How does volunteering look like in practice?

Nicola and Sandra

We are two volunteers doing European Voluntary Service - Sandra from Italy and Nicola from Scotland. We started our volunteering for the year with Nora in February. Our activities in the organization are quite different. Sandra makes more tasks in Czech doing administrative jobs including helping to organise the Kaleidoscope Competence conference in May, finding contacts for the gender sensitive education project, and transcribing interviews for gender audits. She has also helped with searching for a partner organisation in Italy for a collaborative project with Nora. Sandra attended workshop sessions regarding anti-discrimination and equality measures and legislation in the Czech Republic. Also she has had creative tasks such as assisting with the organisation of the International Women's Day event and creating a design for the organisations official Christmas message. Outside work with the organisation Sandra has been a vnoučata na přání-volunteering with seniors-repairing bikes and visiting a kindergarten to help with the integration of children. She also made Italian tandem language exchanges.

Nicola has been assisting with grant applications for projects regarding improving the political representation of women and the creation of a central European feminist summer school. She has been involved in the ongoing gender sensitive education project, taking minutes for Skype meetings, helping with the course and attending a meeting in Vienna with other project partners. Additionally she has made presentations about the gender pay gap, talking about the situation in the UK and Scotland and proofread English documents. Outwith activities with Nora, Nicola has been taking Czech language classes, joined the Brno Roller Derby team and the international hiking group, volunteered by helping with English for a client with Organizace Pro Pomoc Uprchlíkům and organised a Scottish evening to celebrate St Andrews Day.

Together we introduced a film screening of North Country at the Moravian Library, made a presentation about our home countries to primary children, went to the Feminist and Queer Camp in Tabor and attended the MeziMeze student gender conference. We have also managed to attend historical and cultural events in Brno such as festival RE:PUBLIKA, the Srpen 68 anniversary and the Signal Light festival in Prague. During our free time we managed to travel to other Czech cities in Moravia and Bohemia to visit the many Czech castles and see the differences between the provinces in food, nature and atmosphere. Doing EVS has given us the opportunity to develop professionally, improve our skills and meet fellow volunteers from other countries and cultures as well as getting to know the Czech Republic better.