Elizabeth, our EVS abroad, decided to go to Belgium to broaden horizons and gain experience. Have a look at her report: it seems that she is enjoying it!
I’m Elizabeth Davis, 23 years old from Broadland, Norfolk. I decided to participate in the EVS scheme as a graduate, to gain experience in a social work context and use the languages of my degree (French and Arabic) in the workplace. In September 2017, I started my year-long placement in the ‘activities’ team at reception centre for asylum seekers in Belgium.
On a day-to-day basis, my Ukrainian EVS colleague and I help coordinate learning and play activities, provide social support, liaise with other volunteers and staff members, and organise the system of donations. We mainly work with children aged 3 – 10 but we are in contact with people of many different ages and backgrounds, local and foreign. It is certainly a challenging project, but 6 months in we can see positive effects of our contribution on people and the centre, as well as having experienced valuable personal growth. I feel that I have developed my resilience in emotional work, grown in confidence in my abilities and at taking initiative, improved my fluency in French… and many more things, I’m sure!
For anyone considering EVS, I’d say – do it! Give yourself the chance to prove your skills and abilities, and learn some more. A nice surprise for me was the residential ‘training’ sessions where you meet up with many other internationals going through their EVS experience at the same time as you, giving you a support structure and a network of friends.
Thank you to Norfolk Youth Projects for signing me off and ‘sending’ me on this journey.