Solidarity. Unity. Sticking together. Especially during times like this. 

Since I was 14, already more than ten years, I’ve had a dream to become an international volunteer. Seeing how volunteers in my home youth center changed youth around them, I was sure that this way I would like to get to know the world and myself one day, by improving someone’s life and community away from my safe harbour. Here I am now, after postponing this dream because of studies and work for five years, I finally live in Spain, Madrid and work in a youth center as an European Solidarity Corps volunteer. I teach English to local youth and take everything I can from this experience. And especially during times like this. 

Mixed feelings, confusion and no answers about tomorrow all around us and living abroad, working in an environment I don’t yet totally understand, communicating in language which is not my first and not even second or third. The words solidarity, unity and sticking together mean more even now than before, during the youth exchanges and training courses I have organised and taken part of. They mean now that not only Europe but the world, needs the reminder of solidarity, being a unity and how to stick together to have the answers for tomorrow and less confusion than yesterday.

What does it mean to one European Solidarity Corps volunteer making her dream come true in beautiful Spain? First it means that this place here is even more home to me than before. Seeing the struggles of this nation so close while trying to keep their people safe is something I would not want to experience but it shows me more about the people and culture for sure. It means that I feel even more like a part of my work team here, while working online and not stopping with the classes and other activities they show me how the volunteers are part of the team and respected and I contribute and show that the word solidarity means a lot to me. I think more than before about volunteers and youth workers all around beautiful Europe and the world and respect our work – let’s stick together in unity and let’s not forget about the solidarity in our job. Especially during times like this. We can do this!

Photo: Overcoming myself and the mountains in beautiful Spain and cliche or not but the best view usually comes after the hardest climb, just like times like this.

By Angela