MONA has sent Yaiza Sanjorge to volunteer in Romania through the European Solidarity Corps and this is what she says about the experience:
I clearly remember the first time I heard about ESC. My flatmate at that time was doing one at Fundació Mona, and she encouraged me to look for more information. It is crazy how easily you can get a life-changing experience! It took me less than 1 hour to create my profile in the online platform and started to apply to different projects. I also remember clearly when I finally took the decision: I wanted to go to Romania.It was definitely the time for me to travel, living abroad and practice languagues, so I said to myself “Be brave. Go for it!”.
I lived in Râmnicu Vâlcea, a small city on the center of Romania, for almost one year.During my stay, my colleagues and I worked for two National Parks, Cozia and Buila-Vânturariţa, doing many activities: environmental education, reforestation, remarking, promotion campaigns, flora and fauna documentation, greening activities and environmental awareness for local people, between others. This was possible thanks to my Hosting Organization “Forumul Cetatenesc pentru Actiune Sociala si Educatie Civica”, that also carries out many other projects about social inclusion in the area.
It was a year full of experiences, learnings and challenges. Thanks to this project I could put into practice many aspects related with my biology studies, I could develop linguistic and technology skills, I could travel, I could meet amazing people and I could live many situations that I will never forget.
I have to say, to be honest, that this year wasalso very complicated. The covid situation, besides changing our daily lives, affected also our project, and the following months after the lockdown we had to deal with cancellations of activities, frustrations, and reorientation. Luckily, I can honestly say that I worked with wonderful people at my side: my colleagues! We faced together every battle and every gloom, and we ended up feeling ourselves not only as friends, but as a family.
What I have now it’s… a new backpack. Not only literally (I actually had to buy a new one, as we did many hiking and camping trips!), but also metaphorically speaking: I carry with me all the memories, all the moments and all the learning. It was an experience that, in many ways, has changed my way to be, to see and to feel the world.