A road trip to Digne les Bains

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Today is a good sunny day for a road trip to visit EVS (European Volunteer Service) in the nearby city. The journey takes about 1.40 hour drive from Marseille with beautiful scenery of leaves changing from green to yellow and red, the mountain of rock and blue sky.

The place I visited today is called “La Sympathie”. This is a private organization which  is supported by the city itself. This place has a history back in 1950s where it used to be a center for retired solider who has been dedicated their life for the country. In 1998, the building has been bought by the city and turned to a leisure center for children. Here, there is ‘no school ‘on Wednesday so the city thinks it will be useful to have a place where children can do activities and learn with friends, while their parents are working during the day. Most of the staffs here are interns (university students on social studies) and volunteers from the area and other European countries. The children who attend this place are mostly from age of 5-12, although in France they start from 3 years old onward. They will do activities together by age group, for example activities on creative thinking. Children are joining from the morning, having lunch together and staying until parents pick them up after work.

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In this organization, they is two EVS volunteers sent by PSM working here. One is from Greece, Andriana, and another from Sicily (Italy), Anita. Both are joining the same program for 1 year to spend time in France and work with this selected organization. They are working 35 hours per week according to the laws. How does the works divide? It depends on the organization. Here, they are working 3 days with 12 hours shift. The rest of the week will be according to each dream.

Andriana has come to France with a journalist and literature degree and her main goal is to learn French language, in which she is getting better every day. She loves to travel and she has time with an opportunity to do so and do it alone most of the time. Travelling alone and act like a local is her strategy to meet new people and to learn from the culture. She would like to stay longer in France after completing the program and join service civique to continue her dream.

Anita, who has studied communication in media institution, joined this program because she loves children as a starting point, and also France that she has already visited before. She likes to spend time with her family, cooking and staying put. She wants to pursue her study of social worker in this country.

Overall, both of them have followed their dream with a contribution to the society.

This was a testimony from Parin, job-shadower from Thailand. Find out more about her experience in here!

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