Gemeinsam in Europa

Voices of Volunteers

One of the most powerful tools of promoting volunteering, sharing good practice and recognising the value of volunteering in developing skills and qualifications is to give volunteers a voice. Our experiences show that this is an effective way for volunteers to reflect about their experiences and for others to get inspired and engage in volunteering.

Here you can find out more about what volunteering means to people across Europe:

  • Adela Pintea – EVS volunteer of Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre in Prague, Czech Republic


    The life of an EVS volunteer in IYNF (International Young Nature Friends) is very different from any other organization. And even though this is an aspect critiqued by many, for me this project is exactly what I needed: the opportunity to learn and grow on a proffesional level, by using the things I already knew.

    International Young Nature Friends is an international organisation that was created more than 30 years ago, with members from 16 countries. For such a big network, a clear and constant communication is extremely important, and here is where my work intervenes.

    My work is to ensure the visibility of our organization by using methods of communication and promotion such as the official website, the social media instruments (Facebook and Twitter), newsletter, etc. Besides this online instruments, I am also working on a magazine (Tube) that is published once every 3 months and on the distribution of different promotional materials.

    This would be in just a few words my job description.Besides this work in the office, we are helping with different internationl projects (trainings, youth exchanges, etc.) and this is the moment when for some reason we end up in strange places doing unusual things.

    The funniest, most challenging, interesting and strange at the same time moment from my EVS project was the circus workshop, organised in the first training in Prague. We had to juggle a plate on a stick, walk on a string and balance a ball. It was not the best feeling I had in my life, but going out of my comfort zone gave me,afterwards, the courage to do a lot of things I never thought I would try.


  • Alexandra Buglea – Volunteer of the Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre


    I graduated the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj, Politic and Administrative Science Faculty, last year. I chose to work as a volunteer because I’ve always enjoyed getting involved in activities and projects as diverse as possible. I believe that volunteering is helping me learn new things and at the same time discover abilities and qualities I didn’t knew I had before.

    As a volunteer I had the chance to learn and experiment all the stages of organizing a public event. Trying to help others and experimenting all these new things helped me understand which the path I want to take in life is and where I want to be in the near future.

    At the Volunteer Centre I’ve learned that working in a team offers you a lot of self-confidence and security, increasing at the same time the sense of responsibility. Working with people that aim at helping others and leave an impact in the community is a great way of spending your free time and offers me a lot of personal satisfaction.


    Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj Napoca

    str. Virgil Fulicea, nr. 1

    400022 Cluj Napoca Romania

    Tel. +40264 431 411, Fax: +40264 412 897


  • Anca Chira – EVS volunteer in the Czech Republic

    Organization: Bunkr

    Period: 1.05.2011 – 1.05.2012

    Ahoj!!!! I have been a member of the Bunkr family for 2 months now, but I can say that I started feeling at home after about one! The title of my project fits so well with my experience because not only that we were given the opportunity to meet the Check culture here but we also have the opportunity to get to know other volunteers from Brazil, Germany and France (colleagues in the same project).


    Although we are very different from each other, we manage to survive without any victims on either side! As I was saying, I started my project 2 months ago but I’m already thinking that I only have only 10 months left! I am a volunteer in an organization for young people between 13 and 20 years of age, mostly Roma ethnics. What we offer them is a place where they can feel safe, where they can find information and advice to help them in their everyday life and of course, games and funny activities, because first of all they are kids! My exact role in the organization is to take care of the activities and games, because I do not speak Czech (not yet!) and since my communication with them is more difficult the social workers are in charge with counseling. Besides offering the teenagers the possibility of coming to one of our clubs (Trinec, Bohumin or Jablunkov) street-work also involves our visit to their playgrounds, which means that one social worker and one volunteer go to their playgrounds 2 – 3 times a week. Although Czech has been my biggest challenge so far, I hope that I will master it well enough, because unfortunately, only a few young people speak English here and the language barrier is quite considerable! EVS is a real opportunity and I recommend that nobody miss it; it gives you the possibility to help while you get helped, to discover a multitude of things about yourself and about what exists around you, different places and also to seal new friendships! I have said this and I repeat myself: we, volunteers, are a different species and I already have a great deal of memories and knowledge I have gained in this experience!


