Meet Lisa Zangrando. She is 22 years old and she is from Treviso, Italy. This summer she spent two month as a intern in Estonia and was excited to tell about her experience.

How do you decided to be a intern  in Estonia?

I always loved children and wanted to work with them to understand how to build relations with them. I was told that there is an opportunity to come to Estonia and I accepted it, because I really wanted to improve myself. In past years I did many activities with children. I was a volunteer in summer camps and also two years ago I was in France for two month in a family, which also has children.

How do you like Estonia?

I love Estonia. It is one of the best places I have been to. Maybe the weather can be better, but in the end it is still ok. Here in Estonia there is a lot of nature and also the place where we lived was amazing.

What have you been doing here for two month?

I was helping at a kindergarten. My typical day would like something like this: I woke up in the morning and waited for children to come. After that we played together and did different activities. It wasn’t easy for me to understand children, because I don’t speak Russian, so I needed to find way to communicate with them in order to build relations. But overall I would describe it as a positive experience – children like me and I like them.

You also had a training course during your stay in Estonia.

Yes, we had a training course on social entrepreneurship for a week. At the beginning I didn’t know what it was about. But I gave it my 100 percent and I met a lot of very nice people. This course was very useful for me, because I already thought about things related to the training topic. For me social entrepreneurship means helping others and training helped me to understand how it works and to see thing from the inside.

During those two month what did you like the most?

During that two month I grew up as a person and I understood what I want to do in my life. At the beginning I wasn’t sure what I want to do, but while being here I understood what is important for me and what I want to do in the future. It is working with children.

And what have you learned from this experience?

During my time in Estonia I learned how to interact with children in different ways and to see ways of communication, which people don’t use often. I learned how to interact without words but with your body language and by expressing your emotions. I think it is very undervalued, but very important way of communication and a very powerful one.

It is fascinating how something, such as not being able to speak certain language, what can be a disadvantage in other situations, was an opportunity for you to experience something different and unique.

Yes and I have to say, that at the beginning I was kind of sad. First four or five days I couldn’t be myself a 100 percent, because I couldn’t speak and communicate through language. But with time I understood the importance of nonverbal communication and I found ways to be myself.

If I ask you that was the most memorable moment for you during your time in Estonia, what will it be?

It’s a difficult question to answer because there were so many of them. Maybe when we went out for a walk with children and also a training course on social entrepreneurship was great.

Is there something you regret about you stay in Estonia?

I don’t think so. Maybe I would like to do more sightseeing in the city center. But I visited a lot of places. I went to Helsinki and I also visited country side and forest during the training course. In the end I wouldn’t say I have regrets.

What are your future plans?

I would like to take some courses to better understand how to work with children and I would like to come back to Estonia and I already have been told what if I want to, I am welcomed to do that.

Is there anything you would like to say to people, who also think to be a volunteer in other country?

Do it. Going abroad and being able to learn something is amazing. You have the unique opportunity to learn something about other cultures and also about different topics and do the activities you choose to do.

Mihhail Jevdokimov

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EST Lapsepõlve Akadeemia MTÜ (Tallinn, Eesti) eesmärk on luua lastele, noortele ja täiskasvanutele ohutu keskkond, võimaldada mitmekülgne haridus ja grupitegevus. MTÜ aitab kaasa kodanikuaktiivsuse loomisele nii Eesti kui ka Euroopa tasandil. Lapsepõlve Akadeemia teeb koostööd paljude kohalike ja rahvusvaheliste organisatsioonidega, kohalike omavalitsuste, koolide ja inimestega, kes pooldavad eneseharimist, teiste inimeste mõistmist, suhtlust nende, iseenda ja ümbritseva keskkonnaga. ENG NGO Academy of Childhood (Tallinn, Estonia) is an organization, that focuses on creating a safe environment for holistic education and workshops for children, youth and adults; and promoting local and European active citizenship. Our NGO collaborates with many local and international NGO’s, local municipalities, schools and people, who strife for self-education and gaining better understanding and communication with others and with oneself, as well as with the environment. RUS НКО Академия детства (Таллинн, Эстония) это организация, которая сосредоточена на создании безопасной среды, всестороннего образования и групповых занятий для детей, молодежи и взрослых. Она содействует созданию активной гражданской позиции как на местном, так и на европейском уровне. Наша организация сотрудничает с многими местными и международными организациями, местными самоуправлениями, школами и людьми, которые cтремятся к самообразованию, четкому пониманию и общению с другими, с самим собой, и с окружающей средой.