Vincent, who also helped a lot during this long period of time. My sending organisation, always replied to my emails and explained everything with patience.
There have been some complicated technicalities, which I would like to dive into. The situation for the volunteers who wanted to go to the UK was quite long due to Covid19 and Brexit. Firstly, we had to wait until the end of September for the United Kingdom and European Union to make a decision about ESC, and then at the end of September, they said we should wait until January, which made another 5 months. And in January I found out that all projects were approved - I could finally go to the UK! - but... passports must be valid six months after my departure… That meant I would not do my voluntary service for the whole year but only for 10 months, which is a bit disappointing after waiting for a long time yet, I was happy that I could finally do my voluntary service.
These technical issues and uncertainty naturally caused some personal problems in my life. I could not and would not apply for jobs or internships because then I would have had to cancel or postpone my ESC project. This project has been my priority since the very beginning, even if it had been a long process, I knew it would be worth waiting a bit more because it was -still is- the area I would like to pursue professionally or/and academically in the future.
After spending a month in Glencraig:
Everything is going well, and I already got over the stress I had had throughout the months I had to wait. Being in an international environment with a supportive circle of volunteers makes this experience unique for me. I can already feel the changes within me, and it feels rather fulfilling and liberating. Working with people with learning disabilities is something I have never done before therefore the amount of information I get every day is expanding my horizons.
Not only the people but the environment itself is very calm. We can find enough space for ourselves, for thoughts, and for movements. And I’m looking forward to discovering more…