My volunteering project at Tzama school comes to an end. It is the end of a wonderful year but it is above all the beginning of a new beautiful adventure as I decided to stay here in Alsaceand to continue working at the school. I am so glad and grateful the team offered me the opportunity to work as an educator from September on. I am happy I do not have to say goodbye to all the nice people I met here, to the children I built great relationships with, and to the beautiful region I did not have time to discover entirely yet.
In August 2020, just before arriving here, I wrote a letter to my future self. I read it a few days ago and I was moved by it. I was hoping to find answers to my questions, and I found way more than that. I was hoping that new doors would open, and I could not have imagined to have such a great job opportunity. I was hoping to feel good and to flourish in this project, and I did! I developed many different skills working in this project. Obviously, I mainly worked with the children and learned a lot about the alternative pedagogies we are using at the school (Montessori, Freinet, and forest schooling). I gained experience in teaching with these different methods. Moreover, I had the chance to develop some personal projects such as giving English classes to the children. I also learned a lot with the children about nature or German language for example! I was interested in all the topics they learned about this year and it often felt like going back to primary school… but in a dream school! I think I am jealous I did not have the chance to be in such a school when I was a kid! I loved working with the children, I learned so much from them, we had very enriching discussions and shared great moments together.
Besides working with the children, I also gained experience working in a team! I learned from the experienced teachers I am working with, but also from the different people working and volunteering at Tzama association. I discovered how an association and a private school work and what are the roles and tasks of everyone involved in its organization. I also learned from
the challenges we faced and the solutions we found. I am sure this knowledge will be useful as I will surely work or volunteer in the associative sector for my whole life! I realized how challenging it was to build a project, but this story of parents who had a dream about an
alternative school for their children and who decided to create it is very inspiring! I also discovered how efficient a team of motivated people could be. We organized various participative worksite days at the school and I was amazed by the work we accomplished!
Even if there are no huge cultural differences between Belgium and France, I learned about the Alsace region, its history and its culture. I met people from different parts of France but also from other countries as I was working with two other volunteers from Spain and from Germany and as I met volunteers from other projects in the region.
On the personal side, even if it was not my first time alone in another country, it was the first time I was living abroad for such a long time. I learned a lot about myself and about life with three other people in a shared house, with a proper job schedule, with responsibilities… I
worked quite a lot on personal development as I was surrounded by inspiring people who had skills and knowledge to share!
To sum up, I am extremely happy with my project, I do not regret anything and I am so excited to continue this adventure. I hope my experience can inspire all the young people who are a bit lost, who do not know what to do, what to study, what job they want to do… I am sure everyone can find their way and find a place where he/she feels happy and fulfilled. I am very
thankful for the opportunity I got to participate in the European solidarity corps and I recommend it to everyone!