27 julho 2022

Testemunho da Filipa - Suécia (Rapatac)

Hi everyone!   My name is Filipa, I´m 25 years old and last year I applied for volunteering programs on European Solidarity Corps (ESC). After much research, I was accepted at Rapatac Gävle, in Sweden, at this time, I have been already volunteering for 10 months, only missing 2 months for this program to end. I am surely going to miss it! I came to Sweden on September 2nd of 2021 and I will finish on August 31st  2022, a one-year journey.

I knew I wanted to volunteer with children because I am a kindergarten teacher. So, it would allow me to grow, not only personally but also as a professional. Rapatac Activity Center Gävle is an after-school center that develops work mainly with children from 7 to 18 years old. Rapatac strives to give children and young people a meaningful free time where we offer different cultural and educational activities. Children and adolescents can develop their own interests by participating in many stimulating and creative activities like dance, media, theatre, music, language, technology and sports. 

In the educational area it is extremely important that all children who come to the center have the opportunity to get the help they need with their schoolwork so that they can succeed at school and in future studies. My role at Rapatac can be diverse but focuses mainly on being responsible for some activities like Crafting, Yoga, Pysseltimmen and Hemkunskap. These activities are always chosen by the volunteers and we must plan them and put them in practice with a big dose of creativity. Apart from that, I help children with their homework and reading. I also participate at some events and projects. With Crafting, for example, I participated with my group for a Democracy Project. Overall, I help with the good functioning of the center.

At Rapatac we are 7 volunteers, 3 in Gävle and 4 in Sandvinken (a small city close by). We are from all over the world, Portugal, Russia, Germany and Turkey. We made many trips together and we always try to go through new experiences together.  I am grateful that I was able to share this journey with all of them and I can say that I made friendships for life!

About living in Sweden… It is definitely more wonderful than I expected, especially the nature. Sweden it's a big country and I had the opportunity to visit some parts of it. From all of my experiences these were the ones that marked me the most: I saw the northern lights; I experienced the deep winter with lots of snow; I danced to the traditional Midsommar – The summer Solstice – and made flower crowns; I went to Christmas markets in Stockholm; I saw the big fires on Valborg day at Uppsala (to welcome spring); I saw the Royal Family on the National day in Stockholm; I did fika many times; I saw moose in their natural habitat; and I met many nice and wonderful people.

The weather difference is a big deal, compared to Portugal and in Sweden they have a saying: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes”. So, you don’t stop from going outside just because it's raining or snowing. You just have to put on some more clothes!

One last thing that you have to appreciate in Sweden is the Fika! Fika for Swedish people means having a break and appreciating a good cup of coffee and a kanelbulle (cinnamon roll) or a nice piece of pastry. It is a time for family or friends to get together and socialise while eating. Fika is life for a Swede, Fika can almost not be explained, it has to be experienced the Swedish way. 

I can say that taking a volunteering year really can change your life, because it changed mine. I grew so much as a person and I feel that now I look at the world with different eyes. You go to a different country, learn another language, meet new people, adapt to the culture and overcome many challenges (good or bad). I can say that it is not a paradise to volunteer, that every day everything will be amazing, but it is part of life and you learn from it.

Thank you ESC and Associação Spin,


0 comentários:

Enviar um comentário