“My first year in Leuven was filled with the thrill brought about by this new chapter in my life. I engaged in common endeavors, such as discovering the city, the food, attending concerts and other cultural events. But after a while, the fairytale faded away, and the novelty was replaced by a real need of belonging, of connecting with local people on a more profound level, getting a grasp on what their necessities were and how I could contribute to my new community. I came across Serve the City, which was the only NGO at that time that was accepting non-Dutch speakers for their volunteering opportunities and I registered for my first project! I really didn’t know what to expect from a cooking volunteering day, but I had the chance to experience a very fun and heartwarming Saturday together with a bunch of expats who were all looking for a chance to interact with others. Soon after that, I decided to join their project leaders team and be part of the organization on a deeper level. Since then, I am trying to organize this kind of projects myself. It’s very easy to combine your full-time job with volunteering for Serve the City and the variety of projects and communities we serve is really the ingredient that keeps me engaged. I met so many new people, I had the chance to collaborate with local organizations and experience activities I would normally not do in my weekends: cooking for people in need, gardening, painting, cleaning and decorating or being part of environmental initiatives.
– Andreea, Project Leader, Serve the City
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