Hi, my name is Melisa Kayral and I’m from Turkey. From september 2019 until september 2020 I was European Solidarity Corps (ESC) voulnteer in Põhja-Tallinn Youth Center.
In Turkey I was working as architect, but at some point I decided to take a part in ESC voulnteering program. I thought that this experience would be extraordinary. I was looking for many different projects, but then I found one, which name was “Learning through collaboration” and I decided to apply to that. Some time later youth worker Keidy and Põhja-Tallinn Youth Center manager Maris reached out and we made a Skype call interview. After that I got a positive feedback and I was chosen as a voulnteer in Põhja-Tallinn Youth Center.
At first when I arrived in Tallinn I was living in new environment and work place. Through this project I organized many different events and workshops. My first event, that I organized was Karaoke night, which went really well. There were youngsters and voulnteers all over Tallinn who came to the event. Also I organized Christmas decoration workshop, took part in city camps, in the last camp I also instructed Zumba lesson.
I organized cultrual evening where I introduced to kids my home country and culture and we cooked together Turkish dessert.
At the beginning of the summer I did also my own initiative project “Harku metsamatk”. Through this project we went to the Harku forest to have a hike. For that we made sandwiches for the picnic we thought to do after the hike. Unfortunately this day was really rainy and we had to come back before getting to the forest, because we were soaking wet from the rain. But after all we had really good time with each other, after we made it back to the youth center, we played board games and drank tea.
Throught ESC project I got to know youth and talked with them daily. Everyday we played different boardgames ( one of the favorite ones were Rummy, Halli Galli, Uno and last favorite Ligretto) and sports games .
When I arrive back to home I’ll have great memories of the workers and youngsters from Põhja-Tallinn Youth Center. Also I have many new friends from other countries, who were also voulnteers in this project.
I got many good experience and I have been thinking to go work in youth work field in Turkey. I had really pleasant and great year in Estonia.
Melisa was a ESC voulnteer in Põhja-Tallinna Youth Center from september 2019 – september 2020 .
My name is Vladimir. I’m a 31 years old volunteer from Russia, from city called Kirov which is located 1737 km from Tallinn. My profession is journalism, but I have never ever worked as a journalist. I was working as a photographer and also I was working at NGO (non-govermental organization) for 10 years with young people who had disabilities. And at this point I decided it was time to change something in my life.
I explored some opportunities and decided to take part in EVS (European voluntary program) by Erasmus+. This program gives young people a chance to live and work as a volunteer abroad and also covers all expenses.
So I took a decision to change my work and to try to live and work abroad. At first I needed to choose the country and the project. It was a bit complicated, because there was a lot of opportunities in that program. I decided to go to big city, not to a village. I wanted to try something new so I didn’t consider projects which worked with people who have disabilities. I didn’t want to work with eldery as well.
I found a project in Spain, but it was about working with migrants and it wasn’t something I wanted to do also. The next project that I liked was in Estonia. The project was about working at the youth centre with children and youngsters from 7 to 26. There were a lot of things to do there and I could share my skills and experiences. Also I found many pluses in living in Estonia: it was close to Russia and I could go to Saint-Petersburg if I needed it, there were a lot of russian-speaking citizens there – it might help me because my English wasn’t very well. From here, my choice was done. I had a skype-interview with head of PTNK (Põhja-Tallinna Youth Center) and after some time I received the letter with my acceptation.
Hooray!! I’m going to Estonia for 11 months as an EVS volunteer. And now I have been here for 6 months. I teach children how to play the drums, sometimes run photography packets, do the wall-climbing lessons, play billiards and board games with them. I’m going to organize active game club where children can run and play some active and fun games.
Also now I’m thinking about organizing my own small project in the spring. I don’t know what it will be exactly, maybe it will be some kind of summer trip or something like that. Will see.
I enjoy my work and staying in Tallinn very much. EVS gives the opportunity to live and work abroad like a local but not like a tourist and also to do some positive changes for locals. I extremely recommend it!
Vladimir was a EVS voulnteer in Põhja-Tallinna Youth Center from september 2018 – august 2019!