Intercultural dialogue

A day away…

The project took place in:


Long term volunteering

Written by Erilda from Albania

February 2022

Away from home and my country but closer to myself, my identity.


Maybe you are asking yourself why I feel like that. I invite you to think about the benefits of comfort. In that instant moment we feel relaxed, we are doing something we are good at, we are satisfied, we have a routine, we know what to expect from the days. It feels safe, right? 

At least this is how I was feeling before I decided to come to Belgium and leave my comfort behind. The beauty of life is that we, as humans, are constantly changing, evolving and that happens in a more intense and exciting way if we actually decide to take a new step and aim for self-development and new adventures. Our needs and perspectives change, the way we perceive life. 

We need to MOVE! Imagine if you are staying in bed for a week because of an injury and you realise your body hurts so much because you are staying at the same place for so long. 

The same happens with us….if we don’t “move” something inside us loses the brightness and we feel unmotivated but unconsciously we try to lock that feeling and surrender to the “magic” of a comfortable life. 

I have learned that mostly the uncomfortable situations make you grow, only challenges make you stronger and stimulate your brain to think critically and come up with options/solutions.

It has been 5 months since I have been working with the big family of SCI, at the International Secretariat in one of the biggest and most beautiful cities in Belgium, Antwerp.

It has been a tremendous change for me, coming from a small country as Albania to a still small country as Belgium but with a lot of differences in terms of cultural/economical (and more) background. I started working with the 100 Actions for Peace campaign which was the best way to get to know the long and inspiring work of SCI since the start. The 100 Actions for Peace was a visibility campaign initiated under the 100 years celebration of SCI and International Voluntary Service. It was such a pleasure supporting this beautiful project which aimed to bring together different peace actions all around the world yet spreading the same message. 

Now that we concluded the campaign successfully, other exciting projects are on the way. Projects whose objectives cater for the need of young people to gain confidence, competences and a better understanding of how the SCI movement and their peers can be a useful source of inspiration and support needed to take action and contribute to a positive change.

I am getting familiar with different social topics, concepts and I am opening my mind and spirit to everything new. I met people that think in a completely different way as I do, but I have learned to respect and cherish differences and learn from them. I met people that live in different parts of the world which share the same values, ethics, and integrity with a willingness to share, help and contribute to the wellbeing of each other, the community, and the world. Change is a long and a beautiful process which takes some time but in the end is definitely worth it!

Open your mind and heart, you might be a day away from the best experience of your life 🙂




The volunteering experience is possible thanks to the European Solidarity Corps programme of the European Union, and supported by the Belgian National Agency JINT.

Co-funded by the European Solidarity Corps of the European Union