Natalie Renta

When I took the decision to come to Czech Republic, I didn’t know what to expect.

I didn’t know anything about the culture or any other person there but I really needed a change in my life so I took the risk.

And it turned out to be one of the best choices of my life!

The day that I left Greece, I had all the mixed emotions of uneasiness and enthusiasm that you feel when you get out of your comfort zone. But when I arrived in Czech Republic and met the first people of my organization, I was overwhelmed by their friendliness and open-heartedness. While staying in Czech Republic for my volunteering project, what mostly stayed with me was the sense of community and belonging.

Before coming here and having only read the description of the project, I knew that I would be working in an elementary school of alternative methods of teaching and a forest kindergarden. However, what I eventually discovered is that it is not just a school but a community of people which feels like a big family.

The parents of the children have a very active role in the events and activities of the school and they were a great inspiration to me. I got to know many people that don’t conform to society’s ideals, they act to create changes and lead more sustainable lifestyles. Apart from that, the school and the kindergarden are both amazing places! Having no prior experience to these ways of teaching, I myself started to question a lot of things about the traditional ways of teaching. Although I don’t think that there is an ideal method that is good for everyone, I can see the difference in the mentality of these children. The principles of the school are built upon collaboration and communication and that is really evident when you enter this environment.

In total, what I really adore in this school is the energy surrounding it; the children feel happy and enjoy being there and that is the most important thing. Education is not only about knowledge but it’s about people; people who will grow up feeling good about themselves, having beautiful memories from their childhood and being able to find their way and follow their dreams.

For all these reasons, I feel grateful to have been part of this community and contributed in some way for this year of my volunteering journey.

And I feel even more grateful that I will keep being a part of it as they offered me a job and I decided to stay for one more year.

If you need more information, you can contact me on my email: rentanatalia@gmail.com

 

However, what I eventually discovered is that it is not just a school but a community of people which feels like a big family.