🧳✈️ Stories | Irena, Echoes of Change: A Volunteer’s Tale

Irena, Slovenia

My vision became clearer and my truth louder.

Irena during her ESC experience

I have longed for a life change for a long time, and the choice to apply as an ESC volunteer at PINA – Associacion for Culture and Education and move to Koper was really one of the best decisions I took.

I am proud that I managed to survive and re-start my life. I can say that last year I had a personal and professional reconstruction phase. I went outside the comfort zone of my familiar environment and my pre-established life paths and social circles in which I had been moving practically my whole life. I’ve been tested in a lot of new roles and found myself in situations where my only chance was to become a “leveled-up” version of myself. During my time as an ESC volunteer I have gained a greater level of self-accountability and tracking of my inner state and internal truth. I can say that I have internalized the awareness of my achievements, my abilities, and what I can offer to the world. My vision became clearer and my truth louder.

The first month of the volunteering experience I have participated in the preparation of the application for a small open call for the organization of an event in the local environment. The project was approved, and I was given the opportunity to implement my ideas. Later on, I tested myself several times in creating content and leading workshops, taking over the logistical part of international youth trainings, conducting daily reflections with participants, helping to coordinate volunteers, and organizing workshops where I worked closely with other volunteers and provided information on opportunities for young people in the local environment. According to my educational goals which I wrote down at the beginning of the project, PiNA also gave me the opportunity to have access to additional education in the field of youth work.

When the project ended, I felt like I started to walk my own path with the highest amount of confidence I’ve ever had. Fully anchored in trust that everything will be okay and that I’m going to get employed in the youth sector, I applied for a job and guess what? I got the job in the youth sector and I love it.

I truly am forever grateful.