2023. december 5., kedd

Hi, My name is Vilma and I am one of the new volunteers at the Filantrópia Charity Shop!

Since this is my first blog post, I thought I'd start by giving you a short background on myself and how I started volunteering.

This spring I graduated from high school in a small town in Sweden where Iv'e lived basically all my life. In high school I studied social and behavioral science and I also volunteered as part of the Red Cross Youth Association since the beginning of 2023. I have always been interested in people and personal development and had always considered the possibility of volunteering abroad as a way to combine both of these interests. So I decided to take what is called a "gap year" or basically a year off from doing anything school related to dive deeper into the world of volunteering.

I spent the summer at home, and in the beginning of September I went to Spain to participate in a team volunteering project that I found through the European Solidarity Corps. Together, I and the other volunteers painted a mural at a local hospital. I learned so much from this experience, even if the project was barely a month long. Both from all the interesting people I met but also about what it's like to live with other people in shared space and to do everything as a team. I knew that I wanted to continue volunteering when I got home, but this time I wanted to try a longer project. As if by chance, I scrolled past an ad on Facebook about the Filantrópia charity shop and not long after that the plane ticket to Budapest was booked.

Now I've been here a month and the strange thing is that I can hardly describe what I've done since then. Of course, I've also met a lot of nice and interesting people here, participated in workshops, been to some Christmas markets, went sightseeing and for the first time in my life bought my own washing detergent. Crazy right?!! It's been a lot of new impressions to say the least and I think it's only now that I can actually go to the grocery store without feeling overwhelmed by all the sounds, people and a completely foreign language. Important to mention is that I have had amazing help along the way from my flatmates who gave me the warmest welcome, Zsuzsa and Betsy from the store and my friends and family in Sweden who have supported me since day one.

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