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Europe : Mobility for all - Fatihah Fekih, French volunteer in the United Kingdom

Taking time off between studies and work, Fatihah opted for the European Voluntary Service (EVS).She works for an NGO in Buntingford (United Kingdom).She lives with volunteers from different cultures. As a young woman, she had to get her family to agree to this experience of European mobility. She finds this diversity very gratifying.
My name is Fatihah, I'm 25. I'm Franco-Algerian. I'm an EVS volunteer in Buntingford in England, for an NGO that helps young people develop their own projects. It's 9 o'clock, I'm about to have breakfast. It's not a typically English one, but it's what I'm used to. I'm here with Sarah, Soraya, who's already working, and Deborah. I'm a coordinator for the European office and French-speaking countries. We do a lot of events organisation and communication for our various projects. I use my skills to help the other volunteers communicate on their projects. Even if it's voluntary work, it's still work. Do you need a hand? In the stables? I'm coming, bye. We had an advocacy meeting. The others have decided that Fatihah would take care of them all in London. She had a big task on her hands, but did such a good job. By putting people sometimes when they're not expecting it into a position they just have to do it, they do it well, then they're very satisfied. My baccalauréat was in economics and social studies. I did a degree, then a masters in political and public communication. I worked after my studies and then realised it wasn't the right time to start a career. I needed to learn English to do whatever I wanted. I'm Soraya from South Africa. I'm Luca from Italy. I'm from Turkey. I'm Lia, I come from Wales. I'm Richard from Trinidad. I'm Sarah from England. My name's Deborah, I'm from Glasgow. We're ten volunteers from ten different cultures and we all live in the same house. We all share our meals, it's very friendly, like a family. I think diversity can only be enriching. It was hard for my family at first to accept me going abroad to get experience. In my community, family is the most important thing. Daughters in particular, remain very attached to the parents and grandparents. It's true we find it hard to leave. Now, they're delighted to see me so happy. They're encouraging me to discover another country next year, a lot further away, on another continent. It's 9 p.m. We're off to the pub with the girls and Richard for the national quiz! It's hard work! In which films would you find the following dragons: Norbert, Draco, Saphira, Falco? You mustn't be afraid, you have to go for it because there's so much to discover, so much to learn. We shouldn't just stay put when programmes like EVS exist that enable us to go and discover things, almost free of charge. Outdoors in Buntingford. It's 11.30 p.m. The streets are deserted. We'll make our way home then go to sleep, I think.

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ONISEP L'Union européenne / FSE

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