31 janeiro 2018

O testemunho da Flavia

It's almost one month that I've finished my EVS experience ad the Academia Sénior de Carnide and I'm not able to stop thinking that the past 10 months have been such a big opportunity of greater awareness of oneself as a person and a human being. 

I was really happy to create new friendships with people of different ages, because each one of them had something to teach, from the 90 years old to the younger ones. I made a really strong bond with some of the elders and of course with the work colleagues with whom I spent more time. Each day has been an occasion of self-improvement because of a constant interaction with other people's different needs, problems and thoughts. The office work and the customer reception one taught me how to be patient and how to deal better with people's requests and complaints. The teaching job made me understand the importance of giving comprehension and assurance but also the significance of value different opinions and efforts when someone else had more competences in the field or just a better idea to develop. The feeling of being part of a community stimulated my desire to collaborate for its well-being and my civic sense of citizen increased, as a representative of Carnide district. 
During the time spent in the customer care job, I learned how to organize myself without being stressed by the constant contact with the public. Teamwork was really important as the planning of time and goals! All the Academia Sénior‘s activities where I was involved have been occasions for learning new things: a greater knowledge about Portugal and its culture, about the city of Lisbon and about the many changes that have occurred in the country during the years. Take part in group tasks as an active member was really important for the development of my self-confidence. Face unexpected events not alone but being part of a group helped me learn how to deal with anxiety and negative thinking and how to encourage and reassure others. 

During the activities that I realized, I learned the respect for elders' emotions; during the lessons that I taught, the values of patience and gratitude but also the self-confidence and the humility for face an unforeseen situation where results were negatively different from expectations. During training, I learned the pleasure of living together with different cultures, sharing quite the same problems and joys. 
My sense of initiative and entrepreneurship increased because of the realization of several activities to be developed with the elders with the purpose of catching their curiosity, increase their skills and stimulate socialization, having always in mind the costs of the materials and the available hours and spaces in the Academia Sénior. A significant part of my job as a teacher was to coordinate the “pupils” with the purpose of creating balanced groups where everyone should have the opportunity to express herself or himself shameless. This has meant to give rules and sometimes recall the order, asking people to be quiet or leave the other “schoolmates” speak or read aloud without being interrupted or disturbed. 
It wasn’t easy at the beginning because of the generation gap: it’s unusual to ask people whose age could be one of your relatives to be quiet, to be respectful with the mates and to work hard! But with the practice, it turned out to be not so difficult with a little sense of humour. 



I improved a lot my language competences and the better knowledge about the formal and informal history of Portugal, makes me feel more satisfied with being part of the European Union. I feel more confident about the way I relate to the others and I wish I‘ll be able to realize similar experiences in others countries and host foreign people in the same way I was received by Carnide district. The support given by Spin was essential and I thank them for all the help! 
I highly recommend the EVS experience to anyone who would like to find out more about himself!

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