Melina has been working with our colleagues from Concordia in France as a volunteer through the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) since autumn 2021. She is the first ESC volunteer to work at the Center Social et Culturel in the small community of Arpajon-sur-Cère in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
As part of her voluntary service, Melina accompanies 3 Erasmus+ projects with children and young people as a supervisor. In addition to France, she also gets to know Berlin, Porto and Uppsala. Two of these projects are now behind her. Here is Melina's interim conclusion:
"Promoting European values and mobility for young people in France
Here is a little insight into my work as an "ambassador for mobility and commitment among young people in the Cantal region". Cantal is a small region within Auvergne, which is one of the most sparsely populated, agricultural and geographically isolated departments.
I am working at the Center Social d'Arpajon-sur-Cère and actively support the center with childcare and animation and young people with their intercultural opening towards Europe and our European fellow citizens. I report on my own experiences abroad and inform young people about ways and opportunities to go abroad themselves. I also give German and English lessons to children and young people.
A special project was a trip to Porto (Portugal) with the young people (11-15 years) from the Center Socials d'Arpajon.
This "Projet d'Engagement" in Porto was selected, organized, planned and partly financed by the young people themselves. I actively supported the young people in their preparation for the stay abroad. We had a very nice sunny week with lots of walking, a day at the beach, a boat trip under the six bridges and an intercultural encounter with a Portuguese school, which had prepared a scavenger hunt through Porto especially for us. We had a lot of fun!
Our second project was a Franco-German exchange in Berlin with young people (18+) from different Centers Sociaux in Cantal.
There we were warmly welcomed by our partner in Staaken and held cool workshops (like a graffiti fresco) and took part in the clean-up campaign in the Staaken district. In addition, there was of course a lot of cultural programs in the different and diverse parts of Berlin.
German-French exchange in Berlin-Staaken
I worked as a volunteer on the cultural program and translated on site to enable contact between the German and French young people. During the exchange, many new friendships were made between the French and Berlin young people, which will hopefully last for a long time.
Next up is our Erasmus+ exchange with a center in Uppsala (Sweden) in July. I am looking forward to it!"
Volunteer with the European Solidarity Corps
You can apply for Volunteering Teams or longer voluntary service projects in other European countries via the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). There is a strict age limit of 18 to 30 years and there are a few important steps to take before and after the project in addition to registering with us or another organization. You can find more information about the ESC here.