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Solidarity blog: Volunteers from different backgrounds with the same purpose

In the tram, in a music concert, in the theatre, in the street. Have you ever wondered how many people do we encounter in just one day? How many people pass by us in 24 hours? One old man told me once that on an average in our lifetime you would end up meeting 30,000 interesting people and acquaint with 600,000 roughly and pass by 1.8Million approximately. Although this is a clear estimation, and there are so many variables that may affect this result we could have an insight of how many people just pass by next to our eyes and may or may not have an impact in our lives.

But even more interesting, regardless of how many inhabitants we are currently in the world, we all have different and exclusive stories. There is 0% chance that someone shares the same story as you. Nor your purposes, your dreams and your plans.

And here I am, in Zagreb, Croatia, enlarging a little bit more my people-encounter ratio, despite the fact that now we will focus as well in other stories, rather than just pass by them.

A few weeks ago, we had the chance to visit Osijek, one of the most important spots in the Slavonija region and the 4th biggest city in Croatia, participating in the OnArrival training by the European Solidarity Corps. 16 young volunteers had the pleasure to get to know each other while developing a great range of skills which will be useful during their experience in Croatia.

However, although we all share some ideas and ambitions, specially related to solidarity, we come from totally different backgrounds, with different cultures and values.

Kristina, a volunteer from _Romsko nacionalno vijeće, _was in China last year, and she was aiming to live abroad, in a European country in the EU.

As a Ukrainian girl, she finds European Union countries really different from where she comes from.

“One thing I value the most from my organisation is the values plus history of it”, explained Kristina.

And as I mentioned before, we were a number of international volunteers from many different countries. For example, Céline, a French volunteer from Borders: none organisation, an organisation that teaches refugees and people at risk of exclusion how to programme code in order to provide them with more job opportunities.

“After finishing my studies, I got a job for eight months and then I decided that this was the perfect time to take part on a project like this. I’m young, and I have the feeling that I need to help refugees in any way”

I think by the end of this experience, my English will considerably improve, but most importantly, exploring a new country, being able to live independently is also something I will gain out of this experience.

“The main purpose of my project here in Croatia is to be able to run my own organisation or initiative in order to help people at risk of social exclusion”, stated Lorena, an Spanish volunteer from Savez udruga Rojca. “I want to be able to put in practice everything learned
in order to create my own organisation and live from it”.

However, one thing that everyone of us shared for sure, is our commitment to society and solidarity.