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Can make a difference

“This year was my second voluntary service at Elijah. This time it was my job to help to set up a farm that would serve both as a training center for interested young people and for the organization to be self-sufficient in fresh produce. The first exciting thing about working in Romania is the fact that you enter a completely new world with a foreign language, history and culture.

For me, one of the biggest differences to Austria is the open-heartedness and hospitality of the Romanian people. So it wasn’t difficult for me to make friends in the village. I felt welcome from the first moment and, thanks to the patience and interest of the village community, I quickly learned to communicate in Romanian.
Secondly, I have rarely learned so much about life in such a short period of time. In Romania, people still know a lot about agricultural working methods that we haven’t used for years because it has been replaced by machines. Mowing is done by hand with a scythe and plowed by a horse. Of course, you also get to see the problems people have as a daily struggle. An example is the horse: for many, it is vital for survival as a farm animal in order to earn money with carts. In order to get it through the winter, however, the families are forced to steal weed. Despite the difficult conditions, people always rush to help with problems and try to find a good solution together. It’s a good feeling as a young person to experience so much gratitude.

It’s nice to know that you are needed and that you can make a difference. I really enjoyed my time in Romania and came back to Austria richer with lots of experiences and friends.” 

Martin from Tyrol, 19, was a volunteer in Hosman in 2019