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I’m Julia a 25 year old Spanish girl from Barcelona.

I studied Political Sciences in Barcelona and I studied a Master in International Humanitarian Aid and NGO. Before coming to Moldova, I was on Madagascar working at an NGO, promoting Women’s Rights and education. At first, I went there as an intern and few months later I came back to Madagascar to volunteer for a few months more. There I had the chance to work for women’s empowerment and discover that its what I wanted to do for a living. When I came back to Barcelona, I was talking about my Malagasy experience to my friends and how much I wanted to repeat such a rewarding job that allowed me to get to know an unfamiliar culture.

That was when my friend Penelope told me about this offer she saw on the internet: an EVS to work against the women trafficking and the sexual exploitation in Moldova. It could not have been better: I was really into the topic and Moldova was a mysterious country, from my point of view. I knew I would have to learn Romanian, but it didn’t scare me, on the contrary: it challenged me. All the tasks that the EVS was intended to carry out seemed appealing to me. Among these tasks, I was commended to participate on a campaign to find new volunteers, to collaborate on the awareness-rising activities that La Strada carries out and to take part in the fundraising and project management duties.

Now I’m in Moldova, working at La Strada with a really nice and welcoming team. I’m taking Romanian courses, hoping soon to be fluent in this language so La Strada can benefit from my skills. At the same time, I’m willing to learn from my colleagues and from my Moldovan sojourn. I have had the chance to work with La Strada’s volunteers, young students from Chisinau. This experience permitted me to exchange my first Romanian words with local volunteers, and see how the Moldovan youth wants to make things change, fighting for the well-being of its population.

Since Romanian is the language of my workplace and I was not able to understand it properly, they proposed me to volunteering part-time in another NGO, Filocalia, where I would be doing activities with kids. To be around kids and young volunteers, playing and helping out with some basic tasks would allow me to learn Romanian faster, so I can get more involved in my volunteering and be as helpful as I can. Working at Filocalia gave me the chance to get to know another association: see how it works, meet more new people, carry out a larger variety of tasks, work in other fields, etc. I’m pretty sure by the end of my EVS the amount of things learnt during this experience will be something useful for my career.

Also, the more I meet Moldovan the more I learn. Any circumstances can be useful to know this country better and practice a few words in Romanian. For example, I had a wonderful day in the countryside in my mentor’s village. Even if it was a small village, he succeed in doing the visit very interesting. It was the most enriching day I had since I got to Moldova. I also wanted to take yoga classes in Chisinau, it was a chance for me to meet young Moldovans having the same hobbies as me. Now, even if we can only exchange in few words of Moldovan, they are the friends I go out with and they are the company I could have in this city.