    Centrul de Voluntariat Cluj Napoca

    str. Virgil Fulicea, nr. 1

    400022 Cluj Napoca Romania

    Tel. +40264 431 411, Fax: +40264 412 897


  • Anca Mihesan – Volunteer of the Cluj-Napoca Volunteer Centre


    My name is Anca Mihesan and I’m a volunteer in the wonderful city of Cluj Napoca, Romania.

    I started working as a volunteer in 2006 in the Cluj Napoca Volunteer Center. Since then I have done a lot of work (mostly helping with the administrative things) and I had the chance to participate in many events organized by the centre: 5 editions of the National Volunteer between 2007-2012, Gala Awards for Community Involvement in 2004 and 2005, Living Library etc. During these events I had the opportunity to interact with other volunteers, both local and international. Now I’m responsible for the matching of the new volunteers with local organizations.

    In February 2011 I had the first chance to see how volunteer system works in other countries. I participate in an international meeting with partners from 4 countries (Germany, England, Czech Republic, Italy). I was surprise to see that some of them have the same problems and way of working with volunteers and I was very glad to receive tips and advices from those with more experience.

    I’m very happy that I started working as a volunteer because this experience gave me the chance to meet a lot of new people and to learn so many news things.

    entrul de Voluntariat Cluj Napoca

    str. Virgil Fulicea, nr. 1

    400022 Cluj Napoca Romania

    Tel. +40264 431 411, Fax: +40264 412 897


  • Christel Hoch – Volunteering for Bahnhofsmission (organization for rail travelers in need), Germany


    I enjoy the contact with the people. If you hear other peoples’ stories you start thinking about your own life and see how lucky you actually are. It is really nice to see when people come back and tell us how we were able to influence their life in a positive way. When someone found a job or a nice apartment with our help, then I am happy.

  • Emanuela Rossi - Associazione dal Basso, Italy


    As a member of the Associazione dal Basso, I am part of a team responsible (in Arzano near Neaples) to work with young people on formal education. Five years ago, in a seminar, I was asked how I became a volunteer. After a moment I stated that I thought I was born a volunteer. In this part of Italy there is many solidarity between the people with few opportunity.


    The most important teaching tool that I have had is that through volunteering you can learn little but important things: odd jobs, cooking a meal, driving elders to appointments or for groceries…Now their grandchildren and greats are sharing the same sense of "doing the right thing". Learning through solidarity is very important.

  • Emilio Walter – Law student, volunteering for Rock Your Life eV


    “For me volunteering is about working and living together and opening up. I have to talk to my coachee, the pupil I will accompany for the next two years to help him get a good start in working life, in order to find out what he wants and what his aims are.
    The relationship is about trust and honesty and through these conversations you learn a lot about yourself and it helped me gain perspective about my own life.

  • Fred - SAM (Social Activation Model) Case Study, UK


    Meet Fred.

    Fred is a SAM participant who moved from being a service user to becoming a volunteer and then finding employment. This is Fred’s story:

    “Starting in April 2000 I suffered from 8 years of severe physical health problems and mental health problems. This has also left me with reduced physical stamina and fatigue. I used to work on a farm, so enjoy the outdoors and I have always had an interest in nature and the environment. I see an advisor at Family Action; she referred me to the project, as she felt it would be very beneficial and suitable for me. I have overcome many barriers such as:

    • Lacking in self‐confidence. Lack of structure to the week. Managing my physical stamina.
    • Getting out and about and socialising. Being more punctual.
    • It has made me realise that there are other suitable employment roles for me, as going back to full time farm work is not realistic, due to the long hours involved and the stress involved.

    Through participating in the project, it has enabled me to gain part time employment; this has given me a lot more confidence in myself.”

