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ARCHELON EVS volunteers at the Rescue Center

It has been so many years that ARCHELON operates as a hosting organisation of EVS (European Voluntary Service). EVS volunteers have been hosted in the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Glyfada, in Zakyntho and in Rethymno project. Their help is invaluable. They stay for about 6 months and they get to know all the parts of the work. They become well experienced volunteers and they spread their experience to the rest, short-term volunteers. The combination of excitement and experience makes the EVS volunteers great supporters of ARCHELONʼs work. We would like to present now the EVS volunteers currently hosted to the Sea Turtle Rescue Center. Three amazing girls from Estonia, Ireland and Sweden. It is great to share their stories with us.

Ursula Ilo, Estonian, 23 years old

Why did you want to participate in EVS?
Last summer I had just finished my university studies in biology and I wasnʼt quite sure in which direction I wanted to continue and so I decided to take a break from studies and do something meaningful during the gap year. I think the program is a wonderful opportunity for young people to travel, get an insight to a new culture and also, help to contribute for a good cause.

I love the sea and have always wanted to study marine biology and work with animals so volunteering in ARCHELON lets me combine these two interests. I am also fond of Greece, its nature, people, language and culture as I think there is so mach diversity in this small country.

How it has been so far?
The experience has been amazing so far. It definitely has not been very easy but it has taught me a lot – about the wild animals, people and myself as well. The work gives a good opportunity to get actively involved in a good cause and many useful practical skills. In addition, the work and living here is very different from what I have done and experienced thus far and what I am going to do in the future. I have also found many people from all over Europe who I can now call good friends and enjoyed an amazing Greek summer.

Izabella Linuza, Irish/Latvian, 19 years old

Why did you want to participate in EVS?
I'm involved in an organisation called MARDI (Movement Against Racism Discrimination Intolerance) where we worked with the integration of asylum seekers into society through tribal drumming. And through that I found the importance of community spirit. I felt really blessed to have met these people, and wanted to get to know other cultures and see that although we have our differences; maybe we speak different languages, maybe we hold different values, but in the end we still have a common bond. Even if it's just a smile, or connecting through tribal drumming. I think it's so important to find that common bond so as to create harmony in our community.
So through this I found out about EVS, which really, really appealed to me. I think that the smallest things in life are the things that really matter, and coming to volunteer and help in any way possible is the most powerful thing.

Why ARCHELON and why sea turtles?
Ever since I was young I loved spending time with animals as most children if not all do, but as I got older, I seemed to have lost a bit of that connection as my mind is preoccupied with other things. But I know how important it is to commune with our animals so I wanted to come here and find again that childʼs connection. Sea turtles bring a certain serene vibe to the environment, and I love everything about them; Their shape, their character, the way they breath...their elegant movement.
I came here to help keep the species alive...as our saying goes 'WE CAN LIVE TOGETHER'.

How is your experience up to now?
EVS is a really amazing experience of non-formal learning. It's one of the best times of my life for sure. I have met so many new people from other countries, Ι have learned a new language, new culture, new way of living. I've gained independence as youth, new skills which I can now pass onto others.
I believe that everyone needs to experience something like this to learn & grow as a person. The Youths of Today need to learn about the beauty of community and working together as a team. Especially with this crisis we have here in Greece and also Ireland, we must realise that it is US who makes the difference. WE create OUR future. The power is in OUR hands. So WE have to work together.

Veronica Bengtsson, Swedish, 21 years old

Why did you want to participate in EVS?
I had been unemployed for over a year and heard about EVS volunteering from my job coach that works at my sending organization, I found out more about it and found it very interesting. I started to search a little myself but didnʼt find anything interesting that I wanted to do, then on one of my meetings with my job coach he talked about the Archelon project.

Why Archelon and why sea turtles?
I looked in to the project more and I got really interested, I didnʼt have that much time to decide though so since it was the only I had found interesting I accepted to go. I sent a message to Theoni and got accepted to come. Iʼm a big animal lover but sadly allergic to all animals with fur, so sea turtles were perfect!

How is your experience up to now?

I really enjoy my time here and will be sad to leave in august. I have learnt a lot both about the turtles but also about myself.


«Το σχέδιο αυτό χρηματοδοτήθηκε με την υποστήριξη της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής. Η παρούσα δημοσίευση [ανακοίνωση] δεσμεύει μόνο τον συντάκτη της και η Επιτροπή δεν ευθύνεται για τυχόν χρήση των πληροφοριών που περιέχονται σε αυτήν.»


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