Volunteers voices- Synnøve

Welcome to “Volunteers’ Voices” A Drop in the Ocean Project.
Join us on a special journey where compassion knows no bounds. “Volunteers’ Voices” by A Drop in the Ocean gives you a glimpse into the experiences of our dedicated volunteers and the impact of Drops.
Whether you’re an experienced volunteer or considering joining, read our Volunteers’ heartfelt stories, learn from the challenges faced, and witness the transformative power of helping others.

My name is Synnøve, I am 66 year old, I’m a pensioner, and I’m from Bergen in Norway.

I work as a volunteer because I really care about other people. I’m doing volunteer work in Norway; one day a week, I work with refugees and people who have come from different countries; I teach them the Norwegian language. And as I really like these people, I was curious about how to go abroad with an organisation because I care, and I want to do something different. If only I could do a little bit, it would be very meaningful for me, and hopefully, it would also give meaning to people struggling with so much in the camps.

I learned about Drops from a lady I used to know some years ago. But I was still working and didn’t have enough time to do this. But now I’m a pensioner, so I should do this now. So, one day, I met one person working for Drops who gave me more information. Because, at the beginning, I was sceptical about whether I had the courage to do this. And that person encouraged me and made my thoughts go away, and to believe that it would be really nice for me to volunteer here.

In Nea Kavala, I am doing language lessons in the Drop Centre, participating in the Women’s Knitting and Kids’ activities. I really like the women’s space, the fact that there is a space for them to sit and chat and talk about their babies and doing the crochet is good.

The first week includes lots of introductions, which could be considered as overwhelming. There are some ground rules we need to follow, and we need to know all of them. For example, we do not hug children, and even though I love hugging kids, as we do not know how the fact that a stranger hug them will affect them in the future, it is better not to do it at all. These things are important to know when working into such a context. However, during the entire working period, the coordinators are very supportive towards me and the rest of the volunteers; I am comfortable that the coordinators care so much about the volunteers. They give us support and guidelines and we feel safe with what we do.

My experience here it’s mixed. Before coming here, I believed the refugees would be sad and depressed. But I’m still astonished at how joyful they are. Even though I don’t think they’re happy inside, they seem happy. They act happy, they are nice and friendly towards us. In the news, they only show the bad things, but being with these people, I learn a lot from them. These people suffered so many tragedies, yet they seem happy; it makes me so respectful towards them. And this also makes me think how lucky I and having not to face such difficulties.

Volunteering here is a life experience. I recommend everyone who can, to come here. This help could make a difference for struggling people who have quite another life than us.