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Volunteers' Week Day 11: International Volunteers

11 June 2016

David Celigueta comes from Spain and since August 2015 hes been volunteering for Carrickfergus YMCA through European Voluntary Service (EVS).

Here’s David’s story:

“My first voluntary experience was back in 2014, during my last year at university. I wanted to start earlier but my timetables during my degree were really tight, so I couldn't manage it properly. Finally, I could and I volunteered for one year in the Nightingale project in Public University of Navarre - a social mentoring project in which university students walk with primary school students for a year. During that period as a mentor you try to build a positive and supportive relationship with your kid, so it helps them to develop their social and personal skills. My kid's name was Eloy and he was amazed by fencing and cooking.

My role includes a lot of things. It's quite variable, as I work in two different programmes. The one, where I spend most of my time, is called PAKT (Parents and Kids Together). Basically, it is a family support and child development project, but we also try to help in community’s development. The second project I work in is the Youth Club. It is an anti discrimination and social inclusion project in which kids and teenagers from different backgrounds come to us for support and mentoring.

After finishing the university I wanted to have a gap year abroad, but I wasn't sure about how to do it until I heard about EVS (European Voluntary Service). I thought it was a great chance to get involved in another culture, support people with different needs, improve my English, meet new people from different countries and cultures, travel and get to know myself better. I studied to be a primary school teacher and I really wanted to find a project where I could be with kids so it could help me for the future. As I found the project in Carrickfergus YMCA I knew that I had to be there. It is a brilliant opportunity to develop my skills with children and to use different tools from non formal education in formal education, which I think it's a good way to make changes in the school and adapt them to this new era of quick changes and information.

I would definitely encourage others to get involved in volunteering! It helps you develop as a person and that has a lot of benefits. You have the opportunity to meet new friends, open your mind to new ideas and cultures, enrich your knowledge and improve different aspects of your personality and attitude. As well it’s really good for your CV as you are adding work experience to it. There is only one advice that I will give: be yourself and respect everyone's thoughts and beliefs.”

If you’re aged 18-30 and you’d like to find out more about volunteer opportunities in Europe, visit Bryson Charitable Group:www.brysongroup.org

You’ll also find other volunteering opportunities by using the ‘Volunteer Search’ panel on our homepage and select ‘overseas volunteering’ as your activity.

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