Coffee was my hero when we arrived in the seminar of PTPI-Plovdiv (People to People International) on Saturday noon. After 2 cups I felt ready to present the youngsters ourselves, our project and of course the European Voluntary Service (EVS).
The PTPI volunteering organization held a training about “Mentorship”. Our presentation was part of the training as an example of international volunteering. We explained about the advantages of participating in this EU funded program and also we explained the whole application procedure. Later we answered questions about our own volunteering experiences.
Also we introduced BG Be Active Association and the activities of the organization – events and campaigns, such as MOVE Week, No Elevators Day, FlashMOVE that are happening in Plovdiv. Furthermore, we explained not only how to participate, but also how to engage in these events.
After our presentation I was offered to stay at the training to learn more about “mentorship”. We discussed how a mentor has to behave in different given examples and also we talked about the characteristics a mentor has to have in our opinion. For me the topic of mentorship is of great interest. When I was going to school I mentored younger students. I took care of them during their lunch breaks. My tasks were to play outside with them, to help them with their homework when they had problems and of course the hardest task: to keep them quiet and avoid that they are doing something stupid! Since the class was full of young students in puberty it was not that easy. Empathy was obligatory to understand their inner-class conflicts and also to calm them down after an extensive school day. For me personally it was a good experience in learning more about how to deal with people and to understand their feelings and needs.
For that reason I think that not only having a mentor, but also mentoring itself is a great thing. During my life I met different people that influenced and impressed me a lot. Without meeting them I might be someone different today. Still I can ask these people for an advice if I need it – due to their life experiences and their different point of view they can help me.
These experiences also make me feel responsible for younger people. Therefore I have friends from many different ages – between 16 and 47. I hate it when people consider themselves as something better because of their age. We should meet people on the same eye-level regardless of their age. This allows a great transfer of knowledge. Mentoring is a good example for that.
In the end we played a game to refresh our brains and to be physically active. The game was called “Днес ходих на пазар. – И какво си купи? (Today I went shopping.- And what did you buy?)” and included a lot of laughter and fun. Of course before everybody left the obligatory group picture was taken.
Thank you for the invitation!