Did you know that the European Voluntary Service (EVS) has partnerships outside of Europe? Young people have been volunteering in Africa - helping to foster EU-African cooperation and developing skills at the same time. Read the story of Csíki, an EVS volunteer in Benin.

As part of EVS mobility projects in Benin and Cape Verde, 7 Romanian and Portuguese volunteers crossed the Mediterranean for 6 months to develop skills in project management and non-formal education and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

When Romanian volunteer, Csíki Zoltánia-Réka, graduated from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Târgu Mureş as a midwife, she faced hurdles trying to get on the job ladder.

That was until she 'stumbled' on the opportunity to become a midwife in Benin. During her time in Africa, she learnt some invaluable life skills and professional competences.

'I have seen and experienced a lot of things. I think we learned more from the people here than they learn from us,' she added. 'I feel that my colleagues and I will return as different people. With new sets of values, patience, perseverance and yes, professional experience. Because here I can learn and experience, and most importantly I help with delivering babies in such conditions that will give me experience of a lifetime. I am glad I have the chance to be here, as a midwife in the beginning of my career.'

From the loss of pre-mature twins in her arms to carrying a new-born on her back, Csíki will leave Benin with lifelong memories and invaluable experiences helping to bring new life into this world.

Would you like to become a volunteer or set up a project and help foster cooperation between the EU and the rest of the world just like Csíki? Learn more about how to take part in the European Voluntary Service here!