EVS volunteers in Young Folks LV, why are you here?
"We ask ourselves many questions.
The most important question is – what will EVS bring to me?
One question, that completely turned over and changed life.
And each of us has his/her own answer, why to be here right now, in Riga"

What you need to know about us.
- what is my name?
- who am I?
- how does my dream look like?
EVS in Young folks lv
Do you really just want to live like this in your country or do you want more freedom?
My name is Tiko Abuladze and I am 23 years old. I am from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and I am currently doing EVS in Riga, Latvia.

Culture is so strong and powerful in my country. All the time it tells you how to live. At first, you have to finish a school, then you have to continue your education. You should study and work at the same time, after that it is time to get married.

No one asks you what do you really want, because they already know, what do you want and what do you need. They know it better than you. I was also that kind of culture's product. I finished my school, I got a bachelor's degree, then I continued my education as a master. Of course, I worked at the same time. But I could not ever understand that part of culture,

I always felt like I am an alien in my motherland. My culture forced me to live by its rules.
Always, as I remember, I wanted to travel. I wanted to know how other people live, to see other cultures, to try other cuisine, even to breath different air… I have never thought that I have enough time and enough money to travel, also there were many obstacles that made it unbelievable for me.

The country I was born in is not a part of the European Union – so we, Georgian citizens, need a visa, and most of the time it is quite complicated to get it. Before my EVS, I thought that traveling and getting to know new cultures was this kind of dream, that never comes true. Actually, I acted against my culture, and I won.

For me, the most important overall is to never stop believing that I can have a new beginning. I have let go my old memories.

Now the EVS is a new beginning for me, new way how to live and how to see the world.
EVS in Young folks lv
Are you living, or you are trying to live?
My name is David Sanchez Olivares and I am 23 years old. Since my childhood I have realized that the world is really huge. However, living on an island is like to live in a jail – sometimes you are hiding behind a happy person mask in your motherland, just because you are in your comfort zone.

I was really in an «easy environment», with a good family and friends, but everything started to become worse. It was because of our political situation in Spain and about corruption, and also that the educational system is a pity, and because of other circumstances, which you face day by day.

In the same year, I had to leave my university because it became too expensive and unaffordable for me. At that time, our government started to support more big businesses, so getting a job for young people became an impossible mission – the "great business people" only wanted to get little contracts, till 3 months.

I was really disappointed with my present life there, my father and grandfather had gone at the same time and everything started to seem worst. Sometimes you don't know how to continue living, how to survive...

23 years old, without a degree, without a permanent job and overall with half of your family destroyed. Circumstances, I guess?
Suddenly, something happened. I was walking in my hood and I decided to check one place, called «Erasmus Voluntary Service». Something changed inside me. I was really desperate, trying to find a little scape of my reality, but life is so wise, so smart, and sometimes so naughty. What is the reality? Was it being mine?

I made the fastest speech that I ever have done in my life, telling all my story to a random guy, who was inside this building. I was asking for a help, and overall, for something different that I had at the moment. This man not only gave me the best chance in my life, he also gave me the hope and the strength to believe in that something better.

In less than a week I was into the plane going 8000 km far away from my homeland, and for the first time in lot of years I was thinking only in future. I really realized what the reality is. I started to understand why from my childhood I was thinking about the enormity of the world. At that moment, I didn't know that I would have the best experience of my life.

EVS is not only about being useful in another country, it is not only about holidays, it is not only about learning new languages. It is not only to improve your communicational skills, it is not only to make a new family, it is not only to meet amazing friends, it is not only to enjoy views and different experiences, it is not only about love, it is not only to appreciate every detail. It is something much bigger. It is the chance to be happy.

EVS can save your life.
EVS in young folks LV
Do you really like what do you do, or it only seems like?
My name is Ira Hoiuk and I'm 20 years old. My life was super typical, before I went to university, nothing much happened to me.

When I went to the university, everything had changed. I realized that I can do whatever I want.

It was the crazy time. I started to travel a lot taking part in different projects, which had granted money. I did not care if it will be useful for me, I was thinking only about one thing - "the universe gives me a chance to try everything. I want to feel and I want to learn as much as possible". I was really eager to travel, to get new knowledge, to meet new people.

After the first year of my university, I had found a job. I got the position of the editor-in-chief in a corporate magazine. The first serious job and a lot of responsibilities. I could not sleep during that month. I tried to do everything perfectly. I was focused on this magazine and could not think about something else. Finally, when I quit that job, I had been disappointed in myself. "I could do it better". For me, it was the first experience and the first fault.

In the second year, I found another job. I needed to finish part of the practice for my university, so I went to work for online media at Lutsk. One year earlier, I was at their school for journalists, so they already have known me and accepted me.

