My volunteering experience in Poland

My volunteering experience in Poland – project testiony by our long term volunteer Elda Ndoja from Albania 😉

Feel invited to read about her story!

Elda was realised the Challenge Yourself in Rybnik 2.0 project finansed by European Solidarity Corps funds. 

It all started very unexpectedly but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I had taken for myself and by myself. My one-year volunteering experience came to an end as I am writing now this last article from my home in Albania. This will be like a “walk down the memory lane” kind of article so let’s begin.

When I signed everything and decided to pursue this opportunity, I thought it would be a 10 months long project but it turned out to be a year long one since I really liked what I was doing and my life there.

I started working at a Youth Center (MDK) in the beautiful and cozy city of Rybnik which now is like a second home to me. In this center, children would come and have extra-curricular classes like: music classes, theatre, piano, guitar, graphic art etc. Their age would vary from 4 years old to 18 years old. I immediately loved that place and the energy it gave me so in a way I knew that I would enjoy the days there. It began with introductions that turned into conversations, into knowing better one another and eventually into helping each other and enabling even friendships with the people I was working with.

During my working hours I was helping the teachers with everything that they needed and acting as a facilitator of the teaching process, creating workshops and activities for the children, organizing summer schools and summer camps etc. Also, sometimes I would be taking photo during the classes or concerts and then the staff would later use them for the social media.

Besides the working hours, I really wanted to engage with the polish culture and polish people. At the beginning, I used my free days and weekends to travel around like in Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Ojcow and other beautiful cities which were rich in culture, in history and traditions. But I think that the best way to learn about a country is to talk with its people and I can say with no doubt that I met amazing people there that eventually became really good friends. I think that Albanians and polish share some similarities which lie in their values like friendliness, hospitality, the desire to have fun and to share things with one another.

As I look back to my very first month in Poland, I remember how I couldn’t communicate with anyone in polish, how I felt weird and awkward every time I would go to the shops or every time anyone would ask me something and I would just stare at them in silence because I couldn’t understand anything beside Dzien Dobry. But as the time passed and I look back to my last month in Poland, I could see how much I had progressed. I could basically understand everything, I could have a conversation in polish and the best part is that I really loved talking in polish.

I would spend all day talking about this experience but unfortunately, I will have to end it here just saying that I am so grateful for taking this step, so grateful for everyone I met along the way and hope that I will come again soon.

Do Widzenia Polska, Ja lubie cie!

Below you may watch video prepare by the hosting organization MDK Youth Center form the Albanian meeting running by Elda 🙂

Thank you very much for your participation in the project!

Best wishes and hope to see you again in Rybnik soon!