Volunteering with Alliance

It is my first camp of Alliance. This is my first workcamp. I plan to do one more after this. First time in a workcamp of Alliance. I’m participating in
workcamps already six times. It’s my fourth. I've heard much about
workcamps like this, international workcamps but I ended up here with
the help of my friend. I wanted to do
something different. I wanted to participate
in a group environment with people, helping people. This is a festival celebrating
the treaty of Utrecht and it is a festival for peace. The festival takes place in
Amersfoort in the Netherlands and it’s on an air base that was used in World War II,
it’s not used any more. So we came to set up for it so we set up tents fences, lights setting up different
exhibitions. So we did that for a few days and then at the opening
of the festival we scanned tickets we drove people around
on the bike trains which takes people around
the whole festival to different things
that they can see. The whole group is
living in a base camp about five kilometers away. It’s a dorm rooms kind of we have a whole
corridor to ourselves so we get together
either in the morning or at night when we have dinner and we plan things for
the upcoming days planning on going on trips or just doing activities together just watching
movies or anything. MADhurst is Music, Arts, Drama and
Dance for Midhurst hence the MADhurst. We had a ten day festival where as I say we had two to two and a
half thousand people here having a great time in the sun. Now we are taking part
in MADhurst festival it’s going on every year and this year we are
building a huge dragon which will take later
part in a demonstration. Also we are helping organization
to do everything they want. We thought it was just
a wonderful idea to get youngsters certainly overseas youngsters they have all been
absolutely brilliant this year they have
been fantastic from the first moment I met them which was like three
hours after they arrived. They have been so committed to help in anything that
we asked them to do. Local people are really nice
and really polite here and they were interested
in the workcamp because we came to help them and
so they want to help us and we became friends. It’s been wonderful and we could not do it without
the volunteers here. If anyone came to us we would sincerely
recommend they be used. Last year I’ve been in one camp in Ukraine and I had so much fun there. I came back home and I was full of
emotion and everything and then I talked to my
mom and I motivated her like talking to her every
day and every night and then we came here she said that that old
school has to be renovated and that we can make a
workcamp here in Mali Stapar and I wanted to be a
camp leader here because Mali Stapar
is my home town. So I took training for camp leaders and that’s the moment when I heard
everything about the Alliance and here I am. Before I came here
I expected that the free time will be boring because here there
is nothing to do but now I can say
that the free time is the greatest time
probably I’ve ever had because of meeting
the local people also hanging around
with foreign friends and also local people
help us with everything they show us new places I think the local people are the very big
part of this camp. Firstly we wanted to to educate our local community and to open our local
community to the others and there is like a story behind that from that old school
we are going to make an educative center for kids where they can come for a visit to do some lessons to have fun but that is for next year or in two years, three years, it depends on money and
support and everything. We began in the year 1988 and some people from
several professions met together and built
this collective here and the idea is that we build up the consciousness
of the people including the environment and the environment
is outside and inside Every year we have a project and this year the
project is energy. We want to build two
bicycles rest areas with charge stations for
electrical bicycles with recycling materials
from other bicycles old bicycles and we want to do
it an creative way. We actually have to take bicycles and cut them into pieces and make tables or make chairs, like
that and it's really fun I actually have to paint
some pieces of bicycles. It’s a good work. Actually my major
in university is “Industrial Design”
and you know sometimes we design something
and prototype something so manufacturing for
me is very important. So I come here and
do a workcamp. It’s the seventh year
in this community. This year we have mainly been constructing and
restoring stone paths. We have different jobs here every day we go
to another place for example a path
that leads to a deposit for chestnuts. We have also been working
at some old houses reconstructing them one of this house
is becoming a Museum. In this camp we have had a really really
good interaction with the locals. Everything from the old lady just passing
by where we work and saying to as that:
"Thanks for being here again" "You are doing a very nice work" "Don’t be too much in the sun" "I will bring coffee and cookies". This has been a very
nice social interaction and a great welcome. I want to thank you
for the honor that inviting everyone
here tonight personally and me us a simple citizen. You came from faraway countries in order to contribute
with your deeds with your actions in
this voluntary effort and as of solidarity. These days where we worked,
we worked together. Alliance is a democratic body Alliance is not something that exists Alliance is a network of its
members and for its members so that’s why the
Alliance is good because there is a lots of
sharing there is lot of support. With this system we can develop what we are all doing and
what we are all living for and that’s development of the
International Volunteering Service. We want to give the access
and the opportunity to every youngster, whatever the
opportunity has in his life or in her life to be able to use that wonderful
tool which is the workcamp. If we want workcamp being a tool for the active participation of the
people and the youngsters in the society we have to give them the
chance to see what is society and society is not just one
regular level of volunteers doing university, having
PhD or whatever you know it’s also people with
the mental disabilities people with disorder
like a health problem people that don’t
have that much luck or that have a background
much more difficult and I mean this is also society and have to be aware about that. A work camp with inclusion
is really enriching and it really can help
you in your life even daily life I would say. The Environmental
Sustainability Working Group works to promote ecological practices and environmental
sustainability principles. The big thing,
the great thing is that when you act on an
individual level sometimes it’s even frustrating because you feel like
that it's useless, but if you act on a wider level like in a workcamp or in a local community and then on a national level
with an organization and even an international
level through the Alliance you know that this can
have a big effect like a multi viral effect. I truly believe that every
young person should try. If you attend a workcamp you can make more friends,
new friends and you can learn
some new skills. You get to know new
friends, new cultures you also improve your
English skills of course. It’s fun being with a group of
people from all over the world. I actually like it a lot better
than just traveling on my own. It’s a great opportunity
and they will love it because it’s fun. You have the possibility to
spend three weeks four weeks with other people from
different countries and it’s really beautiful to learn. Not be afraid of work and sweat
and all this hard stuff because it’s not really hard. I think the nicest
part about it is that you really grow and feel
satisfied afterwards. If you want to have
the most unbelievable and most unforgettable vacation
ever you should visit a workcamp and you will never
forget it’s for sure.

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