Orkhan : “Thanks to this unique opportunity, I got to know people from different countries with different cultures and states of mind.”
Can you tell us about your experience during your Summer Workcamp?
“My name is Orkhan and I spent 2 months at Emmaus Orléans in 2018! Before my trip, I had no experience as a volunteer outside my country. Thanks to this unique opportunity, I got to know people from different countries with different cultures and states of mind. We learned from each other by working and doing activities together. In conclusion, I took a chance to improve my French, to contribute as a volunteer and to develop myself by working. My recommendation to people who want to start volunteering with Emmaus: you should definitely join this programme and discover indispensable experiences that you have never had anywhere else”.
Have you had any significant encounters?
“On the work site, I wasn’t alone. As I was there for 2 months, I met a lot of volunteers and employees. They were from Turkey, Morocco, Mauritania and Poland. In total, we were more than 10 volunteers during the summer. I worked with the refugees, helping them with sales, assembly, etc. I also worked with the staff. After work, we spent the night with other volunteers playing in the centre or at the workcamp. I am still in contact with the people I met and we became friends”.
What made you want to take part?
“Honestly, at first I wanted to improve my French after I got my TCF B2 in Azerbaijan. Besides, it was my first long and lonely trip to Europe. I took this Emmaus Summer Workcamp as an opportunity to develop my personality. I had come with certain goals that changed completely as I absorbed the values of the work site. These are the values that unified us and gave us the chance to exchange our cultures with the whole community. They are solidarity, different cultures, friendship, sympathy, charity, etc. We find all this on the work site. Since 2016, I have been contributing to my community as a volunteer and trying to make small changes in society. I understand the value of volunteering and how it has changed me professionally and personally. However, we need to embrace different opportunities that can help us develop our mindset. This is why I volunteered. This commitment brought me a unique experience, the understanding of the life of refugees, new encounters…
This trip enriched me with an indispensable experience and unforgettable memories. I am still in contact with the people I met and we became friends. For others who would like to take part in the Summer Workcamps, I could say that you should embrace this opportunity and don’t hesitate to take a “long” volunteer position. You won’t regret it and what’s more, you will become rich in experience and it will change your state of mind completely. ”
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