I needed to move, to change, to breath fresh air

I believe that in life there is a time for everything and this year for me it was time to leave and start a new adventure.

My name is Luisa, I’m 24 years old and I come from Turin in Italy, where I spent all of my life until 3 months ago when I came here in Malta.

For some years I had the desire to leave but every time there was something that kept me from doing it, but during the last years something inside me has changed and I had no more excuses for not doing it.

My word was becoming small and without any stimulus. I needed to move, to change, to breath fresh air and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to launch myself into a new project with enthusiasm.

Inspire, in the true sense of the word, has been and it’s being for me source of inspiration.

I studied in Italy in the field of educational and rehabilitation mainly for children and adults with mental health problems, so for me working in Inspire is not just a beautiful volunteering experience but also a great opportunity to continue to learn and to grow up in a personal and professional way.

In fact Inspire is an organization that offer many services and programs for helping people with different type of disabilities to improve their quality of life. As a volunteer we have to support therapists and professionals during the activities in all

of the different contexts present in the center like sensory rooms, therapeutic horses riding, hydrotherapy program and social skills program.

Here, the most beautiful thing is the inclusion of diversities and you can have experience of this not only during the work but also living with the other volunteers from different nationalities. We also have a lot of free time so we can spend a lot of time together discovering the island, knowing the common and the different things about our cultures, having fun together…

It’s amazing how much you can learn and share each other becoming, just in a few time, part of a real beautiful family always in progress!

It’s amazing how to get involved and make and know new things make you feel alive.

I am going to stay here in Malta for one year, but time run fast when i’m feeling good!

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I’m improving myself in every way…

Hi,
My name is Ödül, I’m 25 years old and I’m coming from Turkey.
Before I come Malta, I was doing master in Political Science and International Relationship. When I finished my lessons; I started to look for EVS projects, than I found Inspire. After some phone calls and e-mails, I decided to paused my school, than I came to Malta work for this Project.
The first time in my life, I’m working with people with disabilities. I was always know that this is really important area in our lives. Also when I started to work I realized that working with people with disabilities too important and hard. I knew that since I decided to come to Malta that this experience would have a lot of positive things for me.
I have really good friends in here. Because of Inspire’s warm and nice atmosphere I never felt alone. received_1725443924168554

Whenever I need some help about sickness or anything else Daniela and Ina and my friends helped me. Since I’ve been here we went to travel other countries; we organized BBQ parties, camping etc. I feel so happy about all of them.
Malta is really small island but if you like living in small and quiet places like me; Malta is the best place to live. In here I found new hobbies like making bracelets  I’m improving myself in every way. I’m learning other cultures and I’m learning new things from my friends almost everyday. Now I’m more positive and patient!

 

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..I will be happy …I am enormously happy here…

Manuel Acón

When you decide to leave, you have many doubts, a terrible vertigo and a ton of incontestable questions; How the country will be, who will I meet, I will like it, it will look like what I imagine, I will be happy …

I arrived in Malta five months ago. Following the steps of an educational project in which I was really interested. It was about working in a center that provides assistance to children with functional diversity, most of them with autism.

After these months here, I have managed to go desgranando and discover some of the answers to those primary doubts that threaten before the game, with unequal results.

I will begin by affirming that I am enormously happy here, both because of the life and human experience that I am experiencing and because of the project I am carrying out. Which is developed in different areas, from multisensory rooms, to therapy with horses, passing swimming pools and gyms.

Normally we work from Monday to Friday and, in the case of working one day during the weekend, we are given one day off during the week. It is not an excessive burden of work and, in addition, every so often you rotate through the different programs within the project, with which the work becomes less monotonous and routine. In addition, it allows you to have plenty of free time, or combine it with other hobbies or concerns. So, Malta is also offering me the opportunity to get to know myself, to relax, to read the books I had been putting off for a long time and to have enough time for myself not to know what to do with it.

