‘Empowered for Life’ (2018-1-DE04-ESC11-017293) is a European Solidarity Corps (preciously known as EVS) project, which we have just successfully completed. This voluntary service project for one Austrian volunteer Tanja was centred around the topics of sustainability, health, well-being, (un)employment, inclusion and culture. The idea of the project was that voluntary service project empowers one for life, improves one’s skills and competences, and provides tools to face challenges better. The short term aim of the project was to offer the young participant an opportunity to work in a highly sustainable, multicultural, but safe and supportive environment and develop her skills, especially organic gardening and cooking skills, that are highly appreciated and sought for in today’s world, to become more competitive in the labour market or to start her own business. The long term aim has been to inspire and encourage other youth within both organizations to start a voluntary service project abroad.
Tanja has been actively and happily engaged in different activities in our community, from learning organic gardening to preparing healthy meals from the products from the garden. She has also been helping to organize free food distribution (helping prepare it and distribute it), meeting many new people. She has been taking part in our group studying and self-studying on the topic of personal development that we organize in our community, including yoga classes, which she highly appreciated. Overall, she admits she has experienced a more sustainable way of living, enabling her to lead a healthier, more balanced and consequently a happier life.