You can help too!
They spoke 36 different languages. UEFA needed as many as 6000 of them to organise EURO 2012. Moreover, thousands of volunteers worked at police stations, in the airports, railway stations and at hospitals. Among them was Dominik, a historian, living near Legionów. He has suffered from cerebral palsy and moves in a wheelchair. His story has been described in an article published in Newsweek. But there were many more people like him and although disabled volunteers sometimes need support, they can help others. And sometimes they can be more able than the able-bodied people.
It is not easy, but it is worth it
Although the disabled people form as much as 10% of our society, you can rarely see them in the streets, in offices or foundations. Only every fifth one them is employed. Even finding volunteering opportunities proves difficult for them. If you google ‘volunteering for the disabled’, you can see the results concerning organisations looking for volunteers willing to help the disabled. And health problems do not prevent you from doing something good for the others. If you are disabled, you can volunteer online (check out www.e-wolontariat.pl and www.betobe.org). And there are more opportunities at hand.
You stand a bigger chance!
You should check out European Voluntary Service, which operates under Erasmus+. Why this programme? Because being a disabled person you stand a bigger chance of being selected than your peers. Priority is given to young people with health problems or in difficult economic or social situation. And you do not need to have experience or speak languages. European Voluntary Service is an opportunity to raise your qualifications, so you can learn languages and acquire competences during the project implementation. And upon returning to the country, you can use the opportunities when looking for a job or a more sophisticated, long term project, even in a distant part of the world. Where can you go? Any EU country and partner country, including quite exotic ones. During the project, you will attend seminars and training. Each year, 400 volunteers from Poland participate in EVS projects.
Courage comes at a price
An EVS project is like a springboard; upon return, it will be easier for you to find a job, as you will have acquired a lot of useful skills. And what is the most important, you can test yourself and gain self-confidence. Paweł and Mirka from the region of Wielkopolska have participated in a project in Ukraine. At the beginning it was very difficult for them, they felt lost and they missed their homes. But with time, they gained confidence and realised that they could make decisions and have control. This is what they wrote upon the return: “First of all, volunteering, taught us responsibility. Taking the decision to go required the biggest courage. Afterwards it was quite easy. And what is interesting, it was much easier for us to move around Lviv than Poznań”. So what is so surprising about that, nothing, except from the fact that Paweł and Mirka have impaired vision. If they have managed, so will you.