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Amal Tsutsuianu

Esc International Volunteer

Becoming an ESC volunteer has always been something I’ve wanted to do from time to time in order to help myself gain more understanding of different places and people. I wanted to benefit from the last few months left of this programme. Brexit has not been kind to us, though! As European volunteers, who were regularly able to travel to the UK without a visa, we now require a permit to be able to further pursue this placement. Never before did I need to apply for a visa and endure the burden of waiting for one, nor the excitement of having a visa application of mine accepted. Therefore, I started learning things even before the placement begun!

Prior to joining the Sculpt team as a volunteer, I used to work with the Gerneral Inspectorate for Immigration in Romania; we collaborate with many social action-oriented organisations and associations to help refugees accommodate and adapt to their new homes in Romania. I have learned to appreciate the small impacts of simple deeds in the social sector. Here at Sculpt, we are involved in various kinds of projects concerning young people and women that aim at making a difference in the long run. One thing I like about the team here is their communication plan. As communication is a key factor to any successful team work, we catch up with one another through regular online, one to one, and face to face meetings to ensure that no details get lost through the hustle of a hybrid working system. To me, things seem efficiently structured and this, in turn, helps increase productivity in the organisation.

In addition to the youth-oriented projects, Sculpt also has access to a wide variety of free learning material and online platforms to which we have also been granted access. The skills that you can learn vary from entrepreneurship, business planning, linguistic skills, to sustainability and fundraising. Such resources allow me to use any free time available in nourishing myself with some valuable skills that will last and be used for ever. 

Finally, let me not forget to remark that beside the at-the-office overall environment, we also get to enjoy London and discover interesting places around, thanks to our awesome mentors for their generous recommendations. Unexpectedly, and unlike the common stereotypes of Londoners to be rigid and cold, it is worth mentioning that my first-hand experience suggests otherwise. So far, I have only met welcoming and polite people who are willing to help and assist. I very much look forward to exploring the city hand in hand with the culture. This placement is almost the last of its kind for Europeans due to the challenging situation of Brexit; that being so, we should make the most out of it, whether it is about the cultural education or expertise exchange experience.