    From a family member:

    “Fred is more confident and he is far more positive about life in general now. This is due to his participation in the Eco Routes/SAM project. It has made him realise that there are other jobs available, that he is capable of doing. This has improved his confidence in himself. It has surprised me to find he developed the patience and confidence to deal with the other participants on the project.”

  • Gelsomina Rina - Italy


    I’m working with the organization “casarella” for 4 years now. My work is mainly to offer support to immigrants and help kids with their homework, but sometimes we do also some activities in school to facilitate the integration process. Through CSV we have the chance to promote volunteering in the local schools, this year for example we spoke a lot about Europe and the importance of feeling part of the community.

    I am 33 years old and being a volunteer is getting harder and harder. Now, with the economical crisis there is an increase in the need for services. Sometimes everything that is happening demotivates me and makes me consider stopping volunteering. People are becoming more self-centred bu I hope in the future with more solidarity I will still be able to give something back.

  • Johannes Breit – Volunteering for Malteser, Germany


    “I met a lot of new people through the work for the Malteser I would not have met normally. You get to interact with people of all ages and all social backgrounds and with every encounter you learn something new and of course you improve your social skills. It is nice to see that your work is needed and valued.”

  • Joscha Wirtz – EVS volunteer in Cluj Napoca Volunteer Centre


    After several beautiful months of EVS there is one ability, which should be perfected by now: Effective Small Talk. ;)

    My Name is Joscha Wirtz; I am 19 years old and from Germany. I am a Volunteer within the European Voluntary Service for one year and I am working together with Marlene Albrecht as Assistant Teachers in the local School “Ioan Bob”. We are teaching German Language, Multicultural Education and Music/Art in 12 classes, from grade one to four. My own school life is not far away for me, I finished High School in 2011 and I will start to study Biotechnology when I return to Germany at the end of 2012.

    I will not even try to put all the things in here, which let me chose Romania. Romania is from my Point of View a beautiful, multisided and agitating country. This impression is not at last influenced by the wonderful people I met here. Romania is my perfect choice.

    About EVS you can say a lot… But only one thing, which is definitely true: Do it.

  • Klára Šmídová, Czech Republic


    Every evening, Jiří gives me a drop-call, just to let me know he thinks of me. Then I know everything is all right. Our friendship has grown really nice! My involvement is not just doing some work for somebody once a week, it’s mutual. There’s a relationship, running hidden in our lives. Whether I once have a people-assisting profession or not, I won’t be afraid to offer others my help, just because I’ve learned that by giving, I’m gaining as well.“

    Klára Šmídová (21), a special pedagogy student at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, whos original focus for a volunteer engagement were orphan children or disabled peers, has been helping Jiří, a blind seventy-year old man since she was 17 years old. Last year, her engagement was acknowledged by a nomination for the national Křesadlo price for volunteers. In the times when we speak of inter-generation conflicts and alienation, of atomization of the society and a crisis of solidarity, her example is extremely important for others.

  • Marek Scholz (24 years), student at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic


    Why try volunteering? It is an opportunity for remarkable relaxation, self-realisation, having new experiences, meeting people with the same view of the world. I get a chance to see the relationship from a different perspective – the unbelievable strength of the relationship between the child and parent surprises me.

    I hope my volunteering activity makes somebody happy. At the same time, I consider volunteering to be one of my needs. At this time I say I visit Motol as a bar – I meet my friends that I care about. I think I learned something new about work and communication with children. I like what my colleague said about his motivation very much: “I started to visit Motol so that I didn´t have to be sick of myself.”

    My dream or plan for the future is to summon the courage to keep my own direction, to learn to distinguish the important things from marginal, the profound from the superficial, the good from the bad. Not to get ground up by the machine. Everybody has the power to shape and influence people and things around themselves. This power can be bigger than we might often think.“

    Marek Scholz (24 years), student at Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. As a volunteer, he has been visiting the oncology department of the Motol Hospital in Prague to play and talk to children every week for several years.

