My EVS On arrival training 08-12 Jan.

My EVS On arrival training 08-12 Jan.

By Ayubu Mbarazi

Edited by Stacy Oswald

My first week in Bulgaria was the best week ever, i would call myself lucky as it was the week that i also went for the EVS on arrival training.

The on arrival training is a workshop for EVS volunteers to help them cope with their volunteering program by informing volunteers about their duties and rights, how to develop their creativity and mostly to prepare them with time away from home.

Did i mention it was very cold?

To be clear, i thought this training will be a pain in my neck, turns out, it was not bad at all. I reported at Hotel Festa sofia “fancy huh?” at 10:00 am on monday 08th Jan and we started training at 12:00 afternoon. After checking in our rooms and eating all the delicious hotel food “also fancy”. We went for the first introduction session from our trainers “Kat” and “Nat” which at first was a little difficult for me especially because I only knew one person from Tanzania and others were completely strangers.  

Even though i was amazed by the hospitality and the fancy i really did not expect to “click” with other people as fast as I did, especially because the other volunteers were from very different parts of Africa and Europe and different cultures compared to where I am from. I was wrong yet again as our trainers went out of their way to ensure everyone “clicked” with everyone.


That very same night me and other volunteers met to get to know eachother better outside the training room, this was a very good move for us as we made new friends and found out that we had a lot in common. This is one of my favourite moment as it gave me a new positive energy towards the training and EVS too.

Training days went fast than we expected and each day we woke up more exhausted (too much partying) and closer to each other than the last day.

Wednesday was my favourite training  day as we went for a group mission together with other midterm training volunteers. The most interesting part is how we learnt to work as a team and produce some very good result for our mission that we later presented to other volunteers.

I would be lying if i said i did not enjoy the tour around sofia, it was my first time.

I got to know places that i could visit during my EVS. The mission was successful even though it was cold but everything went well.

The training overall was very good and helpful for my EVS in sofia as we learnt everything about EVS itself, how to do personal projects and other things that are useful for our time in bulgaria. We also learnt how to make martenitsa for march 1st but the most important part, it gave me a me family here in Sofia.

The saddest day for me in this workshop was 12th Jan, as it was the last day. We realised that the training was too short as we got attached and hoping to spend a lot more time together but as i always say “Duty Calls” we had to finish the training, say goodbye and go back to our organisation for feedback and start our time as volunteers.

Don’t be sad though, it’s not like you can actually get rid of these people. We still meet, hangout and bond. I have to say, I am looking forward to my midterm EVS training.

My name is Ayubu Mbarazi from Tanzania, nowadays volunteer in Open Space Foundation in Sofia (Bulgaria)


The rubric “My opinio is important” is a part of our project “Art and Culture for Unity”

supported from European program “Erasmus+”, Key Action 2: Capacity building in the field of youth