Syndicate content

My EVS in Belgium, by Marek Porbacki

My name is Marek Porbacki. I am 23 years old and I come from Poland. The 8th of January I started my European voluntary service in Liege Belgium for a period of 6 months. My sending organisation is Polish Asociation for the Blind and my hosting organization is the Social Cultural Cooordination of Saint-Marguerite with l'Orchidée Rose. Views International is the organisation that coordinates my project. I decided to do an EVS project after having heared the opinions of ex-Polish volunteers and who really enjoyed their stay and projects in Belgium. For me this is a great opportunity to improve my linguistic knowledge, taking into account that I am studying filology and specifically the Roman languages. Furthermore, I would like to live an adventure that will bring me more than an experience in my future career.

I am involved in two organisations where I am occupied mostly with teaching French to foreigners and with writing articles for the neighbourhood magazine.

As I am a person with low vision the first two weeks of my stay were dedicated to activities that aimed to acquire a maximum authonomy in my daily living. During the mobility sessions I learned how to go to the most important spots in the neighbourhood. At this moment I am able to get there by myself. Thanks to the daily living sessions I am able to use the basic electrical supplies from the house. The aclimatisation in my new hosting country went very well and I got used easily to the new environment and reality.

After two weeks of preparation and observation I started the daily work. The first organisation where I volunteer is called The Coordination of Sainte-Marguerite. As its name states this organization coordinates the activities of all the NGOs in the neighbourhood. It is the coordination who publishes the biannual magazine “Salut Maurice” that describes the life of the neighbourhood. For the first issue of this year we prepared a special edition treating the conditions of women in different countries. For this edition I prepared some interviews with women coming from Iran, Turkey and Libanon. I also interviewed the chairwoman of an organisation that works with immigrants. I was very happy to know several points of vue on the subject and I am happy that with my articles I could help the inhabitants from my neighbourhood to understand the condition of women in the world.

Within the framework of the coordination I also lead the French courses for teenagers three times a week. These people come from all over the world. During these courses I help young people to do their homework and I participate in the discussion groups. I really appreciate the individual working method because it stimulates the link between us. It is not always easy to teach children when they are teenager but luckily I adjusted quickly to the situation. I find my students cool and very intelligent.

The other organisation where I am volunteering is called “l’Orchidee Rose” and it aims to teach French to Turkish people. I am in charge of leading four times per week the French course in the men group. The level of participants is beginner which creates me some difficulties as people do not speak and understand well French. Sometimes I can not transmit them an idea and than I must find another solution to do it. With my students, I am doing reading exercices and I can already see them progressing. I progressively introduce grammar and vocabulary elements in my courses. I try also to do discussions. Of course all these activities require from me a lot of patience.

This is a general summary of my EVS activities. I have already learned a lot and I hope to spend a good time till the end. I am very happy to do this volunteering thanks to which I can develop several skills.