In total, we are around about twenty volunteers of different nationalities. Each of us starts and ends your project on different dates, with which, you are continuously learning to say goodbye and having to receive new people. However, this does not prevent you from creating great friendships or relationships. Because in fact, they are made, and it is another of the most wonderful things that this experience gives you; people.

On the other hand, learning English, and seeing myself solving daily situations in that language, makes me feel enormously proud of myself, since that was one of the goals that I set myself for this experience.

So, in general, I can only have good words about this project and this experience, which would have to be forced for those people who want to live and assume the risk of growing and learning.

Let’s start

…in Malta I found wonderful people…

I’m Marina and I’m from Italy. I arrived here two months ago and I’m living in Marsascala, a small town on the beach. Coming to Malta was a hard decision but at the same time to work and live abroad was one of my wishes for a long time. I ‘m a psychologist and I worked with children with autism and other disabilities. So I learnt how this kind of work could be hard but also amazing.

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When I was given this opportunity, I decided to leave my job and my life to start this new experience. Honestly, the beginning was hard and I felt strongly homesick but in Malta I found wonderful people and in a short time I realized that I could overcome the problems and feel good here. Daniela is a very kind and willing person, she is able to help and listen to you; from the start she helped me to adapt. The other volunteers are wonderful people, they transmit to you cheerfulness and I have shared a lot of time with them so far. They are from different countries, so you have the possibility to know closely different cultures and interesting places. So everyday you can discover something and learn more. I choose Inspire because I love working with the children with autism, which is really nice when you can help them and see their improvements. In Inspire you can work in different programs with adults and children, everything is concentrated on disabilities. Here you have the opportunity to support the therapists during the activities with the children in different contexts like sensory room, therapeutic horse riding and pool. The children have a different kind of disability and you have to learn how to manage crisis and bad moments, help them to understand how play in the right way. At the beginning the horses scared me but I’m getting to know them and I hope that I will become an expert with them. We have a lot of free time and we can discover different places here and travel around the Island. There are a very beautiful places here and I want to see all of them. This experience allowed me to put myself out there, grow up and discover more about myself and what I want.

Marina Cieri

I recommend this experience without doubt

My name is Laura, I’m 26 years old and I’m from Cantabria, in the North of Spain.
When people ask me, what living this experience means to me I always answer the same thing: For me this is like a gift, it is a way to grow up while learning. When they told me about this volunteering, it was clear to me. My job in Spain as a teacher in Special Education was finishing and now that I’m 26 years old, I didn’t have in mind to work in something that was not inside of my field and then Inspire got in my way.
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Inspire is an organization that works with people with functional diversity, giving them different opportunities to improve their quality of life. It has a hydrotherapy program where clients can work on a multitude of sensory stimuli. On an emotional level, work in the water can calm anxiety and stress, providing the child security and serenity. We also work with hippotherapy, where children, in addition to receiving different sensory and sensory stimuli from horses, they work on the postural control of their body.
At Inspire we have the opportunity to learn many other things about the world of functional diversity and to grow up in this world that brings a lot of maturity and knowledge.
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EVS not only makes you grow up in the field in which you decide to live your experience, but also teaches you to live with people from different places, with different cultures and thoughts. And I could say that this is one of the most important things of the EVS, the family that this experience leaves us because here, we are all in the same situation and we all need everyone, we help each other, we understand each other, we support each other, we have fun together and we form a family that is not forgotten when the EVS ends.
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Malta is a country with many opportunities to enjoy, especially in summer and Marsaskala is our little corner of calm.
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I repeated and I recommend this experience without doubt. “

My life experience

Hi

My name is Arnaud Fayet , I am 24 years old, I am half French half Vietnamese .

I was born in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh city from a French father and Vietnamese mother , I used to live and studied there . I quit school at 16 , i didn’t liked school much , I wanted to work and earn my money.

I used to go to France every summer to visit mt grand parents and aunt . At the age of 18, I decided to live in France , in Lyon, with them .

I did my own volunteering service for nine months which I worked in a school and an association strugglling against AIDS . Since , I’ve met and work with a lot of European people and volunteers , got me an idea to do in the near future .

