THE BALKAN HIGHWAY: FROM UNEMPLOYMENT THROUGH VOLUNTEERING TO SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, long-term volunteering project in Bulgaria (EVS / European Solidarity Corps)
1 March 2020 – 28 February 2021
Hello! My name is Radostyna, I’m 26 years old and two weeks ago I came to Bulgaria to become an EVS volunteer at Smokinya Foundation.
I was born and raised in the south-east of Ukraine in Zaporizhzhia city – the industrial center of the country with developed engineering, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, chemical and construction industries, which has a rich and interesting history, but which is not particularly well-known among tourists.
Since childhood I was attracted to everything related to creativity, I went to a music school and theater studio and even seriously thought about how to connect my life with the profession of an actress, but somehow it didn’t work out. At that time I was terribly upset about this, but now I know that everything is for the best.
In my student years the love for the theater and performances in front of an audience didn’t disappear but transformed into a new hobby – cosplay. I joined an amateur group with whom we took part in different festivals getting into the role of our favorite characters from Japanese anime.
By that time I had discovered a talent for foreign languages (now there are 4 languages that I am fluent in and 2 more that I continue to improve) and huge passion for traveling.
My life was flowing quite peacefully and steadily before I decided to continue my studies abroad. This was the beginning of an unusual change in my life. Life abroad is a huge test but also a great experience at the same time. Useful experience but not always pleasant. So at some point I found myself completely bewildered, lost and deeply depressed. But at that moment the Erasmus + program burst into my life, opening before me a variety of opportunities for self-realization as well as giving unforgettable meetings with people who greatly influenced me and irrevocably changed me.
My life has long been connected with Bulgaria (in some mystical way). My name originates in Bulgaria, my first trip abroad was in Bulgaria and also my first experience in participating in the Erasmus + program took place in Bulgaria. So I’m absolutely not surprised about being here again.
I didn’t get to the project the way participants usually get here. Not through the “front door”, but through the “back door”. If you cannot find something suitable for yourself, there is only one way – to create it. This is what I did. I wrote an EVS project by myself for myself. Yes, that’s also possible. If you want to know how, ask me and I will be happy to share it with you.
In Smokinya Foundation I want to find support for my ideas, safe space for experimentation, trial, error and creativity. Finally I want to do things that I was putting off because I was afraid or wasn’t confident enough to do. I want to learn not to be afraid to make mistakes, to discover the scope of project management, I want to create something grand and worthwhile, I want to hitchhike through the entire Balkans, explore Bulgaria even more and learn a lot a lot of useful things for my future life, professional as well as personal. As you can see, I have a rather ambitious plan. But the main thing is that the Balkan Highway has been successfully laid and I begin my path along it.
Should you have a question, contact us: email@example.com.
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This program is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme to support education, training, youth and sport in of the European Union.
The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an
endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be
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