One year ago I knew almost nothing about this word and it meant almost nothing for me. But this summer I had great, as I think, experience of voluntary working in an international work-camp.
Now every time I hear the word “volunteer” I recall two really interesting and full of events weeks in a country with an magnificent name – Montenegro. Here, in my composition, I could tell you about this camp, about the country and its culture, about the work we did. But I’d like to tell you about being a volunteer in international work-camps itself.Further you can find my thoughts about it and about why people take part in such projects based on my own experience. First of all, what is an international work-camp? This is a project within the bounds of which young people from different countries gather together in some country and do some society-useful work for no money. The work can range from restoration of build-ings to teaching local children English. The work is unpaid so you can ask: “Why do they do this? This work is, of course, useful for society, but it’s useful for another’s country society not for their own coun-try’s.
There can’t be the only answer for such a question, every person, who once was a volunteer, has his or her own reason for it. I’d like to start with description of most popular reasons and then tell you my own ones. I think everybody agrees that most of young people like traveling a lot. They want to see many different countries, to know their cultures. This is a well-known fact. But how they are going to do it is a matter of a choice. There’s a wide variety of ways but not everybody can afford to go on holidays every time somewhere abroad or to take studies abroad.
So you can save your money by being a volunteer. Because you have to pay only for getting to the place where a project is or-ganized and you’ll be provided with free food and free accommodation for working 3-5 hours a day. Another reason is quite obvious. It springs from an original purpose of any voluntary activity – some people really care of poor children in the middle of nowhere, for example, in Africa or Latin America, and some people are really concerned about environment pollution.Next reason is the fact that such camp is a great opportunity to know culture of a country where camp is organized. Usually camps are located in small towns or even in the villages. While living there you can communicate with locals who are, usually, more friendly than inhabitants of big cities and who will tell you a lot of things about their country, who can prepare some national meals for you and so on.
As for me, I have a mix of all these and not only these reasons.While thinking over an opportunity to take part in such a project I thought: “Why not to go there? I could practice my English, because it’s a work-language of any work-camp. I could find new friends there; because not everybody agrees to work for no money, and it means that we already have something that can make us friends. And I won’t need lots of money. ” And now I can say that I was right! Work-camp is a place for communication. You have to socialize with everybody there, you have to be very friendly there if you don’t want to be alone for two weeks.During the project we discussed really different topics from our own lives to chances of Turkey to be accepted to EU.
That’s was great two weeks. I’m absolutely sure if I have an opportunity to take such a project one more time I will do it. I’d like to go to some countries I like and for me this is one of the best ways to do it. And I hope that one day group of young people from all over the world will go to Baikal to a work-camp and will spend there marvelous time.