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EVS Volunteers at the Rethymno in Crete

ARCHELON once more this year is hosting three incredible EVS volunteers in Rethymno programme in Crete. The EVS volunteers Vadim, Susana and Rosanna are three young persons who committed themselves for around 5 months to the protection of sea turtles.

As part of EVS (European Voluntary Service in the context of ERASMUS+) programme they get accommodation, food allowance, pocket money, mentoring but also they have the chance to get to know the Greek culture and language and get experience in the rehabilitation of a threatened species.

We asked them why they wanted to do EVS programme and why they chose ARCHELON’s projects as well as to tell us few words on their experience up to now, and this is what they answered. From ARCHELON point of view we would like to thank them for their continuing interest and help of all these months they have stayed in the project.

 

Von Hellens Vadim, 20 years old from New Caledonia

Why did you want to come to ARCHELON ?
Because in New Caledonia we have also sea turtles and these animals are very much in danger. The human factor it's a very big problem and it's a good solution to participate in an organisation as ARCHELON in order to help the sea turtle.

Why sea turtles?
For me in New Caledonia the turtle it's every where and it's easy to see them and I think the people are very happy to see turtles because these animals are so nice. For that reason I want to help them so as the next generation can see them again! 

How is you experience up to now ?
It's a very good experience for me I have found a lot of amazing people here and I have learned a lot about a turtle and my English are much better now (I think so) ! 

Why did you want to participate in EVS ?
Because I have just finished my studies and I wanted to move away and I have listened at the radio the EVS program and I have taken the information and now I am here ! 

 

Susana Ferreira Silva, 26 years old from Portugal

Why did you want to participate in EVS?
ARCHELON was first introduced by some friends during the time I was working in The Azores as a researcher under an investigation project related to natural island parks and their protection and conservation. With these friends, whose have been in Costa Rica and participate in turtles volunteering programme, I start to search for volunteering programs. Living abroad outside of my comfort zone, contact with difference reality, different people, dealing with extreme situations in a multicultural environment with a new language and above all leaving my contribution in the legacy for perpetuation of threatened species was something that captivated me to participate in EVS.
 
Why ARCHELON and why sea turtles?
At the end of December, I started the research for nature conservation and animal protection associations in Europe with European Volunteering Service (EVS) programme and found ARCHELON. Protection, conservation, rescue, rehabilitation and education were some of the values I'm used to work with. I choose ARCHELON because I  believe ARCHELON's "job" is remarkable in turtle’s bequest, but also a starting in the society for what I called “ocean mind”. Besides, I'm thinking to apply for a PhD in the following years in which I can combine tourism, coastal risk, wild life species and climate change. Also for this reason, I would like to know and learn more about the success of ARCHELON projects.
 
How is your experience up to now?
The experience has been amazing until the moment. It definitely has not been very easy as I thought, specially related with turtles and people behaviors. The EVS gave the opportunity to get to know other projects, explore the hidden local places in Crete and know new friends from all over the world, as well. Fortunately, the work and the way of living is very different from what I have experienced. Is not perfect but we are almost there.

 

Hagström Rosanna, 24 years old from Sweden

Why ARCHELON? Why sea turtles?
I heard about ARCHELON from my contact person at my sending organisation. Firstly I thought, sea turtles that's cool, something I've never seen before or thought much about. Why not? ARCHELON seemed like a good exciting project, they seemed really into what they were doing and my contact, who had visited the project before described the project very well, and I felt like I was already there, no other project seemed to matter.

How is your experience up to now?
At the beginning it was slow, no turtles, not even tracks! And I felt like “Why am I even here? Am I even going to see anything?” But then a few weeks after, I saw tracks. Then I saw and dig for hours(!!!) for eggs and got so excited, and only a few days ago, I saw the first baby tracks! Got even more excited! And tonight is my second night survey, really hope to see more turtles, then the release we had a few weeks ago. To see a turtle doing its thing, without any human interaction. And really want to see the babies!

But we work with people as well. And I have to say, I like the turtle part of the project more. But we do what we do to raise money for the project to help the turtles, so I guess I will have to! It's not that bad, if you're working with the right people, and I am! The other volunteers and leaders are so funny and amazing, we have a difficult job, promoting souvenirs in a city basically made of souvenirs! But we are doing good, and having fun!

Why did you want to participate in EVS?
EVS is an amazing opportunity for young adults to see a different part of the world, get new experiences and evolve as a person. To see how you react in situations you've never been in and grown up from them. EVS brings people together from different cultures and backgrounds, which makes you open your mind and give you a different point of view of the world, and how to work together in it. Because in the end we are from the same place and there is no other way to live, but together.

 

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