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My name is Maëlle. I’m a 25 year old French girl. I studied social work in France and have my diploma since 1 year. I worked a bit as a social worker, and then decided to go abroad, to experience something different. I thought to be a volunteer abroad since a few years, and I think doing it after my studies was the good moment.

I chose Moldova because I always felt attracted by eastern countries. Moldova is a country that we don’t really know from the western part of Europe, and what we know about it is pretty negative, so I wanted to discover the other parts. Also, it was interesting for me to live in a less developed country, to see how things are here. Moldova is also a small country between Romania and Ukraine, and has different influences, it’s in the middle of several cultures, and I wanted to see how the impact on the people and the mentalities is. I don’t regret my choice! The first weeks were a bit disturbing, I had to face to a lot of new things, another way of living, and another mentality. It’s interesting to face to another culture and to see how you can react, you learn a lot about yourself and about your own culture.

I came in Moldova via the European Voluntary Service. I was supposed to work in another organization, but things there were a bit disappointing for me. I wanted to be in contact with people, to help them and to gain some skills related to my profession in France (social worker).  So I came to Casa Providentei, where I found what I was looking for. I like helping in the different activities of the centre (social canteen, activities with elderly, etc.), the team is really friendly, and I really appreciate to create social link with the beneficiaries.

My voluntary experience really confirmed me that I want to work in the social field and help people. So when I will be back to France, I will find a job, and I would like to work with migrants, Roma people, young people, disadvantaged people. For the moment, I want to work in France, but I also want to continue travelling in my life, and why not to do another voluntary service in a few years (maybe in Africa, in Latin America, in Caucasus).

If I would characterize Moldova in 3 words, it would be:

– authentic: the society is organized differently than in western Europe, and it’s hard to explain but the relationships seems to be more authentic, the family is really important and people would do everything for their family. When you travel through Moldova, you really feel this authentic part.

– resourceful: even if life is not always easy here, people always manage to find ways to face difficulties. I think people are strong here. They helped each other, there is a solidarity.

– great!: because I lived here the most interesting experience of my life!