It was such a difficult month. I lived in another city and every day I have been driving to the office by bus for almost 2 hours. Day per day I worked hard – a lot of events, a lot of work. At least, this company suggested me to open online media in my town and to be editor-in-chief there. I was thinking about it a lot. Am I really ready for this job? It could be the first online media for the town where live 4000 people, and for a region, where live almost 30 000 people. I was really afraid. I said, "yes, I will do it".

After that, it has been so much working every day. I walked to the university with my laptop and worked every free minute. Emotionally, I felt too bad and disappoint again. However, I continued to work and to improve my skills. It was my personal challenge and finally I did it. Bad comments from readers disappeared, and people started to write me "great job, thank you, it's going to be really good".

One day a woman called me from Portugal and said "Thank you so much for your work. I have to work abroad, but it is really important to me to know about my motherland". I was crying after her words. That work was such difficult for me, but so important for some people.

After half a year I understood that I did my best at this position and I have to continue my way.

Where? How? What do I want? What I really like to do?

I have not the answers.
At that time, I was also working in several non-governmental organisations (NGO). In one of them I took responsibilities as head of the media department.

In other organization I was the head of the debate club in my university. I made several complex projects, learned how to find sponsors, how to think through the program of tournaments, how to manage the project team, how to negotiate in subtle differences.

Once I came to the university hostel after one project and I cried for a long time. I was ready to refuse the responsibility for managing projects, because I took on too much, and I failed. "I am a loser", I thought. But a little later I accepted nobody is perfect. Unfortunately, me too.

Undoubtedly, I had done a lot. But why did I do this? Have I really enjoyed, or it was just an illusion of happiness?

Suddenly one friend sent me a message about NGO Young Folks LV. They were in search for a volunteer from Ukraine, who wants to be a part of EVS project in Riga. In a time of one night I had written my CV and motivation letter and sent it them. After two weeks they wrote me: "If you are ready to come, we are waiting for you".

This year is for understanding myself and enjoying freedom. Now I can reflect a lot about my goals and priorities. I can live without any fears or insecurity. Why not? No one knows me here. I can be who I am or who I want to become. It is my personal gap year. And it's going to be great.

EVS can help you find your passion or simply give you plenty of time to live your amazing life full of adventures and trials.
evs in young folks lv
Are you ready to follow your fire?
My name is Mariam Arbolishvili, 23 y/o from Tbilisi, Georgia.

I am about to finish my EVS project in Riga. Only though that I have now is to speak my EVS experiences. From here, my previous life seems so far. To be honest, my mind is so busy now to spend my last week in Riga with my friends, I don't really remember why I came here.

There is not much to say about my life, if you remember Tiko Abuladze, previous volunteers from Georgia, I can say that, my life was not so different from hers. How ever, modern world gives you guidelines, how to live, where to work, who you need to love, what to dress, what to eat, how to look.

In this global mess, the most difficult part is to understand who you are, what you actually want and admit that you are not happy at all.
Like I said, it is the most difficult part, because everyone around you doing the same and pretending to be happy.

Like most of the people in my country, I also finished school and then university. After this, everyone waiting from me to continue master program, but when I said that, I need time to understand what I actually want, my friends and family were very confused and surprised.

From the beginning, it seems so easy to follow the rules, but I learn that if you are/can not doing this, don't even expect that someone will understand or support you. In my case, after bachelor degree I start working in many different places: I was working as a researcher in marketing company, as an manager in hostel, as an social media manager, I was writing blogs, were involved in human rights activism, I was tour guide, meeting people from around the world, traveling. I was hardly looking my place, looking for inspiration, looking for my dream job, that makes my life more meaningful. I spent in this routine more than year.

In the end I was so desperate, thinking that there is no way out, I will spend my whole life in searching and curiosity. And in this real despite moment I find EVS project in Latvia. I never heard about EVS before, I never thought to visit Latvia, I didn't even meet someone from Latvia before. But I thought that it was my chance that universe gave me and I need to use it.

And after 2 weeks I was packing and saying goodbyes to my friends. It was so unexpected for everyone, even for me. But now, when I am still saying goodbyes to my Latvian and EVS friends, I feel that I did great thing, and feeling proud myself that I made this decision to came in Latvia.

I know it is different story, but in the end I can say that EVS helps me to create myself from zero, to trust my feelings and follow my dreams, that everything will be fine one day!
Believe in yourself and do whatever you want.
Life is too short to be afraid.
Where are we? Latvia, Riga, Skolas 27
Contact us youngfolkslv@gmail.com

Join Young Folks LV in Riga https://www.facebook.com/YoungFolksLv/

© 2019 YoungFolksLV