European Butterfly effect
A story by Joanna Bogdanowicz
Country of Origin:Poland
Country of destination: Gernany
There is a phenomenon in chaos theory called “butterfly effect”. Cutting a long story short, the one small change in one state can cause significant differences in another one. I like to think about the youth exchange in Italy, in which I participated in 2011 as my own “butterfly effect”, because it has enormous impact on my development and decisions I made later on.
After the final exams and graduation from high school, together with groups from Poland and Portugal I took part in a youth exchange within Youth in Action program called “Voluntary? With pleasure!” in Turin, Italy. The main goal of the exchange was to get to know voluntary work from each perspective and area of voluntary service. Together, we were working with disabled people, painting the day room for local community, having the seminars with EVS participants and sharing our own experience as a volunteer in own country. The people I have met there and the new ways of thinking I got familiar with have really broaden my horizons and caused immense changes in my life. The most important was that for the first time I felt myself independent and ready to open myself for the new experiences.
Highly motivated after the exchange and supported by new friends, in the last minute I decided to move far away from my hometown and to study at the Warsaw University. In the first week of studies I joined to the European Students’ Forum AEGEE-Warszawa and for 3 years I totally dedicated myself to work on national and European projects for students from all over the Europe. And this year when I thought I settled down a little, finished the University and got a good job; I’ve just remembered this feeling of passion and openness to new things which accompanied me during the youth exchange in Italy. Because of that I decided to quit my job to participate in Leonardo da Vinci program and to take an internship at GEB Berlin where I have learnt that working in NGO is definitely “my thing”.