  • My experience - Why I joined SAM, UK


    Following my discharge from hospital, I was left with no helpful support & many services had been closed. ‘Chancing’ upon SAM I was drawn by their tag to promote creativity. The Arts had always been part of my life before I was ill: had I still got an artistic bent? I didn’t know but SAM gave me a chance to explore this in a safe environment, with like-minded people where I was not regarded as ‘weird.’ It is situated near the town centre so it’s local to me & easily accessible; this is important as I only attend things which are within walking distance.


    What have I gained from being part of SAM?


    • Feel part of something, depression isolates us.

    • Nowhere near as scared of talking to people.

    • Made friends who I socialise with outside SAM.

    • It’s had a positive effect on relationships outside CSV.


    • had courage to try new things – web design/designing & making Christmas cards/ writing for radio/organising new Art exhibition, designing all publicity.

    • Increased knowledge & ability.

    • Able to apply what I have learned, eg Photoshop & Publisher for exhibition.

    • This has brought me satisfaction & fulfilment.


    • Feel hopeful about my future.

    • Confidence & esteem has grown.

    • More able to speak up.

    • Concentration & focus have increased.


    • ‘Paper achievements’ useful for CV.       

    • Support & training in conducive environment so I can progress at my own pace.

    • Volunteering, which impacts on all the above.

    • Desire to give something back to the community.

  • My journey - Hello, I am going to be telling you my journey so far with The SAM Project, UK


    I started volunteering at CSV in my first year of finishing university where I studied an art degree. 2009 was my year where I was on a search for opportunities and experience to get my foot in the door of the art world.

    My decision to make 2009 my ‘gap’ year was because I wanted to make use the path I had started to create for myself was really the one I wanted for the rest of my career and I felt I need to answer some questions that kept popping up such as:

    Do I really want to be in the creative world anymore? Can I pretend anymore that I enjoy the wonderful and creative, yet strange and quirky world of art? Or If am going to be creative then I need something secure therefore can I handle the ridge path, yet competitive world of graphic design?

    So I went on a mission to gain some work experience until I felt I had enough to commence the battle into graphic design. Starting in late May 2009 after my first placement of five months I was in full force on the crusade for opportunities, determined not to lose motivation. CSV was the first opportunity that I was told about after finishing my first placement and was bursting with energy to be involved in something new. After my first appointment Andy the volunteer recruit I was overwhelmed by what this building held. I was excited by all the projects that I could get involved in and have the opportunity not to only use my skills that I have gained but to also gain new one’s.

    As soon as I became a Volunteer I was called up by Faye and was asked to design the logo, the promotion posters and flyers for The SAM Project as I have graphic design skills and this was what I was building on. Meeting Faye and everyone at CSV was exciting and very welcoming as well as fast moving and busy. I soon realised that CSV is like baking a cake. There are a lot of ingredients but once put together it is the best thing you have ever had. I embraced CSV and the variety of projects by getting involved in others too, such as ICR Radio where I trained to be a radio presenter, I help other projects that needed graphic design work and made new connections.

    However The SAM Project is the one that I have had the most involvement in and have been enjoying every moment. I was naturally interested in the project because of personal experience and it is something new that I have never heard of happening for people that suffer from mental health issues and I often think this group of society is forgotten. To know I was going to be helping people have a new opportunity that focuses on creativity and confidence building, showed me that the creativity industry dose not have to in London and be this big competitive world and knowing that I would be soon entering that world gave me a bit of happiness to know that I had first done something that helped others before I got to caught up in the world of deadlines.

    With this I got involved in the web-design course where I could build on my own skills as well as help service users. I thought it was a great way to help, gain a new skill and have a new experience. On the course I enjoyed the variety of people I got to meet and felt like I was really apart of the group. Being able to help people that found parts of the course difficult was also satisfying and being apart of the group made it more interesting to learn. In the meantime I also attended the mentoring training, which I passed and now have a mentee. Working one-to-one with my mentee has given me confidence and I feel like I am doing my best to help him achieve his goals and that in time it will build up his confidence too. Becoming a mentor and my journey so far on the project, has now shown me what I really want to do with my life. I have realised that helping others is what I want and have decided to apply to become a Midwife. I want to carry on supporting people, giving them confidence, guidance and empowerment. To know I would be doing this in life is what excites me and knowing that I am doing a little of it with my mentee already, is what I have enjoyed most about The SAM Project.

