”Adaptation” is what the first 2 weeks means for every volunteer. We are a multicultural group and this year our group paid host to different nationalities.
After meeting and the adaptation period, our group has formed a great dynamic between the new volunteers. When starting our project, we had to consider the conditions of this extraordinary period we are in (Covid 19, restrictions and lockdowns).
We reorganised some of our projects and activities, and unlike many industries in the world we were able to make a positive impact on society in this extraordinary period.
We have always recognised every day is precious for the society and prepared special events for them. We touched their lives with little things. In addition to the regular activities of our community, we also had special events from time to time. During these periods, each volunteer worked more intensely and efficiently.
In addition, our community has always been supported by local volunteers. Working with local volunteers was also a good experience for foreign volunteers. In this way, we were able to get to know the local culture better and gain insight into what society expected and needed from a voluntary community.
This year, children were generally at the centre of our project. We evaluated our volunteer group according to their abilities and skills, formed activity groups for children, and each of us supported other groups when necessary. Because that was exactly what it meant to work with a team. While working with this community, I realized that this kind of work is essential for the peace of the society.
I think we are some sort of Secret Heroes. We are committed to making local people’s living spaces more beautiful and healthier, or organizing activities that will be useful for their children’s physical development, and even more, to create new spaces for themselves, where they can socialize.
In this way, we strengthen the bond between us. The motto of healthy individual, healthy environment and healthy society has gained more meaning for me during my work with this community.
I have gained new experiences in many subjects since I came here. The challenges I faced helped me discover myself. Every person I have met has definitely added something to me, one has provided me with a new perspective on life, while another’s have enlightened me on “how to make my tea taste better”, whatever!!
I should have thanked everyone between these two opposite extremes for everything they contributed to me. This organization that brought us together was what we were mutually grateful for.
If you have a new and useful idea, share it without hesitation! High Oak is the perfect place for this. Because your mentor Angela supports your creativity without hesitation and this support creates a wide space for you to work and dream. On the other hand, in this project, mutual flexibility has often been what made the project sustainable. So, keeping individuality one step behind being a team can help you in your future volunteering experience.
Of course, I’ve had a few annoying situations. I can include a lot of things in this topic, but I don’t want you to stop reading this article by talking about annoying issues at this point. As a result, every issue managed to self-destruct, even with small steps. All that remains is a big thank you for Ange, Dave, Paulette, Ken, Allen, Joyce, Pat, and of course crazy Gaz.
Finally, there are two people I cannot close without mentioning here. These people have been indispensable and supportive for me at every moment of my journey. “Dear Finn and Johanne”, I hope these beautiful people will be happy for all the decisions they make for the rest of their lives because their unique soul deserves this peace of mind.