Does life after EVS hard? No. After is not an end, but a start. the knowledge that I acquired as an EVS, I would say, is “in maturation stage”. During my time in Romania I heard several times an expression that reflects exactly what is life – “a learning process”. I am still learning about myself, about others, about things… that comes with the curiosity about the world and the place that I am living right now. So, I decided to move on but keeping the memories and polishing the friendship I made. What is it the funny part about this? Well, I can travel and visit all those friends around the world. Being honest, this strategy is economic for my wallet and is the easiest way to have lots of fun.

Well, it is hard to think when I have a “pain aux chocolat” to laugh at me. Concentration! Let’s talk about the serious things. Probably for this article I should answer to the millionaire question – What I learnt with my YMCA’s experience? For the ones that do not know, this huge organization has some values – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility – and those are not just beautiful words posted on their websites. Those are the pillars of all initiates that they have.  “Youth Power Space” was not an exception. Through those values we implemented the project over the eagle eyes of our coordinator. Doing that we grow up in all levels.

Human Rights, No Hate Speech, Tolerance, Civic Engagement – are concepts in vogue these days, but unfortunately are discussed within the doors of large organizations who often forget to listen to what the younger generation has to say about that. Listening is part of the empowerment process and with this action you are RESPECTING others. YMCA heard us and after giving us the tools to share what we know about those subjects. This is CARING. An effective communication is essential to create the perfect environment and this doesn’t mean to say to our coworker’s beautiful things all the time but giving and listening an HONEST feedback. Finally, we are RESPONSIBLE for our action and our society and this includes carrying all those values in our suitcase back “home”.

With this way of thinking I went to my hometown in Portugal, Portimão, and decided to share my experience as an EVS with others. We never know who will inspired. Sixty students went to my workshop “What is EVS?” and the feedback was great! Furthermore, after working with YMCA, I was curious about the YMCA World. Since that I am living close to the Switzerland right now I took the opportunity to go to Geneva and visited the installation and get to know more about the initiatives and programs that they have. Romulo Dantas was my patient host that answered to all my questions and where I share as well what I did in my EVS, my personal project, our results.

What’s going to happen next?

I do not know. I am just sure that I move forward with my heart full of love.

Bárbara Pereira ( EVS volunteer, Portugal, Youth Power Space project)

P.S.: I leave here the great thank you to all who helped in this adventure!


Project funded by European Union through Erasmus Plus Program