Natalie Blinder with Inessa Tankamian, both volunteers at Caritas Georgia

Good day everyone,
Gamarjoba from Tbilisi!

My name is Natalie, I am Ukrainian, I have been a Caritas volunteer since October, 2017, and here is my story.

I can clearly remember the moment being on a plane on my way to Tbilisi, having many thoughts and doubts in my mind, and of course being afraid of uncertainty.

To me, being a volunteer is a beautiful thing in itself, but it is also Georgia and its people who make my experience great.

Georgia is gorgeous, and the crowds and crowds of tourists on the streets of Tbilisi and throughout the country would agree with me… If I were to choose one word describing Georgians, it would definitely be the word “warm”. You feel welcome here, you can feel their hospitality. If a Georgian person does something to you, he will put his heart into it. So, do not be surprised if you find yourself being invited by a total stranger you met on the street to a dinner with his family!

“Sharing is caring” – these words come to my mind first when I think of volunteering. We can share something of our lives in many ways: by helping a friend, by giving some advice, by doing something, by simply being there. Thus, volunteering is one of many ways you can give something back to society when the time is right for you.

I was well accepted and welcomed in the Caritas family and have met many young bright Georgians: they have come from different backgrounds, having different challenges and problems, but what I see is that they are united by an idea of helping someone in need, and that is inspirational.

I would like to thank the staff of Caritas Georgia for their trust; it is an honour for me to have an opportunity to work with unprotected and vulnerable members of our society. It teaches me a lot, and I hope in the future I will be able to “pass this on” – to implement my knowledge in the best way possible.

I wish you as future volunteers (or maybe some of you are already) to have this international experience – it is definitely fun, but most of all you could learn a lot about other cultures.

In Caritas, I have been lucky to communicate with people from Georgia, Armenia, Germany, Poland, Italy, China, and Bahrain – and as a part of Caritas Georgia I am looking forward to meet and greet volunteers from more countries at the Regional Conference happening in sunny Tbilisi in May, 2018!

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