JRS – Isusovačka služba za izbjeglice

Iva Lizović

Student of Pedagogy and Cultural Anthropology

Iva Lizović

My experience as volunteer in JRS
My name is Iva Lizović and I am volunteering for JRS now a little bit more than one year. It is hard to believe that it is just a year, because it feels al least twice as long. I decide to volunteer because I was bored, I was new in a big city and everything that JRS does seems interesting to me, regarding my future proffesion (I am student of pedagogy and cultural anthropology), but in real I didn’t know really what to expect. What I experience in JRS is hard to explain in few sentences, but I will try. When we think of voluntering we usually think of one- way proces, we- volunteers help people who need help. Volunteering in JRS showed me that it is two way process and that I recived as many as I give to one that needed me, refugees. From friendships to opportunities for be better in my work, I grow up both as a person and a professionalist. First I start to volunteer with little children in Child friendly space, where we had workshops with JRS employees on whome I could see that they do their work with passion and love. During the time, workshops changed and our ideas for spending time there were accepted, we became very close to children and we watch them learning croatian, as we learn some words on farsi or arabic. After some time, me and few of my frineds start to hang out with teenagers, too. First thing we have to do was to motivate them to live here, to enjoy. So we went to theatre, cinema, museums or simply sit for a coffe or walk on the streets. We show them what it means to live in Zagreb, in Croatia. Eventually I start to help some of them with school homework and many other things and it become really difficult to separate helping them as volunteer from just being with them as my friends. People who were working for JRS were alweys open for my ideas (and still are), so I could help the best I could and I want. Some of refugges left Zagreb, some new arrive, but feeling that I have volunteering is still the same and motivate me to do so many more years.