Once a volunteer, always a volunteer

A few years ago in parallel with my bachelor, I started to engage heavily with volunteerism. It was a “wonderful trip” where I managed to create two volunteering associations: a) the local Erasmus Student Association for helping Erasmus students from abroad to get familiar with our culture & my university and b) IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers) Student Branch for promoting research. Through this trip I had the chance to create friendships for a lifetime, learn new languages & receive the pleasure of smiles in the faces of the people that I have helped. Once a volunteer, always a volunteer.

When I learned the opportunity of the Interreg Volunteer Youth programme, I said that’s for me! It was a perfect opportunity to gain valuable experience in European Projects to continue to hone the skills that I gained during my internship in the EU Projects Office of my University.

The focus of my host organization, InnoPolis NGO, is to promote a holistic sustainable approach of innovation – both technological and social, in harmony with cultural values for the benefit of EU integration and Regional competitiveness. InnoPolis participates in the Interreg Europe PASSAGE Project - Public AuthoritieS Supporting low-cArbon Growth in European maritime border regions.

A map of the Interreg project "PASSAGE"

The project focuses on the European maritime straits with aim to reduce the consequences of human activity to climate change by promoting low-carbon initiatives.

Maritime and logistics flows, port operations and related industries leave a particularly large carbon footprint in strait areas.

I found this project very interesting not only for its environmental importance, but also for the fact that the proposed solutions & initiatives are part of the emerging Blue Economy sector that will play an important over the next years for Europe!

The host organization and my mentor were very helpful and the hospitality was pure Greek!!! My mentor get me for a town-ride, coffee and visit to local monuments many times! I’m having for free delicious meals and transport costs are covered! I couldn’t ask for more! On the same time I got trained in European projects and gained valuable experience in running & operating a European project like PASSAGE. I’m participating in various events to disseminate project objectives (and to be honest I promoted also IVY!) and currently I’m preparing a series of important awareness campaigns.

Interreg Volunteer Youth is a magnificent experience where you have the ability to gain important skills for your self-development and professional career. On the same time it is an excellent opportunity for high level networking, meeting new friends, towns & cultures. I would suggest to everyone that is reading this article to join IVY!!!

Secondly I strongly suggest you to come to Greece - The land of ancient Gods – It will be an experience that you will remember forever!!!

With greetings from the sunny Greece!


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