  • My story - CSV Media Clubhouse® The SAM Project, UK


    Around about a year ago I was suffering from an illness that I didn’t quite understand, and maybe I never will, I imagine that it had been with me for some time.

    It was as if I had became possessed by something, none of the voices in the head or any of that other stuff, it was just a subtle progression into self destruction losing all that I held dear to me, my family, friends everything.
    It was then I decided to do the coward thing, I took my life.
    Two days later I awoke in hospital with an immense pain in my chest apparently it was due to the fact that I was constantly being thumped in the ribcage and the electric shock things, it seemed I had almost done a good job with the suicide thing.
    I had tubes in every orifice that was available plus needles, drips and various other things, and apparently I died for awhile, not for too long, 4 minutes and 35 seconds to be precise so I was told.
    I was put into ward and the curtains were pulled around and there they stayed for five days anyway after a long term of contemplation in a very hard hospital bed I made a decision not to do that again
    In a hurry.
    Once released from hospital I underwent a serious of interviews and soul searching questions by various learned professionals from various different organisations, in most part all that happened was they made me cry.
    I was referred to C.S.V. where I was introduced to a wonderful lady by the name of Faye, after a long chat I was then enrolled into to the Sam project, within a short time I was meeting lots of people and starting to make many friends.
    I was then introduced to many ongoing projects within the Sam project; I found these projects very rewarding, working on outdoor projects within the local communities and involving myself with various social groups.
    I was also given the opportunity to develop my skills in graphic design and photography, and I have just recently achieved a certificate in web design, and at this moment of time I am in the process of creating a ten week class in teaching people how to use adobe Photoshop, hopefully at the end of the course I will be able to obtain a teachers certificate.
    I am also involved within the radio side of CSV profiling various bands and their histories and broadcasting to the world, I find this very rewarding.
    Also I have been given the opportunity by CSV to develop my photography aspirations and at this time I have photo
    exhibitions pending.
    I have achieved so much since I have been at CSV and I hope I will be able to pass what I have been able to achieve onto others who pass through CSV.
    My confidence in myself is awesome; I am doing things now that I would never dream I would do.
    My family are proud of what I have achieved over the time I have been here, and now I have a 11 month old granddaughter, and to think at one point in my dark days I may never have been able to meet her if my plans would have come to fruition.
    In conclusion CSV and everyone within CSV have turned my life around; I can now go on to achieve greater things.
    I believe my demons have been seriously dealt with and had
    A good bashing; I do not think they will be back.
    P.S.  I laugh a lot.

  • Patrick Reitinger, Law student – Volunteering for the Asyl-Café (asylum café), Germany


    “The most rewarding thing is the smile of the refugees, when you were able to help them and could make a difference for them and see that it is meaningful work. The refugees are very thankful and show their gratitude. Volunteering helps you to see something different and get to know your environment better. I was able to meet new people and see a whole new side of Passau, the city where I study.”

  • Robin – Czech Republic


    I had a lot of fun on my volunteer stays and have learned a lot during them. I thought I would just be running around the playground and play football with kids. The NGO I worked for focuses mostly on the leisure time of the kids of the poorest parts of the city – the slums. The emphasis is mostly on football, which is very popular in Kenya.


    My most impressive experience of the stay is connected with the organization of a twoday tournament for 32 teams. In fact, I actually got to play football only occasionally, on weekends. My main task was to develop fundraising with my colleagues – i.e. how to get money from large and rich companies.

    That Kenyan organization I was working for is recognized all over the world. It was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We, the volunteers, tried to convince its workers to use their prestige also to convince the sponsors. And it was not easy. It was easier to talk the rich companies into contributing or giving us some equipment that they did not need any more than to rope the regional coordinators to get involved in fundraising at all. They are used to organizing football matches, planning leisure time for the kids and that’s it. They would not have the time to go and negotiate a help with a playground adaptation or funding the construction of a football club building.”

