Our European Volunteers
I’m Tatsiana, or Tania for short, coming from Minsk, Belarus. I studied to be a doctor and worked as a pediatrician for two years before I dived into volunteering world. I decided to pause my career for a little while, because I couldn’t take a gap-year during my study or right after it. So back then I was participating in international workcamps during my vacations. Volunteering opened new horizons to me, showed me different habits in different countries and made me rethink my own.
Before applying for a volunteer position at GEAI, I spent a Voluntary Social Year in Germany, Witten, where I was working in a Waldorf-community. There I met a lot of great people, who cared about the relationship between humankind and nature; learned a lot about the former industrial life of the area, and about the present with more sustainable way of living in Germany.
During my ESC year in Ireland I hope to meet a lot of wonderful people (check), to get more perspectives into sustainability and eco-activism (already check and there’s so much more to come!) and to enjoy unique nature of the island!
I’m Marine and I am French. I come from Montabon, it’s a village in the countryside between Le Mans and Tours. This area is well known for its « rilettes » (that’s food !).
I have a Master’s degree in «rural areas and local development » and I worked two years as an instructor on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for French local authorities. My competences include geographical information system, project managment, local development in rural area and agriculture.
I am interested in sports such as hiking I follow sports in general. I am really interested in Environment protection and Climate Change. I love cooking. I also have a passion for travelling, I have been in Ireland and really like the atmosphere.
The ESC project with GEAI will allowed me to discover more of Ireland culture I hope and improve my knowledge about envionment.
“Ciao! My name is Silvia and I’m from the North-East of Italy, from a little town near Trieste. Trieste is known as “the first port to Europe” and it is born from the encounter of a lot of different cultures. This influenced the mentality of both its citizen and mine: I love to travel and to learn about new cultures.
I have just graduated at the University of Trieste in Science and Technologies for the Environment and Nature, a degree that let me discover my passion for ecology and the study of an environment and its protection. Moreover, since I was 7 years old, I have been a Scout so I grew up living adventures in nature and now that I’m an adult I try to educate kids to “leave the world a bit better than you found it”.
So, when I found out about ESC and, particularly, GEAI, I instantly knew that this was my path to make the most of my knowledge and my passions”
I’m from Soligorsk, one of the youngest cities in Belarus. Its history began only in 1958 when on the site of the future city the deposits of potash salts were found, and therefore there appeared a settlement for miners.
I have a bachelor’s degree in international law. During my studies I was feeling concerned about the topic of human rights, therefore I had a previous volunteering experience in this field. After graduating I started work as a lawyer in a building company, but I’ve always stayed interested in international law, especially in international environmental law. Besides, since recent time I have a strong passion for social media marketing and believe that social media have a huge potential in influencing people’s attitude to the environment.
One of my reasons to be a volunteer here is to gain international experience in the field of environmental protection and to learn how other communities tackle climate change. During my project I want to focus on managing social media and working with students in local schools. I also hope that this volunteering project will be a good opportunity to prove myself as a lawyer by sharing my knowledge in environmental law.
I’ve been in Ireland almost two months and I’m enjoying Irish weather (no kidding, it’s colder in Belarus in winter), music sessions in pubs and kindness of Irish people.
I’m from Cluj Napoca, Romania. Even though I’ve lived my whole life in cities I’m in love with nature. When I was little I was fascinated by nature documentaries and this transformed into a passion for the outdoors when I grew up. I’ve studied software engineering and worked in software development for more than 7 years. My passion for sustainability, environmental and animal protection made me volunteer for causes associated with these issues. In the last few years my concerns about the climate crisis grew and I decided I wanted to do more.
I hope this volunteering opportunity with GEAI will give me the courage to start a personal project regarding climate related issues. While I’m here I want to learn as much as possible about hands-on activities in an environmental NGO and also develop my communication and social media skills. I also want to immerse myself in Irish country life, a totally different lifestyle of what I experienced before and of course visit as much as possible of this Emerald Island with its stunning landscapes.
Born and raised in Lombardy, Northern Italy, a foggy region that share a connection with Ireland: a Celtic tribe, the Camuni, settled in its green, glacial and lake-filled valleys.
