A Unique Place to Call Home - EVS Experience in India

Being an EVS Volunteer is not only living in another country and meeting new people, but also a great journey to know yourself better. When I was packing my luggage and later saying goodbye to my family and friends, I could not imagine that a few months in India would change my life from inside out. I strongly believed that my decision to accept the challenge to be an EVS volunteer in Ananya Trust, an organisation that is taking care of underprivileged children through non-formal education was the best decision I ever made and the best investment. Now, after 5 months, I can easily observe how many new things I have learnt and the changes I experienced in my personal and professional development.

My project is a residential one, where during the week you are living together with 60 kids on a campus. Sometimes it is overwhelming and causes a lot of frustration and stress, but as soon as you see the smile on their faces, you realise how lucky you are, and all the negatives effects go away. Living together gave me also a huge opportunity to understand their life stories, cultural differences and managing and solving problems in a different way. Working and teaching in Ananya is truly one of the most heart-warming and enjoyable opportunities of my life. The kids are so eager to learn and find out new information about the world, my country and India, which made it interesting for me to provide them with knowledge and education and my experience. During classes, it is not only about me teaching them, but also about teaching each other and doing things together as a family.

I also started to run regularly with the kids, which is a part of their daily routine. For the first time in my life, I participated in running a Marathon, and after preparing myself with the kids for only 3 months, I was able to run 10km. It was a great experience, where I could challenge myself and overcome my weakness

I have learned a lot during these past months: giving classes and workshops, speaking in public, making new friends, catching new opportunities, travelling to new places and in a different way, learning Indian languages. I have built a life that will be difficult to leave behind. Even if in front of me there are still a few more months to be in India and explore this intriguing country, I can already tell that: the most beautiful thing in this project and the biggest lesson is that, these kids give you what is most valuable for them, which is their love.

Joanna Dziwisz