My EVS experience – Peter Ernst from Germany

Project: “We all have different abilities”

Duration: 01.09.2016 – 01.09.2017

Partners: “Jugend- und Kulturprojekte e. V.” – International German sending organization and Center for Youth Activism CYA KRIK

Volunteer: Peter Ernst

“Macedonia? Oh, that´s the neighbor country next to Syria, right!?! “

Since I´m young I wanted to live abroad and move out of Germany. After my A level at school I decided to live abroad for one year in social way supported by an social program called “Erasmus PLUS”. I really needed one year for me, I needed space, time to find myself and get out of my casual life in Germany.

I´m very dynamic and active, furthermore already at my school time I worked as youth worker. My goal was after school to live for one year abroad and work with youth with disabilities.

Yeah, I get a nice invitation for one EVS year in KRIK and Macedonia, where I never was before, either with my thoughts. Actually the process to become an EVS Volunteer was very fast. We didn´t had problems with the Visa. Actually I wanted to go to France for an EVS, because I went a lot of times to France and also it would be a great opportunity to refresh my language skills. With this EVS I´m learning a lot about politics, countries, cultures and disabilities. Because Macedonia is country in the “middle” of the Balkan and I have awesome international roommates. There are great opportunities, too, to travel cheap and explore rest of Europe.

I´m very glad to choose this project and hosting organization in Macedonia. I´m refreshing my language skills every day in relaxed and nature areas. I meet a new me! I learned how to relax and come down and I´m still learning how to control my feelings which is very important for future work and healthiness. I know how to use saved energy and help people.

I needed 1 month or less to find my way in the country which I didn’t know before my EVS.  In the first week I found a ballet studio which I´m dancing still twice per week, French private lessons and I visit an amazing and deep theater play. I get big support from the KRIK-Team, also in my private live. They give me smart advices and a lot of opportunities.

The first 3 months at my EVS year I did teach German basics with an amazing EVS Volunteer and roommate. After that KRIK grows more up at the beginning of 2017 and get a Youth Center called “KRIKNI”. I helped to build with other volunteers and KRIK members an amazing and colorful Youth Center where I´m starting a Dance club and Wall painting course which youth with disabilities and typical development and working on their inclusion. Furthermore I´m joining as participant on lot of workshops, trainings and activities at different places with interesting topics.

I can’t say it too often, I´m soooo glad to take this big opportunity. My family and friends were at first – when I told them about my plans over an EVS in Macedonia – scared and not all did agree. But I stayed strong and made my dream, to leave abroad, come true.

I really like to support social organizations like KRIK and their goals to include people and make the youth stronger. That´s really important and a good way to explore also yourself.

And the funniest thing is, I do more than I ever expect in my EVS, I´m proud!

So on the end, thank you so much KRIK for showing me how beautiful Europe and my home country, language and culture is, too. Thank you for the distance which opened my eyes!

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