After my bachelor’s degree in Milan (fashion capital anyone?) I moved to the heart of Italy where I was forged as a citizen of Rome. My romanization led to an obsession for “cacio & pepe” pasta. However, old southerner blood flows in my veins. My background spans from humanities to econometrics passing through political science and env&dev economics. Recently I took a diploma of specialization in international cooperation. I have working experience in NGOs and social enterprises, in the fields of energy, AFOC and civic crowdfunding. I’m all about clean energy access for community empowerment. My dream in the drawer is to run a social enterprise to help the rural poor coping with their energy needs.
As a musician, I have found my natural habitat in Ireland countryside. You can always find me at a session. I’m a wanderer, an archer, a songwriter and used to be a videogame fanatic. I enjoy simple things: riding my bicycle along the river with a bag full of comic books, philosophising around Star Wars, exploring ruins in the jungle. But I get lost in supermarkets.
I am from Nantes, the old capital city of Brittany.
I have been interested in environmental and energy issues since I was young. I did all my studies in this way: technical energy degree, energy engineer and energy economist.
I intend to contribute to solving the problems imposed by current energy and environmental challenges!
I am passionate about sports. I have been playing football for more than 15 years. Now, I like running, and more specifically trail running.
Ireland seems to be a good place for practicing in nature and around all the lakes!
This ESC project is a good opportunity for me to combine an exciting job with improving my English.
Hi, I’m Alexandra – Sasha for short. I’m from Eastern Europe, Belarus.
Five facts to give you an idea about my country:
- our landscape is mostly thick forests, rivers, bogs and lakes;
- we have the world’s largest population of wild European bison;
- Minsk is the capital;
- our specialty is potato pancakes with sour cream ();
- we are bilingual, both Belarusian and Russian are spoken.
So, what can I tell you about myself? I’m a twenty-six-year-old graduate of a linguistics university, with work experience in teaching and journalism. Passionate about visual art, music, fitness, travelling and environment. During my placement in GEAI I would like to work with young people in schools, raising awareness about climate change, and also gain experience in blogging in English and managing social media. A personal goal that I would like to achieve is to run a marathon – I’ve already taken part in 10K and half marathon races here in Ireland.
I’ve been here for a few months now and I can say that Ireland is a great place to go volunteering for a year… lots of things happening around – music events, running events, beautiful places to visit and friendly people around that make you feel at home!
I am Greek and my small hometown is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. It is called Argos and some may know it from history and mythology.
I have lived and worked in different countries but Ireland seems special. Green and grey and rainy all the time, people are usually asking why I would leave Greece to come here. Well I had heard a lot about how beautiful the nature is here, and how kind and friendly the people are. Coming here I realised it was all very true.
I am very excited to work with GEAI, all the projects and causes interest me personally and academically. And my colleagues are very sweet and welcoming.
I am a PhD student in Prague and I love travelling – I have already visited 30 countries and I am aspiring to visit all the rest! Talking about big dreams, I hope to learn tin whistle and set dancing here in Ireland. I am also practicing yoga and I am looking forward to some outdoors yoga by the Atlantic Ocean.
I’m from Messina, a city of Sicily, sunny island of southern Italy. I studied in Urbino – picturesque town of the Renaissance in the central Italy – where I took a master degree in “Design and Communication for Publishing”. I worked as graphic designer in Bolzano, northern Italy, where three different languages are spoken: Italian, German and Ladin.
I participated in the creation of a new Agrocité in Paris, as part of the “Co-produced resilience” project promoted by Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée, about practices and networks of urban resilience. Moreover, I collaborated with the Italian designer collective Brave New Alps in the construction of the “Hospital(ity) school”, a wooden structure that host an Italian school and a medical and legal assistance point in a refugee camp in southern Italy.
My training in design allows me to develop participatory and site-specific projects that can involve a given community. I’m interested in deepening design for sustainability and social innovation. During my studies I couldn’t spend a year studying abroad under the Erasmus+, so I decided to try an EVS before I turned 30, to get to know a new culture, meet new people and also to improve my English.
I come from a small city in the South of Brittany, in France. I’m 24 years old and I have a Bachelor’s degree in SEO (web content and social media).
I had a previous volunteering experience in the field of women’s rights in France, and now I would like to explore working in the environment domain. I feel concerned about this topic for years. Indeed, I’m passionate about animals and nature.
I want to involve myself in causes that are important to me, and try to make a better world. This EVS is a great opportunity for that, and to discover Irish culture, improve my English and be part of a great adventure!
I come from a very tiny village in the North of Italy. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science of International Relations and a Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy.
