Dear potential Solidarity Corps (ESC) Volunteer,
I hope this post finds you well.
First up: yes, I certainly think you* should apply for this project. Some general good advice I have received in the past: leave the rejecting to someone else, i.e. don’t reject yourself from a position before even applying.
Now, let’s talk more specifically why you should apply for this project and work for ENIL in Brussels. At a basic level, the Secretariat is very busy, especially with the Freedom Drive coming up during your time here. This means, you will be able to see clearly the difference you make when you help shoulder the load as part of this team. Even better though, the work available is very diverse: while, of course, some of it simply needs to be done and might not be particularly exciting, you can also pick or even create some activities you want to do.
Coming here, I wanted to do some policy work, learn Dutch, work flexible hours, so when I felt unwell due to my chronic health conditions, I could just rest, and gain a level of understanding of the Independent Living philosophy that would allow me to speak publicly on behalf of ENIL. By asking for certain tasks, planning and making the effort to integrate my interests with ENIL’s work programme, I was able to achieve these goals.
For me, communications work was an item on my to-do list that I did not like. Writing articles for the newsletter was quite hard at the beginning. Through practice and getting to know the membership better, my skills in this area have developed and it has become easier. Lately, ‘communications’ also involves working on the website, even including some basic coding and I am actually having a lot of fun with that!
There are also other opportunities outside of ENIL I would like to mention to you: fries and other food and beverages, high-quality and low-cost language courses (especially Dutch), a vibrant and diverse city and, of course, the proximity to the EU institutions. The downsides include, as pointed out in the job description, the high number of structural barriers throughout the city and usually also a lot of rain.
So, this is how I did this project – but there many different ways to do it. What I would say is, I embraced my time and the opportunities here fully, and I recommend you do the same. You can apply HERE until 20th August.
The only thing left for me to say is best of luck for your application!
EVS Volunteer at ENIL (February – September 2018)
*Of course, read the full job description first to see if you satisfy the criteria of the programme& what you need to do to submit a full application.
[Picture shows four faces of people on a temporary bridge across a canal. Clockwise from the left: Office Manager Marco, current EVS Miriam, previous EVS Mher, EVS Coordinator Frank. The picture was taken the week of this post.]