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Kuba's ESC experience

Hello everyone, my name is Kuba and since September 2019 I joined European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programme. This is nearly the finish of my project so I would like to share my impressions with you via this article.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm Kuba, but actually my real name is Jakub. I come from Poland. I love sports in general, but of course I admire in it the discipline that seems more interesting to me. Of the things that I try to do regularly, running and basket are my favorites. As much as sport, I also like music which is why I've started to play guitar. Last year I've graduated political science in Warsaw.

The project in which I have the pleasure to participate takes place in the office of VEWS International in Liege (Belgium). I have already had the opportunity to meet the office staff in July 2019 during my preparation visit. In the company of Corentin and Anca (who was also my mentor and project coordinator in the same time) I was slowly starting to find my place and do my tasks, which included publications on a social media, updating VIEWS International’s website and publication of the monthly newsletter (VIEWS News). Anyway, my job is not only working at office. In addition, I also had the pleasure of joining La Baraka association in which I acted as a youth facilitator; there I was leading awareness raising sessions around the subject of visual impairment. At the beginning it caused me a lot of problems due to the fact that my ability to speak French was low. However, I spent most of my time in the office and this is where I've learnt the most. Sharing the office with Corentin I was able to quickly evolve in French language and improve my cooperation skills. I feel that Anca played an even greater role in my development. She has unlimited resources of patience for my mistakes and their continuous correction. It was also with her that I spent the most time discussing what hurts me and what I cannot manage with. In some ways, she replaced my friends whom I left in Poland.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I also had the opportunity to travel. Together with BIJ (Bureau International Jeunesse) I participated in seminars that were held in Louvain La Neuve and Brussels. In addition, as part of my activities related to work in the office, I visited places such as Namur and the European Parliament in Brussels.

It would be a huge mistake not to mention Tamara, who first greeted us upon arrival on September and helped us find our way in a new reality. I kindly recall the time spent with Carine, our passionate mobility teacher who helped me improve my orientation in the city that was completely new to me. I am also very grateful to Philippe, who was my French teacher. I don't know where he found so much patience for me and my sluggish language learning process. He also helped me in many low moments by giving advice or simply with positive energy, which he has a lot of.

During my stay here I met a lot of people and each of them brought something to my life. I'm not able to name them all, so I just want to thank each of you at the same time. The time spent in Belgium has changed a lot my life and I think it has helped me a lot to understand myself and find the things which are the most important to me. I recommend everyone to try to take part in this type of project as it is the truly unforgettable and unique experience for a young person.