Portugal adventure with EVS

They say that twenties are for adventures. You are young, ready for new experiences and full of energy. Why not  make a change in your life? Via European Voluntary Service, Association Žmergo supports those ideas and enables young people to volunteer abroad to gain invaluable life and work experience. That is how Tina Ugarković and Roma Đurić decided to spend November volunteering in Peniche, Portugal, in the association which area is international cooperation and youth education.

The project of the Portugese organisation Associação Juvenil de Peniche “Moving for learning” is held in the centre for children’s  after school activities. “Besides the amazing, long sandy beach and the landscape of Peniche, I was amazed by both my colleagues and children. What I was actually doing most of the time was being a 10 year old child. And I enjoyed every moment of it! From playing football, skipping the rope, playing tag, hide and seek to card games dancing and learning capoeira. Communicating with children was not a problem at all as I learned fast basic words and expressions. Volunteering was a real delight at any moment. During our free weekends, we enjoyed even more exploring the cities of Lisbon and Porto. I am so happy that I got to know this great country, people from all around the world that I could play with children and discover new horizons”  – says 19-year-old Roma.

Besides volunteering activities I attended Portuguese classes which helped me to fit better in the community. Already after one week I could order  Pasteis de Nata ( traditional Portuguese desert ) and buy souvenirs made of ceramic tiles, typical of Portuguese architecture. Towards the end of my stay I began understand better fado, the traditional Portuguese music. Especially one untranslatable word saudade that explains the longing and nostalgia for bygone times, but also luck that we were able to experience it “- says 25-year-old Tina.

The girls both agree that volunteering was pure fun all the time. Peniche  accommodates numerous volunteers trough out the year from all over Europe. Tina and Roma are sending a message for all the young people – be brave and volunteer; discover new worlds ! It is always worth it !

Do you  too want to volunteer abroad ? Get in touch at erasmus@zmergo.hr  :-)