My ESC experience in Pazardjik, Bulgaria
Hello, my name is Aissa, or as the children here call me, Ais . I am from Morocco, specifically from t Tetouan city located in the north of the kingdom. I am a volunteer with the organization "FOCUS" in the city of Pazardjik, Bulgaria, for a duration of 12 months. The story began for us when the pandemic ended. After two years of restrictions, relief finally came, and it was necessary to change the atmosphere and experience something new. My friend told me about the European Solidarity Corps program, describing it as a good opportunity to live something different. That's where the story began. I came across the organization's advertisement on social media and decided to apply. The process was quick, but I was prepared. Without any hesitation, I decided to leave everything behind: family, friends, city, country, continent - literally everything. I remember the day I arrived at Sofia Airport after a six-hour journey. I found Ivo and his mother waiting for me, welcoming me with open arms. His mother even gave me a candy that still lingers in my mouth. We headed to the city of Pazardjik, where I met the rest of the volunteers. They were young people from different countries, each with their own background, but we were all united by the love for volunteering and doing good. It didn't take long for me to integrate into the group. Things went smoothly and easily. Language was never a barrier here. It didn't matter if you didn't speak English fluently because people here are understanding. Language was never a hindrance for me. The people here are extremely kind and welcoming, and the organization's leader, Ivo, is a wonderful person. You will definitely enjoy working with him. As for working with the organization, it's smooth and enjoyable. The schedule changes every week, so you won't feel bored or stuck in a routine. Sometimes we work at the Daily Center with people with disabilities, and other times we work at the school, engaging in various activities such as sports, education, and art, all aimed at bringing a smile to everyone's faces. Working at the school was the best part for me, considering my previous experiences working with children in Morocco, but working at the Daily Center was also fun. I'm certain that you will love the people here, especially if you are a fan of dancing and handicrafts. In addition to all of this, the organization organizes youth exchange projects where young people from various European countries are hosted. It's an opportunity to meet new friends and have a different experience. Also, the organization arranges various activities for volunteers during their free time to enjoy and strengthen team-building and relationships. We have visited many places in Bulgaria and attended numerous events and festivals held in the country. I strongly suggest that you embark on this adventure. Here, you will learn a lot, acquire various life skills and independence. After this experience, you will be able to live on your own anywhere, You will indeed have many beautiful memories to share with your friends in the future.
By Aissa REDDAM