First month. Ander Jimenez Serrano.
I consider that every beginning of a journey of these characteristics is always complicated, however, I would like to point out three determinant aspects in the decision making. Firstly, the motivation to know the reality where refugees live, trying to contribute to the improvement of their situation. Secondly, the first contact with the organization through my coordinator Maggi, who knew how to transmit me all the strength and energy to start this adventure. Finally, a call home, in which my mother told me “This is exactly what you were looking for, take advantage of this opportunity”.
On October 17, I arrived in Thessalonica. The reception by the association was magnificent. On the other hand, the accoodation and lunch conditions exceeded all my expectations.
In the following days, I got to know the projects in which I was going to participate for the next six months; mobile school and social circus, focused on children wit risk of exclusion, roman population and refugees. Both projects are based on non-formal education and direct contact towards population, which fits perfectly with my understanding of social working.
On the other hand, the staff of my office has tried to help me from the beginning; explaining the methodology of work, supporting me and teaching me.
At the same time, from the first moment they have made me participate directly in the interventions; going to the workplaces and carrying out the activities, listening to my proposals and, definetely, giving to me the necessary confidence to carry out my work, for which I am very grateful.
In this short period of time I have been able to learn a lot about non-formal education, different forms of intervention, and the situation of different groups in situations of exclusion.
Finally, during this time I was able to meet wonderful people, who are a fundamental part of this experience.