After my volunteering, I found a job, which I stayed for three years , with an association who worked with a school of kids between 3 to 5 years old . The first year , I worked with kids with no disabilities ( in particularity ) , doing activities like sports or manual activities to progress  their  motricity . The last two years I’ve worked with a down syndrome kid doing the same activities and follow with the other kids.

At the same time during those years , every two months , I had two weeks of vacation but I decided to work . I worked with adults with any kind of disabilities . I travelled around France and other countries with them, taking care of them, helping for the shower, the food , drinking , medicine , going out, buying souvenirs etc …

I wanted to do my EVS for a long time , took me one year , taking the time for the project, the dates, some appointments to attend.

Thousands of times

My name is Cristina, I am 27 years old and I am from the north of Spain. I’m already here for 6 months, but I can say that the Inspire experience is changing my life. I feel that I have a good growth in my personal and work life.

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I am a social worker in love with animals, and when I found this opportunity, I knew it would be for me. I have good cooperation skills, listening, empathy and teamwork, and I thought I applied it well, but here you can discover new goals, needs and work paths, and how to apply your skills changes and improves when you work in a big group of volunteers. You learn to have more patience, to listen better, to understand society better and, in my case, to have a new sense of the sociological theories that I learned in college, it becomes more complete and diverse.

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I had never worked in the field of disabilities before, but it was not supposed to be a problem, the adaptability to the programs is gradual and inclusive. I am learning a lot with my coworkers, about their cultures, countries and food, and together we overcome the challenges of work.

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I remember the first impression I had of the appearance of the houses near the airport, I did not know if I was in Morocco or in Europe, but two days later I visited Sliema and Valletta and I believed in a mixture of Qatar and Ibiza. I hope to continue discovering the nicest spots of this island with the same enthusiasm as now.

I am very happy to live this experience, and I would repeat it thousands of times.

….If you really want to know how a workday looks like come to Inspire yourself and make your own experiences it is really worth it…

Hannah-Marie Büscher

Hello my name is Hannah- Marie Büscher, I am 19 years old and a german volunteer at Inspire. The “German Red Cross” is the organisation which sent me to Malta and which helped me with the flat, the money and some other formal stuff. I finished the highschool in june 2017 and started this adventure in september . Now I am already 7 months in Marsaskala at Inspire and I am really happy and thankful that I have the possibility to be here. Two years ago I started thinking about a volunteer service in another country for one year, so I started to search in the internet for different opportunities. For me it was sure that I wanted to go to another country (preferably in a warm country with the sea and a lot of sunny days) help other people and do something different than learning and going to school.

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Then I found Inspire and I was really enthusiastic because I saw that they combine the work with children and animals, like horses and rabbits. That was perfect for me since I already worked a little bit with children with down- syndrom and also in a riding therapy for kids with disabilities. So that is why I really wanted to go to Malta and work for Inspire that year and will hopefully learn a lot of new things and earn new skills. Now after the first 7 month I can say it was the best decision I have ever made. I already learned so much about children with autism, how they see the world, how they try to handle the daily routine, how to take care of them, how we can help them to live their own lifes and make it easier for them to understand us. I recognized that they do not communicate with words but more with body language. Moreover I notice that the kids understand things better when they have the possibility to see them so that is the reason why we use visuals as well as words in our therapies. The difficulty is that every child is different and that there are so many varieties of autism some kids have huge problems with their disability and some can handle it very good. At last it is very nice to see their development, how they learn to handle situations better or how they start to learn to communicate with other kids or adults. The children and the horses are not the only tasks for me as a volunteer but I think you will find a lot of information on the Website itself. If you really want to know how a workday looks like come to Inspire yourself and make your own experiences it is really worth it.

Another really good thing at Inspire are the other volunteers from many different countries. After a very short time we were like a big family because the “old volunteers” are very friendly and were always helping me to understand everything and that I find my way around very fast. We also do a lot of stuff in our free time together and definitely enjoy the time and all the adventures here together. In addition I live together with two other girls from the “German Red Cross” so we can communicate after the work which is really nice. Moreover there are also three other “German Red Cross volunteers” in other projects on Malta. We all are really good friend and we already know each other before we went to Malta because we had a training in Germany together.

