Ora, hoje é o meu último dia de trabalho no office! E é também o dia em que finalmente, acabei de escrever o meu final report. Este report é feito pelos voluntários e pelas organizações, para que as Agências Nacionais tenham mais ou menos uma ideia de como foram os projectos e tal...
Deixo-vos aqui uma transcricção da minha parte do relatório, porque acho que é um contributo importante para perceberem como me sinto hoje. Isso e uma dorzinha na amiglada esquerda!!
(Aconselho os ainda voluntários - Pipa, André, etc - a pensarem bem se querem ler! E se lerem a não se deixarem influenciar!!!)
A. Overall evaluation of the project
Please describe in detail your tasks in the host project.
In the first months I was working as journalism “teacher” for a group of youngsters (“Media School”). I was also taking part in a media project (UPDATE) were I was a part of the editorial team and a photografer. In both groups I worked in team builing and givin the youngsters an input of a experienced journalist.
In March I started preparing the english version of the organisation’s website. I prepared the contents, news, interviews, features, etc and a esquem of how it should look like. This is online since October and I updated it regularly.
In April, I started to be responsibe for the Eurodesk intranet for SiiN. So, I should check the intranet everyday in order to see if there were questions we could answer or partnerships that could be interesting for the organisation.
In the summer time as the youngsters were in holidays we had some more office work to do. In June, I had to get in touch with all foreign diplomatic representations in Estonia, in order to know if there were any financial programs to support youth work and non-governmental organizations. At his time, I prepared the project of a youth exchange (wrote the programme, learning objectives, etc) between Estonia, Portugal and Germany, to take place in 2008.
From September on I kept my activities with the english version of the website and the Eurodesk intranet. I also prepared the application for the nexts volunteers and took part in some institutional activities and contact making. I also started with other reporters class for russian speaking youngsters in a language school. This lasted from October to December.
Describe to what extent your EVS-project met your expectations.
My expectations were almost inexistent because I prefer to enter a project as a blank page. Therefore, my project met my expectations of a good relation between hard working and free time, responsability and self initiative. Nevertheless it did not met my expectations in what concerns to mentorship tasks.
Are you satisfied with the tasks you performed in the host organisation?
How would you evaluate the overall success of the project?
I would give it a very positive mark because I think I was a good help for the work in the organization and I think the youngsters really learnt something with me. Though there were times that I felt a bit lost, I think that those were also positive for it made me be more independent and self confident.
In case of a long-term project, please describe the development / changes in the project after your progress report.
There were no big changes, the work flow was basically the same.
B. Support from the sending organisation
Please describe your cooperation with the sending organisation. What support did you get from your sending organisation, e.g.: preparatory training (apart from the session organised by the National Agency), administrative assistance, regular contact during the voluntary service period, etc? Are you satisfied with the support you got from the sending organisation?
I am very happy with the support I got from my sending organisation. Before departure they answered all my questions and made me feel confortable to put even some more. We had an informal preparation meeting and a lot of conversations via e-mail that were very helpfull. They took care of all administrative issues.
During the EVS period I had a daily basis contact with the EVS coordinator. I also made a monthly report to inform about the activities and logistic/administrative issues. I also got a very important feedback in my personal weblog trough comments that have shown me interest and concern.
As I had no mentor in Estonia, I got a lot of help and answers from Portugal. I got the institutional support and the friendly concern, that were very helpfull.
C. Support from the host organisation
Please describe your cooperation with the host organisation. What support did you get from your host organisation, e.g.: personal support / mentor, technical skills training, language training, etc? Are you satisfied with the support you got from the host organisation?
I think I could be more satisfied with the support from the hosting organisation.
I never got a mentor, even after asking several times for it in the beginning of the project (when I realized I was not getting one, I quit asking). I think this was a very important poin that was not well thought by the organisation.
I also think I did not get the proper technical skills trainning. In what concerns to my area of knowledge (Journalism) I can’t say anything. But working with the Youth in Action Programm was totally new for me. All the answers and explanations I needed I got from my sending organisation.
I got a very good language trainning, but I was not able to devellop my language skills as much as I would have liked, also because I didn’t feel motivated by the people.
D. Practical arrangements
Were you satisfied with the following practical arrangements (if you were facing problems please explain);
• accommodation and board,
In the first month and a half I was living with my tutor. When applying for EVS I specifically wrote that I did not wanted to be hosted in a family (specially within a person working in the same place). I really think that live and work with the same person can be dangerous and not healthy. So, I found another place and moved. My hosting organisation set no problems in my moving, so it was ok. So, in the end I was totally satisfied
• your allowances,
Comparing to other volunteers I was very wealthy. I think that my organisation was giving me all the money they could, wich I sincerly appreciate.