I joined GEAI in September 2017 driven by a very strong interest in research and advocacy for climate change and environmental issues. I was looking for an opportunity to strengthen and develop new skills while working on topics I’m really passionate about and I believe the EVS experience could provide that.
I’m a travel addict besides being a nature and animal lover. My main hobbies include reading, gardening, hiking, listening to music and watching soccer. Since I arrived here, I fell in love with Irish traditional music (and set dancing!), the kindness of Irish people and the beauty of these stunning hilly landscapes sprinkled with dozens of lakes.
I’m very delighted to have been chosen as the Cool Planet Champion for County Leitrim, an initiative aimed at rasing awareness on climate change and supported by the Environmental Protection Agency. I’m really excited about it!
I come from Rijeka, the third largest city of Croatia. I lived there for almost my whole life. I’m 26 years old. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Informatical business, and a Master’s degree in Marketing at the Faculty of Economics in University of Rijeka. During my studies I went on a Erasmus study stay to Finland where I took courses on Digital marketing and Marketing Social media in 2017.
I have experience with Erasmus+ projects, and have participated on 8 projects (youth exchanges, training courses, contact making seminar) in Turkey, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland on various topics. I’m interested in environment, ecology and climate change.
I come from Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, a region in the North-East coast of Spain. I’m 25 years old and have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Barcelona. I also have two Master’s degrees, one on Renewable Energy and Sustainability, and the other on Training of Secondary Professional and Language teachers.
I am enthusiastic about sustainability, animals and environment in general. I consider myself a good communicator and I’m very passionate about sharing this knowledge with others. I want people to be more aware of how to improve the world we live in, in respect of the environment. But also to be aware of actions that can harm the environment. Living in Ireland is a great opportunity for me to soak up the perspective and culture of Ireland, to learn more about sustainability, also to improve my English skills and to enjoy this adventure!
Hi! I am a 26 years old French girl originally from a small Normandy village. I come from an artistic background; I have a bachelor’s degree in Literature and a Master’s Degree in Cinema. I also am a committed vegan!
I have some volunteering experience in helping on movie sets, helping organise a cinema festival in Paris, helping a theatre company with communication on social media. I also have volunteered for eight months in a Wildlife Rescue Centre, helping take care of wild animals in distress and developing a communication tool for its team to use.
So here I am. I am passionate about environmental and social issues. I want to act for our planet and the people living on it. Besides, I love Ireland: its culture, its music, its Nature, its people’s kindness, its beers… I hope this EVS will give me the opportunity to do work that matters and to immerse myself in Irish culture while meeting a lot of friendly people.
My name is Andrea. I am from Vigo, a costal city in Galicia (Spain). I studied Environmental Science and I made a Master Degree in Renewable energies. I was really happy to be in Ireland and to experience what the EVS means. GEAI helped me to develop my work skills and also to contribute in the idea of building a better world.
I am really concerned about the environmental issues. I love travelling, exploring cultures and meeting new people. This EVS gave me the opportunity to do all I am passionate about and to grow as a person.
Andrea is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Education in Spain, and plans to follow that up with a similar qualification in England.
Hello, my name is Kate. I am from Belarus. Belarus is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe. I graduated from Belarusian National Technical University with a degree in hydraulic engineering. I have almost four years of experience in the field of hydrotechnical construction. Also I am a freelance photographer. I take photos not only of people or nature, but also of buildings and construction in progress. Volunteer service in GEAI was a great opportunity for me to broaden my education and raise awareness of climate change, study renewable energies and improve my English skills. Also it is a great possibility to discover such an interesting country as Ireland, the Emerald Island. I admire the unique Irish customs!
I truly believe that I was useful for GEAI and working in this organisation helped my personal development and had a positive influence on my future.
Kate is currently working as an IT Business Analyst at EPAM Systems in Belarus.
My name is Alexandre and I come from Lisbon, Portugal. Despite my educational background (Bachelors Degree in Pharmacy) I decided to join GEAI because it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to experience what it is like to be a volunteer in an EVS project. I am very happy to have been part of an organisation that works towards making a difference in the future of our planet. I am very fond of travelling and meeting new people.
Alexandre currently works as a “Customer Happiness Hero”, also Translator, Knowledge base & Integration Specialist at Smartsupp in Brno, Czech Republic.
