M.A. EYS Student Portfolio

My Expectations

by Friederike Rochowanski

As a recent high school graduate I embarked on my personal “career” in 2000: I started to volunteer with the European Voluntary Service in Thessaloniki[1] – the city which is rightfully dubbed “the jewel of the north Greece” for its lively streets, vibrant night life and cultural signature. Besides looking for the daily entertainment, tasting mouthwatering and most delicious food and savoring the Greek way of life (which I still strictly follow), initially my intention in EVS was to “change the world”. :) But of course, it was me who was being changed, whereas the world still continued to be the same. :)

Nevertheless, my first “career” steps in Greece have been enriched by having opportunity to get familiar with activities and projects implemented by several organizations. And, I still vividly remember how much my surprise was when I observed that resources and quite big amounts of money had been wasted on projects that had not brought any fruitful results. I recognized that projects frequently deviated from their prime objectives.

Generally, I enjoyed youth work very much during the volunteer term and already by that time I was convinced that I would continue working in the same field. However, based on what I had already seen, I was willing to do it “more professional” :) – so my original plan was, right after my stay in Greece, to turn the EVS inside out. (If you want to start complaining about “Youth on the Move” now, don’t complain to me, since I haven’t made it to the Commission yet to change anything).

Meanwhile, as you can imagine, my plans have been slightly changed and I am not that “professional” yet, but my goals remain the same. I decided to apply to the EYS short course, because I expect that it will help me to professionalize my work. I look forward to having lively debates on policies, theories and researches with the EYS-team and fellow students, with whom, additionally, I expect to exchange practical experiences and who knows, I might also be able to contribute to the development in the field of youth with my personal input.

[1] As I found out, there are several people from Greece in the group, even some from Thessaloniki, which makes me really very happy! Let’s see if I still can communicate with my poor Greek. Looking forward to it! Gia sas!

One comment on ‘My Expectations’

Kiki Deliyanni — 18 January 2011 20:47
Many thanks for these interesting and vivid comments, Rieke. I agree with your point, that in Greece a lot of money is spent for actions, the final results of which are not visible short after the end of the funding. This is due to the fact that policy makers, especially those working in areas like education, youth, multiculturalism and gender equality, don't care to transform funded projects into permanent policies. The situation is remaining the same and things don't seem to ameliorate until today. As to your expectations from the short course, we will do our best to give you all the opportunities to participate in debates, meet people, work on youth issues and exchange knowledge and experience