My ESC project in SCI Catalunya
Long term volunteering
Written by Bogumiła Hładki from Poland
Time flies and good things come to the end as they say. It was like yesterday when I came to Barcelona to start my ESC project in the office of the SCI branch. I remember the advice given to me by the previous ESC volunteer: enjoy every moment of your project as it comes to the end so fast. I took the advice and followed it: I enjoyed every moment of the project and indeed it went fast. This year in SCI Catalunya was full of interesting work, volunteering in local groups, meeting new and interesting people, continuing old friendships, participating in various activities, organising things, living the experience of life in a foreign country, getting to know the culture, visiting places, learning foreign languages. I was doing totally different things than before in my job, it was challenging and very exciting to work in the office of SCI Catalunya. All of these were unforgettable moments, they were very special as it was a process of finding what I am really interested in, where I want to focus my volunteering, how I define the way I spend my time, how disciplined I am and motivated to do things on my own and in a group. And among, between, behind and next to me there were wonderful people and places. They made the experience full of beautiful memories. Thank you to all of them!
What comes strongly to my mind is the first month when the sun was still very strong and warm, people were wearing sandals in October and there was the smell of the sea. I was getting ready for training about Midi Memes in Girona. This experience was a turning point for my project at the very beginning. I remember I was responsible for some small logistics before, during, and after the training, it was exciting and new. The training focused on strengthening the cooperation in the Mediterranean region and included interesting sessions as well as gathered amazing people from the Middle East and other SCI branches. The stories, the knowledge, the attitude, and the heart that was given during this training stayed with me. What is very important in all the training is the follow-up. Therefore, I did the follow up for the rest of my project and a lot of it was thanks to the training of Midi Memes and the people I met in Girona. It motivated me to join a local group of Midi Cat and I was involved in various activities. I learned a lot, contributed, and developed interests in the Midi region and Midi Working Group. I feel that joining various local groups of SCI Catalunya gave me the opportunity to recognize the local needs and contexts meet great people and see my place in volunteering and during my time in Barcelona.
They say that the beginnings are always hard, well the beginnings of my projects were not hard but very intense. The same month I participated in a training about campaigning, I mention that as it is a good lesson for learning patience. I wanted to prepare a social campaign, I was a bit impatient where to start and how, yet it needed a couple of more months for me to find an opportunity to prepare an online campaign about gender matters during the pandemic. Patience!
As those who get advice are obliged to pass advice to others- maybe there are those who are thinking about an ESC project (go for that), are starting it (enjoy every moment) or finishing it (it was worth it), I am also sharing my advice: enjoy, welcome any experience that comes, do what you are afraid of, be patient as the time will come, ask questions to others and to yourself, walk faster, but live slower.
I am taking home my Barcelona where I had a chance to volunteer in SCI Catalunya.
The follow up of my ESC project continues…