    Robin Ujfaluši (32), former volunteer of the Global Education Network of Young Europeans Programme in Kenya, currently works as the director of the Association for Voluntary Activities INEX, a leading organization in the area of international volunteering. In 2011, he acted as the Ambassador of the European Year of Volunteering in the Czech republic.

  • Rodolfo Esposito, Italy


    I’m young, I’m 24. When I arrived in combination “PIXEL” the other volunteers were incredulous. Not many young approach to volunteering. I work in information and communication. The work in the preparation of our paper is very stimulating. I’m also learning a lot and I hope that in future this experience is also useful in the work.

  • Silvie – Czech Republic


    The beginning of my volunteering carrier was quite interesting: five years ago, my friend registered me, without my knowledge, for a volunteer training organized by the volunteer centre ADRA in Frýdek – Místek. I was angry with her a little bit, but then I thought I could try it.

    I started attending to an orphanage, and even though I had spent a number of great days full of fun and joy, I also realized how complicated the relations are among children who were not with their families. I experienced the joy of healing as well as the pain of unhandled crises, when the kids fought for my attention in a very hurtful way.

    After three years of attending to the orphanage I completed a course on social care. When I started looking for a job in this field, I got an offer to work with mentally handicapped people. I was a little afraid of the environment, because I had never met these people. Therefore, I accepted the offer to come to know them as a volunteer. Then, it only took me some ten seconds to realize that I did not have to be afraid of these people. Soon, they won my favour by their unaffectedness and warm interest. Even now, they still do not forget to ask how I am, to ask me when I’m going to come again, and to wish me a good day or weekend. They’re my angels.

    Eventually, volunteering even helped me in looking for a job – now, I have been working as a field worker of independent accommodation support – I help people with a light mental handicap integrate to the society and I try to teach them as much independence as possible. I assist them in communicating with offices, doctors, in claiming warranties, filling in forms, but I also help them to fix the toilette, other times we cook together. I feel most rewarded when they are encouraged to try to solve problems themselves.

    I would like to tell those who are considering participating in some volunteering program that until I tried volunteering, I had not known that volunteering was that something that was missing in my life. So, if somebody’s got the feeling that they’re missing something in their life, it may well be volunteering. Try to give others some of your time and smile even though you know it’s for free.”

    Silvie Juřicová (37) can serve as an example of a person, whose voluntary engagement with orphan children eventually led her to a career of professional social worker with mentally handicapped people.

  • Ursula Bachhuber – Volunteering for Arbeitskreis Vilshofener Asylbewerber_innen (working group for the Vilshofen asylum seeker), Germany


    “For me learning is a byproduct of volunteering. I learned how to organize our meetings and how to talk to the press to be heard. The most important thing, however, is the ability to change something. It gives your life a (new) meaning and rewards you in different ways. You can make use of your experiences and actively shape someone else’s future.”

  • Ulrike Asenbauer - Sprachpatenprojekt (Language Mentors), Germany


    Being a language mentor is still a lot of fun for me. Every week I'm looking forward to meet my two mentees. Volunteering is an enrichment for me and I'm very greatful for that.

  • Ulla Möllinger - Sprachpatenprojekt (Language Mentors), Germany


    ‘I find it very, very interesting that I‘ve changed since I‘ve been working with refugees, I relativised my way of life and my demands‘

  • Valeria Remo, Italy


    Two years ago I started volunteering with CSV Napoli. I wanted to be useful to the community and fielding my skills. Today I am happy with this choice. I work with children and education in theater. The guys with me have histories of domestic violence and crime. My dream and to bring these guys to gain experience in a European country. I will work to do this with the CSV Napoli.

  • Varios volunteers – UK


    How have I been empowered?

    • Feel important part is other people seeing potential in me, mental health sufferers struggle to believe any good in themselves & lack confidence.

    • Learning new skills & finding positive application for them in my life.


