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Cristina Telpis_April

April

My first month of volunteering in Arsis.

In April of 2019 I began my EVS volunteering in Thessaloniki, Greece and it was much better than I expected. I am a volunteer in one of Arsis shelters the House of Arsis (Το Σπίτι της Άρσις), a shelter for the temporary stay of minors. I will refer to it as a House, because its more than a shelter. It’s a house where 14 children of different nationalities (Greeks, Iraq, Iran, Bulgarian etc) between 5 and 17 years old live. Some of them speak English very well. These children are from problematic families, no one seems to care for them but here comes to help Arsis. 

My first day of volunteering started with a chat I had with a 15 year old girl and a 17 year old boy, who speak English very well. It was not like a talk between a psychologist and a child, it was like a talk between two old friends. My target was to make the child feel more liberated and not to feel shy with foreigners.  This day was very important for the rest of my volunteering experience, because these children, and their friends understood the reason of me being in their house, and let me become a part of their family. 

Next 3 weeks were full of preparations for the Easter’s Bazar. The target of this event was to sell handmade stuff, and the money would go for children’s needs. And all this time, I was helping house staff to prepare this event. I am not an artist, but in this house, I learned how to be one. I had never before drawn so much in my life and made stuff with my hands. It was a very good experience, and I learned something new, during my first month of volunteering. What could be better? 

After Easter’s Bazar ended, the Easter’s holidays started. They were home all the time and this means that I started having more time to spend with them. I played often football with  kids who don’t speak English but we communicate with eyes. It was again a new experience for me, and I liked it a lot!

Finally I helped the staff to find activities for children in their free days. 

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