Irakli from Georgia, Tbilisin started his EVS project with Good Energies Alliance in September of 2015. In Georgia he worked on projects with civil society on the problems of refugees and IDPs (internally displaced population).
He ended his EVS in Ireland where he liked it very much and though people around him are really warm. Irakli says: “My life in Ireland was very funny and concentrated on the EVS .I have a lot of new friends here and it makes me really happy.”
Alice wrote at the start of her EVS in 2015: ”I am a Romanian girl that is in love with nature, I studied Geography and I consider myself a world traveller, I am fascinated by the complexity of the Earth but also by human nature and the cultural heritage of the world. I always wanted to be a volunteer and GEAI is offering me the best opportunity to do it, working for the environment and getting to know and live in a new culture”.
Alice is a Freelance Photographer and has her own blog http://www.cookingmalandrina.com, but she is also a Freelance Consultant at Appen.
Cedric wrote at the start of his EVS in 2015. “I’m French and I’m 24. I’m a law graduate from Lyon in France. This is my first trip to another country. Everything is new for me and I already like the warmth of the Irish people. I’m so happy to be here in Co. Leitrim for my EVS. It’s a chance to work for GEAI. I can improve my report method and learn the work of NGOs. The coming year promises to be very interesting and I want to give the best of myself for GEAI activities”.
Cedric has returned to France to continue his education, but this time in journalism. This is what he always wanted and his EVS experience confirmed that this was right for him. He has started his studies in International Affairs Journalism.
I’m from the Azores, in Portugal. And I’m 24 years old.
Lisandra talking about EVS: “You can meet people from all over the world. You can get to know the Irish culture. Don’t be afraid because it’s an amazing experience that you will not regret.”
One of Lisandra’s main contributions to the work of GEAI was the solar energy paper on our view to the matter. Lissandra is currently doing a PhD on Renewable Energies in Estonia!
Originally an Urban Planner, Irina joined the Good Energies Team as a researcher on Renewable Energies. Born and raised in Romania, she did a Master’s degree in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning in the Netherlands and she one of her main contribution to the work of GEAI was the wind paper on our view to the matter: “With this Position Paper we want to contribute to a scientific-based debate around wind energy in Ireland, as well as to help in building a more sustainable and fair country”, Irina said.
Irina now works in Bucharest as a Data Analyst in a company that promotes responsible investment and offers consultancy to people who wish to integrate environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their investment decisions and ownership practices. She is also in an environmental NGO and coordinates volunteers at the different actions realized in and around Bucharest.
Olga, a Ph.D. student in Architecture from Sloviansk in Ukraine worked with Good Energies Alliance Ireland as a graphic web designer. Her project included developing workshops on climate change and fracking. Also, the wonderful website was developed and maintained by her! “The graphic designer skills which I’ve got in the organization and the Irish hospitality helped me to made my mind about nearest future, so I decided to continue volunteering for GEAI for the next year, and I am also taking a web-design course.”
Olga is currently in New Zealand, sponsored by an architect firm to work in their team for a year.
Santi is an environmental journalist from Galicia, NW of Spain. After having worked in several printed and on-line media in three different languages, he learned how to help an organisation like GEAI with his communication skills. He was in charge of social media, press releases and this newsletter for the year and he did a very good job!
Santi is currently working in Central America as a Communications Officer, as part of the Trócaire Graduate programme.
Sergii came to us from Berdansk in Ukraine. He is a Mining Engineer and has a Master’s degree specialising in drilling. When Sergii came to Ireland, he already had four years of work experience in the oil and gas industry. During the time that he was with GEAI, the campaign against fracking in Ireland was at its height. His skills were very useful in our work of raising public awareness of fracking and its consequences. He took on the updating of our website and the organisation of a major international conference in 2013.
Sergii is currently the Project Manager at Weatherford in Ukraine.
In 2012, GEAI had the opportunity of providing work experience to a young French EVS volunteer, Anais, who was hosted by MARDI (Making a Real Difference Ireland). MARDI has close links with GEAI and has a history of sending volunteers abroad and organising youth exchanges. Anais spent six months working with GEAI on the “Good Energies” project, which is on-going and includes much of the background work associated with GEAI, e.g. on-line work, promotion and research. Anais, in collaboration with GEAI members, developed our website and social media functions and helped to organise many public events organised by GEAI.
Anais lives in France and has a full time position as a Journalist with a network of local newspapers.