    • On back of doing web design, I made Christmas cards last year on computer. SAM used these cards as their own. Their approval & confidence in me made me feel confident to try something else.
    • Helped organise Art exhibition, wrote publicity, designed posters & flyers. Part of this is about challenging negative perceptions of mental health, raising awareness, & boosting artists esteem.

    • Given practical support as well as encouragement to achieve this.

    • Went to Brussels conference to speak about how SAM has helped me.

    • Completing Mentoring Course & not feeling out of my depth.

    • Recognition or knowledge by SAM that these challenges are within my capabilities otherwise I would spiral down.

    What have I gained?

    • Many new skills.

    • Interest in wanting to return to creativity.

    • Have been recognised as existing rather than disappearing into the background.

    • Have something of worth to offer that others & myself can benefit from.

    • Feel I can make a difference eg, interest & comments at Art on the Move exhibition.

    • I am not useless.

    • Ability to work with others.

    • Feel part of a group, not isolated.

    • Great sense of achievement.

    • Regained lot of lost confidence, raised esteem.

    • Confidence to continue trying more or new things.

  • Voices of mentors and mentees- Big Brothers Big Sisters programme, Lithuania


    „You are the best person in the world after my mama and maybe after my grandma“ – said Martynas, 8 years old, to his mentor Vaidas. In „Big Brothers Big Sisters“ programme they are together 10 months.

    „I wanted to know what kids are like these days and to find out can I, so adult, be just a friends to one of them. Those two hours per week spent with Martynas bring so much fun to my life“. – Vaidas, 29 years old, merried, engineer, mentor in „Big Brothers Big Sisters“ programme, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

    „My son doesn‘t have a father, but he has Vaidas who is a great man example for him. I don‘t know how they find so many things to talko r play together, but I see Martynas happier than ever!“ – Mentee‘s Martynas mother Laura (single parent).


    „I always wanted to have a best friend and now Edita is the very best friend I ever dreamed of!“ – said Gabrielė, 11 years old girl with seeing disability.

    „I feel so useful and having a new pleasant duty when Gabrielė came in my life. It is so great to see that she trust me and can share with me her worries, trubles, wishes and ideas. Yes, i think we are real friends. This programme is the way how you can feel fore useful and appreciated.“ – Mentor Edita, 31 years old, married, administrator of the restaurant. „Big Brothers Big Sisters“ programme, in Vilnius, Lithuania.


    „I am so happy I met you!“ – Mentor Ieva, 33 years old, is a mentor for Kotryna for last 5 years.

  • Voices of mentors and mentees - UK


    “The Grandmentor scheme is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to young people in the community and lend them a helping hand”.  Grandmentor

    "When I met Sarah I was at a low level, support from Sarah changed everything. It’s changed my life in a way I did not expect” Mentee

    “Ben is a joy, I’ve seen him blossom and become much more confident. It’s been a great privilege to see someone become happier and make their way in life” Grandmentor

    "Having a mentor helps me to stay focused and work minded, we set goals together which help me to achieve what I want and progress in my life” Mentee

    “When I met Tess I was at a low level, support from Tess changed everything. It’s changed my life in a way I did not expect” Mentee

    "Helen has a lot of ambition and wanted a mentor to help guide and also motivate her, which I’ve been able to do. The Grandmentor scheme is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to young people in the community and lend them a helping hand.” Grandmentor

  • Vojtech – Czech Republic


    Still, I like volunteering a lot, so I do not regret the huge amount of time and money the service to the nature has cost me so far.

    Despite all the troubles and not very optimistic environmental situation, the work of a ranger gave me lots of positive things: I have seen wildlife areas I would never have seen otherwise, I have met numbers of great people who were glad to hear my explanation. I like when people ask me what plants grow here and what interesting things they might get to see here. The same applies to Jeseníky. There, I. as a ranger, even had the chance to walk places the regular visitors have no chance of getting to. I met fellow rangers, people who really care for the environment.”

    Vojtěch Novotný (65), retired electrician from Uničov, has been working as a voluntary ranger in Jeseniky for more than 20 years.