Syndicate content

EVS - an experience abrought: Sophia talks about her work with Views

My name is Sophia. I am a 22-year old German volunteer for Views international. From the three possible internships with the Belgian branch of the association, I chose to work in the office of Views because neither my knowledge in French nor my comprehension of children qualified me for the other two options. This article shall now report a bit on my European Voluntary Service (EVS).

Although you probably know the projects of Views International, I’ll shortly reexplain what my tasks with Views are about.
To work in the office as a volunteer, basically means to assist them when they launch a project, advertise for views in the social Media, publish articles, events (etc.) on their webpage and take charge of Views News. Besides those office-activities, there is also the time spend at “La Baraca”. There the volunteer works once a week for 2 hours to sensitise children on the topic of blindness. As a consequence, you meet a lot of interesting people through your work. But of course, it is not just the job I applied for when I signed the contract with views. It is also the possibility to get to know another country and, what is nearly as important as the above mentioned aspects to me, is that you get the possibility to learn another language.

Views international provides it’s volunteers, right from the beginning of their EVS, a French teacher for adapted French classes. since this month I started visiting a language school, to learn French in a group.
Not only the French Classes are provided for the blind participants, but also mobility and daily living skill (DLS) classes to insure a perfect adaptation to the new surroundings. Those classes, especially, are individually atuned to every participants’ needs. You can learn housekeeping, cooking, stitching or ironing and you can ask for any thing that appears important for your stay in Belgium. Personally, I have been more interested to learn cooking and housekeeping, since it is the first time that I live on my own.

Last but not least, Views also provides its volunteers with lodgings for the time of their stay. In this EVS from 2018/2019, all 3 projects of Views have been occupied by 3 volunteers coming from different countries, who live together in an apartment. This leads unavoidably to an exchange of cultures, traditions or tips and tricks for the every day – problems of life. Apart from the lodgings, the French course, dls and mobility classes, the staff of Views also helps you to organize your freetime. If you ask them, they are quite ready to give you some tips or share some cultural information about Belgium in general and Liège, the town in Belgium where all 3 Views projects are located, in particular. Furthermore, they support you in any possible way they can. If you need a hand in dealing with administration or health issues or you need to shop for some special things, the views-staff is always ready to help you out with facts or solutions.
To asure, both, an individual support, as well as a link between the evs-participant and the employer, each of the 3 Views volunteers has its own mentor who meets with the participant every two weeks to talk about personal needs, problems and possible solutions.

Summing up my thoughts and impressions, I think I already learned a lot during these five months I’m here.
Not only on DLS, French classes or mobility, but I also noticed how my attitude and points of view are constantly shifting, changing and reforming. I can not yet judge how and in what ways these changes of mind and behavior will influence my ways of action in the Future – the only thing I know for sure is that I am still grateful for and excited about this project with Views International. One thing you can be certain about too: I am as curious as anyone about the person returning to Germany at the end of June 2019.