Teaching English in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Working with vulnerable children - EVS in Bosnia and Herzegovina - European Solidarity Corps & European Voluntary Service
My name is Paul and I am currently an EVS volunteer in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I had been working in the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) industry for a few years and I was looking for a way to use my skills to help people. I heard about the EVS/Erasmus+ programme and I was very excited about the kind of activities it offered. I had the opportunity to create a project working with a fantastic organisation in Sarajevo and co-ordinated by the very friendly and efficient team at VSI in Dublin. The organisation I volunteer at is called Foundation Wings of Hope/Fondacia Krila Nade. It is a grassroots organisation which has been working in Sarajevo since the end of the Bosnian war in Former Yugoslavia (1995). The main areas in which Wings of Hope operates are education, employability, and psychosocial support. They traditionally worked with people directly affected by the war, but their focus has recently changed to working primarily with children. Among other things, they help people return to school, aid children who have learning difficulties, and provide support to children, parents and school staff in cases of bullying, domestic abuse, behavioural problems etc. My project focuses on providing English Language classes to students. Since my project started I have worked with students of all ages and helped them learn English for school, for work, to prepare for exams, and just as a hobby. They are all fantastic people with interesting stories and it has really helped me to understand the social and political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sarajevo in particular. I have also worked with staff in the organisation, improving their level of English. Before I finish my project in October, I am hoping to organise seminars with local teachers to share ideas on how to engage students more in the classroom. So far, I have enjoyed every moment of my EVS and I am disappointed it will end so soon.
Check out the current EVS vacancie with Wings of Hope here!
Paul Cleary, Bosnia and Herzegovina (August, 2015)