A door between home and Europe
After arriving home from a long, tiring trip, it was not hard to get used to the family environment. I used to talk every day with my family when I was in Romania. Sometimes I was watching photos, videos from my volunteering experience and thinking as if it all happened just 2-3 weeks ago. Time passed so quickly. I thought everything was a dream and I just woke up from that sweet dream.
Unlike other countries, in Azerbaijan there are not many people who know about the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) program and its benefits. When I was in Romania I did a small online conference with Azerbaijan Languages University students to talk about Romania. This time was to do such an online conference with other people from my hometown. I talked with the head teacher of the educational center (PELC) where I had learned English. I just wrote my plan, description of the online event and discussed it with the teacher.
I named the event “A door between home and Europe”. The essence of the ESC program was really like that as the program takes you from home puts you in Europe, and at the end of the project takes you back.
During volunteering I had taken dozens of photos and recorded videos, so I chose some, put them in separate folders to talk at the conference.
On 8th August 2020, at 19:00, I did an online conference through the Zoom application, and about 14-16 people joined it. I started introducing myself, talked about the ESC program, how to fill fields in, how to apply to projects, etc. After finishing talking about the ESC program, I began to talk about Romania, its people and how kind, friendly, trustworthy they are, about my region (Maramures) and city (Baia Mare), and then I continued about my volunteering experience. I talked about how I got the acceptance, how the host organization (Yellow Shirts) helped me in documentation as well as applying for visa, how I was welcomed, and how I started my activity.
While talking about the volunteering experience and life, sometimes I was sharing funny moments from those moments. After finishing about the volunteering experience, I began telling about how we solved the difficulties of the COVID -19 pandemic.
While talking at the online conference, people were asking different questions about the ESC program, Romania, cultural differences, and I was answering them by writing and talking.
At the end of the conference, I also mentioned that several times I was supported by the host organization and the Romanian National Agency regarding not being able to leave the country. Our borders were closed due to the pandemic and there was no flight to go back. At that time, I was supported by the Agency and the host organization to leave the country safe and sound.