Hello everyone who is going to read this sooner or later. My name is Yuliia, I am currently 20 years old and I am a new Sunce’s volunteer of the European Solidarity Corps. I come from a town in the heart of Ukraine called Kremenchuk. We don’t have a sea like here in Split, but we do have a huge Dnipro river.
My biggest passion since childhood has always been studying. Opening the book and learning new things about different areas of life always brings me joy. After graduating from high school I realized there are many funnier ways to learn things except for books. And volunteering is one of them.
I started volunteering in my country during the gap year and it taught me a lot about life. Now I study International Economic Relations at the university and volunteer in Sunce.
What motivated you to choose volunteering through the European Solidarity Corps program?
Dreams and people. I remember when I was a schoolgirl a volunteer from the USA Lily came to us. She organized extracurricular activities for us and helped with learning English. I thought she was such a courageous person to leave everything she had at home and move to a small unknown Ukrainian city to teach kids. I was looking at her with admiration and dreaming of doing something similar one day.
ESC program gives me an opportunity to exercise my courage and spend a year in a new country discovering it and contributing to the lives of these hospitable people.
Why did you decide to go to Split as part of this volunteering program?
To be honest, I didn’t choose the city because it’s difficult to understand if I would like it before I get there. My choice was based on the organization and its activities. I have always been interested in finding out more about nature preservation and joining such activities. Although it’s hard to deny that warm weather, beautiful sea and mountains were the other reason to go to the wonderful city of Split.
What are your first impressions of Split?
It didn’t take long for me to understand that Croatian people are proud of who they are. I live on Vukovarska St and on my way I usually see many murals with national heroes of this city and this country. Oh, and Hajduk is almost everywhere. It makes me feel that people here know their history and they have come through the same pain as Ukrainians are coming over now.
Is there anything you would like to say to all young people who are thinking about joining the European Solidarity Corps program?
I would advice not to rush to become serious adults. Take your time and enjoy meeting new people and discovering places you’ve never been before. ESC is an opportunity to put n pause your study-work-home life and truly ask yourself: What am I here for? What do I like, what can I do best and what do people need?
What do you miss the most from your home country?
In general, I don’t feel homesick, but I wouldn’t mind having more Ukrainian paper books here.
As for hobbies, I like doing yoga, listening to classical or instrumental music, learning new languages, cooking hot chocolate, and walking on foot. I believe that one’s dreams can tell a lot about the person because a dream is like a lighthouse that shows the direction on the road of life. My biggest dreams are to travel the world and write a book.