In the beginning I was getting my allowances properly and always at the same time, so I knew with what I could count on. But the organisation suffered some (outside) problems concerning financing. Therefore, for half the project time I was getting my allowances after asking for it. This situation was extremely incofortable because it made me feel like a teenager, asking money from the parents. I don’t think I would have to ask when I would get the money, so I was really annoyed by this. I always got my allowances in the total amount, no problem with that. The thing was that I never knew when I was going to get it, wich made me feel inconfortable, insecure and annoyed.
• your insurance card,
I never got (seriously) sick in Estonia, so I never needed to use the card. The only time I went to the doctor was to make an eye check-up and I haven’t asked for the reimbursement yet.
• integration into the local community,
As a southwestern person I felt some difficulties in integrating myself into the local nordic/baltic/slavic culture. Nevertheless, as time went by and my language skills improved a bit I started making frieds with locals and taking part in cultural events. I think that my integration in the local community was made a bit harder due to the amount of foreigners in the city. This made that I spent more time with people from all over the world then with estonian people. Anyway I think I was integrated judging by the amount of invitations (to cultural or social events) that I got from Estonian people
• influence over the content of your EVS-project.
I believe I had great influence because I was given a big freedom in performing my tasks. I think that the lack of support concerning techical skills turned out to be a need for me to make things by myself, as I thought it was better. As I was the first volunteer in my project I guess that many times people did not knew what to do with me, so I had to make some decisions, present some ideas, always in a very free environement.
Outcome of the EVS-project
Please describe what you believe you achieved with this project in relation with e.g.;
• your ability to speak the language of the host country,
I am not able to speak fluently any of the languages of the country (russian nor estonian). I had trainning only in russian, and despite it was extremely good, it was not enough. Besides that I never felt motivated to speak it in the working place. Nevertheless I am able to speak both languages enough for the daily life, and to be polite. I think that due to being in the capital, where (almost) everyone speaks good english was also a factor for my lack of motivation (and need) on learning the language.
• personal development and social skills,
I think it is too early to speak about personal development. I believe that in a few months or years I
will be able to evaluate in wich aspects I developped myself as a person, but not now. As a social being I guess I am much more open, tolerant and pacient. Also my knowledge of international politics is boarden up and I got to know a part of history (Soviet Union) and culture (in ex-communist and nordic countries) that is almost totally absent in my home country.
• new skills that will be useful for finding a job later,
Once again I think it is too early to talk about this. I guess that in the future I will realize that some things that I learnt in Estonia were usefull. But right now I still don’t know wich one of those things it will be.
• your knowledge of other cultures,
I think that in this is the aspect where I have learnt the most. As I said before I spent a lot of time with the other EVS volunteers, from all over Europe. We have spent quality time together, exchanging aspects of culture like food traditions, music, movies, celebrating ways, religion, politics, history, etc. Then, of course living in a city with 2 different ethnic groups I got to learn about 2 different cultures and ways of living. 11 months is enough time to start understanding the ways of thinking and the cultural manifestations.
• your plans for the future,
For now I still have no spefic plans. I applyed for an intership for the European Parliament Information Department and I am still waiting for the answer. In case it will be negative, then I shall looking for a job, in my area, in Portugal or Spain.
For now, my only plan for the future is to help in my sending organisation. After being a volunteer I would like to do for other volunteers everything that it was (and was not) made for me.
• your European/international awareness.
I think that this point is connected with my knowledge of other cultures. Now I know better what unites us as european citizens and what set us apart in national identities.
F. Follow up
Please explain your possibilities to build on your volunteering experience. Do you expect help from your sending organisation to follow up your EVS-project? Do you plan to follow up your volunteering through a Future Capital-project?
Now, there is no Future Capital anymore. And as far as I know, portuguese National Agency do not provide a follow-up trainning. So, I hope I have some support from my sending organisation, the same support I had during the project time.
G. Personal comments
Please add here any other personal comments that you have: explanations, recommendations, etc. Would you recommend the European Voluntary Service to other young people? Why?
My only recommendation goes to the hosting organisations to be honest with the volunteers. Everyone knows that the real activities are not exactly as those that are described in the project description. I think that the sending organisations should inform the volunteers about this! And the hosting organisations should also do it before the volunteer left his/hers country.
I would also recommend to everyone that is becoming an EVS volunteer to talk to as many (ex-)volunteers as possible. I guess the exchanging of experiences is the best way to prepare people.
I would recommend EVS to other young people if they feel like they can do it. EVS is a very good time, an amaizing learning experience, but it can also be a hard lesson! I would recommend it to everyone that is strong enough to take a long time apart from friends, family and everything else that gives a safety feeling to people. To those that have already decided they want to become volunteers I would recommend them to choose the project first then the country. But also to pay attention to the place in the country. Not everyone can spend a year alone in a small village in the forest of a small country... the same way that not everyone can survive in a metropolis! There are lots of recommendations that I could make, but I guess that most of all I would recommend it to all young people I know, as a way to get to know themselves better and to become stronger people!
e é assim, a dura vida de uma quase ex-voluntária... o tempo voa!!