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Volunteering at Insel - Haus der Jugend

Ana´s experience report

 “Ana, hurry up, somebody is calling you… I think it is for the voluntary service”. Like this started one of the best experiences that I had so far. During 10 months Salzburg was my home and the volunteers, my family. It’s difficult to sum up everything that happen in almost a year, but let’s try. 

I did my EVS project at Insel, a day-care center for children between 6 and 15 years old. Enter in Insel it’s like step into a children’s paradise: full of green zones to run, different rooms, a lot of games and material to do crafts. The days in Insel start with a wonderful pleasure: eating. Afterwards, once that the kids finish their meal, they can go into the different places to play: outside, craft room, gym, reading corner, computer room… During this time our job is to supervise them. There is also a homework hour, when the must do the assignment that they bring from school. The day finish with different programs: every worker and volunteer decide a specific activity that children can do with us, which means that you have the freedom to choose what you do the best to entertain them. 

But the EVS doesn’t finish there. You can get to know a lot of people, lots of volunteers from different places to share your experience with. And they will leave a mark on you without even notice it. You will laugh, have dinner, scream, drink coffee, tea, go party, cry, travel, get lost, learn, explore a whole new culture, discuss topics above the tables or even run away from the blablacar guy that was supposed to bring you back to Salzburg. But that is another story. 

What I want to say, and it’s important to know, is that it doesn’t exist the perfect EVS project. There were moments that it wasn’t easy. Moments when you think that you are in the wrong place, when you want to go back home (specially during the first days). But these little moments (minimum) makes you appreciate the good ones, the ones that in the future you will remember. EVS projects aren’t perfect, people make them perfect.