Maëliss Vray – former EVS volunteer in Baia Mare, Romania. She spent 6 month volunteering in YMCA Romania. Maëliss finished the project in the end of March 2018 and we decided to ask her few questions regarding her EVS journey . You can read an interview below:
Maëliss finished her project in the end of March, 2018 so we contacted and asked few questions regarding her journey:
What have you been doing before starting your volunteering project?
Before starting my EVS I was studying law for two years. I choose to stop and to take some time for myself and for others.
What are the activities of YMCA? And what was your role in the organization?
YMCA is the largest and the oldest youth association in the world. It empowers youngsters through trainings and activities within their communities. My role in YMCA Romania was to go to the schools with my team of volunteers and to create activities of non-formal education. So through games we spoke about gender equality, human rights, tolerance or civic engagement. We also went once a week in an orphanage to spend time with the kids. Beside it we participated in the social events of the city and the association and we also lead our own workshop. So I went once a week in a night shelter hold by the association Somaschi to cook, serve the meals and spend some time with the beneficiaries of the shelter (street people, kids and adults).
What is cultural diversity for you and what role does it play in the society?
Cultural diversity is the fact that a same area is shared peacefully by people from different cultures. This is a mix and a beautiful way to learn from others. I think in society it is a treasure that keeps minds open.
Name one similarity and differences between Romania and France.
Similarities: some people say that Bucharest looks a bit like Paris. Indeed, there is an Arc de Triomphe and some buildings are similar. Differences: because every country is different I felt that the landscapes and the atmosphere were different.
Have you traveled during your EVS?
I did travel in Romania. With the volunteers we visited several city such as: Arad, Timisoara, sighisoara, cluj, Sibiu. But I also visited Ukraine, Austria and Hungary.
What is your favourite place/spot in Romania?
I really appreciated Cluj. It is a quite big city, full of students, café and cool spot to hang around at night.
How did you handle with a new langauge?
It was really nice to learn a new language. We had one hour of Romanian lesson per week. It was not that much but we heard it at school and in the street also. I am not fluent now but I loved to discover a new language.
What would you say to people to make them volunteer?
Go! To be a volunteer – is once in your life. It is a great experience where you meet a lot of people from different nationalities; you can work and live abroad. It makes you going out of your comfort zone while you feel secure and surrounded.
If you have a chance to drink coffee/tea with any person in the word (alive or lived before) – who would it be?
I would be with a person I admire and that inspire me. I feel lucky to be surrounded by friends and family that I do admire so probably one of them would be perfect.
What inspires you?
Creativity, simplicity, humility, kindness, fairness.
What is the one thing that you understood/learnt after doing EVS in Romania?
I understood that I found my place in Lyon. I really missed my city, friends and family. Leaving is nice but coming back was great. Even though I truly appreciated my experience.
Photos are taken from internet and offered by Maëliss Vray.
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