Arrival of the first humanitarian aid volunteers on the field!

International mobility 02 November 2023

ADICE is one of the first associations to carry out projects under the new humanitarian aid strand of the European Solidarity Corps programme. In the vanguard in France, ADICE is sending 19 volunteers from different European countries outside Europe as part of this programme in 2023, the first of whom, Ingrid, Isabel, Maria and Nicoletta, arrived in the field this autumn as part of the ECSD project "Empowerment of Communities through Skills Development".

Dans le récit de Maria, l’émerveillement est très visible, et les mois à venir s’annoncent très enrichissants.

Learning paths in Armenia

In mid-October, Ingrid celebrated her first month in Armenia as project manager at the Youth Iniciative Centre (YIC) in Guymri. This is how she sums up her experience so far:

“In terms of professional development, within the last two weeks I have helped YIC write a project proposal on the topic of volunteering in Armenia. My mentor and program manager have been so supportive of me and provided great feedback on the proposal writing, so I have learned a lot and become more confident in my work. I have also created a fundraising database for YIC over the last month that I will continue updating and organizing throughout the year.

Outside of work, I am busy learning the Armenian language and culture. I’ve joined an Armenian folk dance group, visited two medieval monasteries, and fumbled my way through conversations in Armenian as I explore more of what Gyumri has to offer. “

Pendant le roadtrip avec l’équipe associative, Ingrid a pu visiter le monastère Sanahin, le site d’héritage mondial UNESCO.

During the roadtrip with the association’s team, Ingrid visited the Sanahin monastery, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Photo 2. Avec un autre volontaire à YIC, Marc de U.S Peace Corps, Ingrid anime nombreux ateliers auprès de la jeunesse locale.

With another YIC volunteer, Marc from the U.S. Peace Corps, Ingrid runs a number of workshops for local young people.

At the peak of her powers in Nepal

Isabel and Maria took off together for six months at WHR (Women for Human Rights) in Kathmandu, to develop women’s rights projects (Isabel) and help boost communication (Maria). They talk about their first impressions:

Isabel seems very enthusiastic about the months of inspiring work ahead.

“Namaste! It’s been a little more than 2 weeks since I arrived in Kathmandu. Everything is so new and different that, while slowly getting used to the changes, it feels as if time has flown by. I’m enjoying the experience to the fullest: Kathmandu is a hectic city with multiple corners to explore, the weather is nice and people are very welcoming.

I’m especially happy about WHR: the mission and objectives of the organization are incredibly interesting, and it’s amazing the amount of things they’ve accomplished since the organization’s establishment in 1996. I’ve received many gestures of support from my teammates regarding life in Kathmandu and, while I get familiarized with current projects, I’ve been gradually receiving work. I’m excited about the months to come: I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot and it’ll be a very useful and enriching personal and professional experience.”

Isabel et Maria au bureau à WHR.

Isabel and Maria in the office at WHR.

Maria’s story is full of wonder, and the months ahead promise to be very rewarding.

“The first time I set foot in the vibrant city of Kathmandu, it felt like a surreal dream, where every aspect of life seemed very different from my homeland. The bustling streets, the traditional way of clothing and warm smiles of the locals made me feel really excited about this new chapter of my life. As I settled into my role as a Communication Manager, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of purpose for the meaningful work that lay ahead. The WHR team welcomed me with open arms and I am really grateful that I get a chance to work alongside passionate individuals who share a common vision.

As a Communication Manager, I am able to witness the transformative power of WHR’s programs. Whether it is covering events or raising awareness through social media, every effort is aimed at empowering widows to become agents of change in their communities. Every day brings new opportunities to learn. From enhancing my writing skills to developing communication strategies, I am constantly evolving both personally an professionally.”

You can read more on Marias arrival in the article published on the WHR website.

Isabel et Maria en visitant le centre historique de Katmandu.

Isabel and Maria visiting the historic centre of Kathmandu.

Demonstrations of joy in Albania

We asked Nicoletta about her return just after her arrival in Tirana, where for a year she will be working as an assistant development and project management officer at the NCCS association, fighting for the rights and well-being of disadvantaged people in Albania. After completing an Italian Civic Service in Kenya, Nicoletta was quick to embrace the values of the association as she discovered the country, which is geographically close to her native Italy, but offers a cultural change of scenery and a wealth of things to discover.

Nicoletta shares her thoughts on her first days on the move:

“Being abroad is always both an exciting experience and a challenge. It pushes you to interact with a different reality from the one you are used to, and encourages you to put aside your insecurities, to hang out to new places and with new people, and to live a new phase of your life! It means not being scared of becoming part of the new world you live in. That is how I feel after one week in this welcoming city that is Tirana.”

Despite her recent arrival, Nicoletta is already involved in many of the association’s events and projects, such as the walk organised by NCCS to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Other volunteers will soon be joining them in the field! We wish everyone wonderful mobility, and follow us to learn more about the European Solidarity Corps Humanitarian Aid programme. To take part in the programme, register now to follow the training required to become eligible. Find out more on our website.

See also

Corps Européen de Solidarité - volet Aide Humanitaire

Le CES volet aide humanitaire est un programme de volontariat d'échange de compétences et d'expertise proposé par l'ADICE.

See more