“The summer of 2018 was one of the most eye-opening time of my life!” You might wonder why Eleri said so. I happily give you an answer: because of the experience she had with AIESEC in The Land of Fire — Azerbaijan!
The project that Eleri was a part of was called “Paws UP” and it was all about helping animals in the shelter and making an influence in the world by doing volunteer work for 6 weeks. The project was connected to SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) nr. 15 — Life on Land.
At first, she had some doubts about going abroad with AIESEC because she was quite scared of going to the unknown world alone and living together with people from all over the world. In the end, she decided that the experience will be worth it and chose a project in Azerbaijan as she didn’t know anything about the country and its culture. Thanks to volunteering she got to meet people from China, Pakistan, Bahrain, Finland, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan, Japan and Austria.
“The summer of 2018 was one of the most eye-opening time of my life!”
During the project, all volunteers lived in a hostel near the animal shelter and by working together and sharing the same rooms, they became friends and really bonded with each other. They worked approximately 7 hours a day and the team was divided into three groups — volunteers who worked with cats, the other group with dogs and the remaining people worked in the clinic with vets. Eleri worked in two fields because she wanted to try different jobs — in the clinic and in the cat shelter. Her tasks were usually to clean up the mess after the surgeries in the clinic and feed cats in the shelter.
Their free time was usually spent on sightseeing in nearby cities or regions. AIESEC in Azerbaijan took them to different regions and also showed around in the capital city. They got to taste authentic Azerbaijani food and went to many museums, parks, tourist attractions and beaches. “The most memorable times for me were when we went to see the mud volcanoes and a week-long trip to Georgia to extend our Azerbaijani visa.”
“The most memorable times for me were when we went to see the mud volcanoes and a week-long trip to Georgia to extend our Azerbaijani visa.”
To sum up her experience, Eleri said: “Volunteering is a perfect way to make the world a better place and also get something really valuable in return — knowledge about different cultures, huge personal development and friends from all around the world. “
“Volunteering is a perfect way to make the world a better place and also get something really valuable in return — knowledge about different cultures, huge personal development and friends from all around the world. “
During 6 weeks she became more open-minded and brave. “I learned so much about Azerbaijani culture and about the countries where my teammates were from. The knowledge I gained will definitely come in handy in the future and in addition to that, I could take care of the animals in need.”
Volunteering experience gave her the incentive to join AIESEC in Estonia, so she could continue to make a difference in the world by organizing similar projects here in Estonia. She wants young people from all over the world to experience Estonian culture and get their experience of a lifetime.
This was Eleri’s experience. Find out what could be yours!