Hannah2

 

So in this 7 months I saw so many beautiful things, I went to amazing festivals and just had a great time. Malta is a very small island that is right but it is also the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The nature is picturesque and amazing, the sea, the sunsets, the architecture and first of all the local people. I hope that the next 5 month will be as great as the first 7, that I will have the chance to even learn more about the autism children, the language, the country, the history and that I will earn more incredible experience and impressions.

 

 

‘Aspire to Inspire before we Expire’

‘Aspire to Inspire before we Expire’. This is a quote I caught a glimpse of on a building in Limerick city; home to the University of Limerick which I was attending before I came here to Malta. This quote sparked my interest and made me contemplate on the aspiring and inspiring individual I wish to become. I strive to be ambitious, hopeful, enthusiastic, uplifting and motivating and so I felt Inspire Foundation, Malta would be the perfect place.  

Emer1My name’s Emer and I’ve grown up in small rural part of Ireland. I had started the first few weeks of 3rd year Sports and Exercise Sciences degree in university when I was unanticipatedly offered this incredible opportunity to volunteer with Inspire in Malta. It was a massive decision for me as I had to quickly pack up and leave my family, friends, university and work all within a couple of weeks. It was a complete 180 degree change in my lifestyle as I felt I was in a high pressured environment at home attempting to balance college, work and sport. I am thrilled and happy that I made the right decision to join the Inspire team in Malta as it has given me that year break from stress where I can give back to the community, learn more about my interests and passions, immerse myself in a multicultural environment, meet new amazing friends for life, open my mind to new experiences and attempt to grow as a better person.  Emer3

 

On the 9th of October I arrived in Malta wearing layers of clothes to reduce my luggage weight and I was almost ready to pass out in the taxi with the heat. As the taxi parked up outside my apartment I felt a small bit anxious as to how well I would connect with my new flat mates. I was greeted outside by my new flattie Myriam who without hesitation helped me to pull my big suitcase up a flight of stairs. As I entered the flat I was welcomed warmly by more volunteers which I was really grateful for as I immediately felt safe and comfortable in my new home.  

The following morning I attended the Induction where I was given a quick tour of all the facilities and a breakdown of my role as a volunteer. I felt super eager to get stuck in and familiar with the ropes and daily routine of the Inspire team. For my first few weeks I worked mostly in the Therapeutic Horse Riding area. It takes some time for you to become confident and at ease with the horses but I was determined to get to that stage and once I did I had the best of fun working with the horses and the children during the sessions. It’s rewarding to see children with disabilities who may be uneasy, hesitant and upset at the beginning of the session but once they hop on the horse they are suddenly calm, joyful and enjoy the session.  

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Moreover I have thoroughly enjoyed and I am very grateful to have experienced the work of Inspire in various areas, including; Multi-Sensory Rooms, Therapeutic Arts and Crafts, Aqua Therapy, Occupational Therapy Sessions, Speech and Language Sessions, Fund-raising, Charity Shop, Administration, Swimming Lessons, and Research.  

Almost 5 months into my volunteer experience here and I am enjoying and making the most of every day more than ever. Furthermore I have challenged myself and I am taking great pleasure in teaching English to my fellow volunteers and also performing research in relation to the benefits of Therapeutic Horse Riding in children with Autism. I value enormously the friendships I have made here, they for sure will be friends for life. My eyes have been completely opened to lives of people with Autism. You never fully realise or understand something unless you experience it first-hand yourself. After 5 months of observation and assistance to children with Autism they have really brought great pleasure and joy to me. Likewise I feel passionate about making the lives of people with disabilities more independent, fulfilling and enjoyable. 

Finally I am equally excited for the second half of my EVS voluntary experience here, to learn, love and laugh more ❤

Emer2