A road trip to Digne les Bains

Today is a good sunny day for a road trip to visit EVS (European Volunteer Service) in the nearby city. The journey takes about 1.40 hour drive from Marseille with beautiful scenery of leaves changing from green to yellow and red, the mountain of rock and blue sky.

The place I visit today called “SYMPA La Sympathie”. This is a private organization which supports by the city itself. This place has a history back in 1950s where it used to be a center for retired solider who has been dedicates their life for the country. In 1998, the building has been bought by the city and turn to leisure center for children. Here, there is ‘no school ‘on Wednesday so the city thinks it will be useful to have a place where children can do activities and learn with friends while their parents are working during the day. Most of the staffs here are interns (university students who study on social studies) and volunteers from the area and other European countries. The children who attend this place are mostly from age of 5-12, but start from 3 years old onward. They will do activities together by age group, more activities on creative thinking. Children are joining from the morning, having lunch together and staying until parents pick up after work.

In this organization, we have two EVS working here. One is from Greece, Andriana, and another from Sicily, Italy, Anita. Both are joining the same program for 1 year to spend time in France and work with this selected organization. They are working 35 hours per week according to the laws. How the works divide? It is depends on the organization. Here, they are working 3 days with 12 hours shift. The rest of the week will be according to each dream.

Andriana has comes to France with journalist and literature degree and her main goal is to learn French which she is getting better every day. She loves to travel and she has time with an opportunity to do so and do it alone most of the time. Travelling alone and act like local is her strategy to meet new people and learn from the origin. She would like to stay longer in France after completing the program and join service civique to continue her dream.

On the contrary, Anita who has studied communication in media institution joins this program because she loves children as a starting point and also France as she has been visited before. She has her younger brother with her so this can be her second home. She likes to spend time with her family, cooking and staying put. She wants to pursue her study of social worker in this country.

Overall, both of them have followed their dream with contribution to the society.

Parin Charoenchanaporn 16/11/2016