Margarita Rohoza: "Volunteering in Hnizdo"


After 9 months as an ESC volunteer in the Hnizdo Association, I became a completely different person. Every volunteer in his first aspirations has his ups and downs and I wasn't an exception. At first, it offers lots of opportunities for realization and community service in the educational field in Czech schools and kindergartens, and eventually you join the local events and celebrations that make you feel a part of their small, but warm society. You forge connections with fellow volunteers, local community members, and host families, creating a global network of friends and contacts.

Most of my impression lied in kindergarten Lednacek with its creativity, teaching methods and general approach to upbringing. I have never seen such devoted guides and staff that are passionate about their work and personal mission. My second impression was held in the secondary schools with Montessori system, like in Zahrada and Jasan, where the program is based on a general development of kids at their own pace. It showed me not only how living and working in a foreign culture teaches you to be more culturally sensitive and aware but how to appreciate and respect differences in beliefs, values, and traditions, which can enhance your intercultural competence.

Being exposed to the struggles and hardships faced by others can foster a deeper sense of empathy and compassion. You may find yourself more willing to help those in need even after returning home.Volunteering abroad exposes you to new cultures, languages, and customs. It's a chance to step out of your comfort zone and truly immerse yourself in a different way of life. This can be both challenging and rewarding as you learn to navigate unfamiliar situations.

Finally, volunteering abroad creates lasting memories and stories that you'll carry with you throughout your life. The people you meet, the experiences you have, and the lessons you learn will stay with you forever. It can be a life-changing experience that leaves you with a broader perspective, a sense of purpose, and a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of our world.