“Volunteering can change everything and if so, it will change you in the best way possible!”

Gwendoline Ducros is an EVS volunteer from France who has been selected for a project in organization YMCA Kyiv, Ukraine. She has been in Ukraine for 8 month and she will stay there till the end of summer. We asked her couple of questions regarding her EVS journey to know how she has been doing:



What did you do before the start of your EVS project?

I was doing a bachelor degree in web marketing in Nevers. At that time, I had no idea I would be in Ukraine just after the end of it. I was rather planning to start a master degree… Life is full of surprises!  

 What are the activities of YMCA in Kyiv?

Well, YMCA is an association which wants to empower young people. In that way, they have lots of different activities. YMCA Kyiv does activities such as scouting, TenSing (Teen Singing, with some sort of impro’) and they also provide formations on leadership. There are also several EVS volunteers, I am currently the only foreign EVS volunteer right now, but they have helped sending people in other countries!

“Vinok” – the Ukrainian wreath, part of traditional ukrainian outfit.

What is cultural diversity for you and what role does it play in  society?

Cultural diversity means a lot. But for me, it mostly means when two different cultures meet and discover each other. Cultural diversity is very important in today’s society. Indeed, thanks to this experience, I will gain in maturity but the people which I have met will opene up themselves and will be willing to try new things. This is the role that cultural diversity should have: an exchange for both parties, where everyone can learn something new.

Name one similarity and differences between Ukraine and France.

Hum… Actually, things are so different, and at the same time they feel familiar. But if I had to choose one similarity it would be the following: you eat just as well in Ukraine than in France. Gastronomy is very different in Ukraine but it’s just as delicious as the French one!

Have you already travel around the Ukraine?

I travelled a bit. I was quite busy until now, but I had the chance to go Mukacheve (Western part of Ukraine, after the Carpathian mountains), Tchernobyl, Kharkiv… And of course, I’m planing to go to other cities!

What is your favourite place/spot in Ukraine?

Hum… interesting question. Actually, I think Kyiv is the place I prefer. I have the impression there’s always something to discover in the capital, and I never get bored of the city. Plus, there are so many beautiful places to see and enjoy (not only in Kyiv).

What would you say to people to make them volunteer?

«Wow» Strange isn’t it?  There are so many things to say! But first of all: it’s once in a lifetime experience. You might not have the chance to do something so enriching, you might not have the chance to do something so unexpected. Really, volunteering can change everything and if so, it will change you in the best way possible.

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 drink a tea with my late grand father. I have little memories of him, but I would love to tell him everything about my life.

If there was a book about you – how would you name it?

«The girl with strange hair» – it says everything about me!

What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me. Too many things actually. People around inspire me. I am very lucky to be surrounded by people with strong personalities and strong wills. Everyone I meet inspires me in one way or another which make everyday very interesting!

Si vous êtes intéressés au SVE, écrivez-nous au plus vite sur notre adresse mail : relations.internationales@ville-nevers.fr Mairie de Nevers – Mission Jeunesse Place de l’Hôtel de ville 58000 Nevers

Photos sent by Gwendoline Ducros