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Interview with international volunteers in Cardiff from the UNA Exchange. Interview recorded at the Riverside Festival, 20 August 2016.
The Chronicle Project is a community heritage project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by VCS Cymru with the aims to document the history of volunteering in Cardiff, from 1914 to 2014.
Visit our website at:
HS = Hannah Swetapple (Interviewer), AA = Alesandro Asero, MG = Martina Gargari, ZN = Zuzana Nevolova, CB = Catherine Bony.
[Introductions - 0:04 to 2:13]
MG: I am Martina, I am 22 years old and I come from Italy. I ended up in Cardiff because last year I was working for volunteering experience in European Voluntary Service. I have been here since the beginning of February because my project is 7 months long, and right now I am participating in the work camp. We are helping the community and the main goal of the work camp is to look for peace.
ZN: Hi, I am Susan, or in my country it is spelled Zuzanna. I come from the Czech Republic. I am only 19 years old and I came here because the organisation that I am traveling with, or I came here with, advertised this work camp very well and I just looked at it and was like “Yeah! This is what I want to do”. So I just ended up here and that’s the whole story.
AA: I am Alex. I am from Spain and I am 23. My organisation advertised the work camp as something to create peace in the world in different ways. It was not clear what we were going to do. But this makes the thing more exciting. So I decided to come here to see it with my own eyes and now this is great!
CB: Well I am Catherine from France and I am 47 years old. I first came here because I wanted to work in an English speaking environment and I remembered that when I was young they used to do a lot of work camps and I had lovely memories of childhood there. So when I saw the information sheet about the project I was really thrilled and motivated by the idea of promoting peace and being helpful to other people. So here I am and I have no regrets at all.
HS: So what sort of things do you do in Cardiff?
[Voluntary activities - 2:17 to 3:17]
CB: Well in Cardiff we work for 2 organisations, even 3 I should say. And so in Riverside we had to help improve the environment and surroundings by setting up flower beds, cleaning up streets. We were asked to help with the festival. What else?
AA: we also work with the women’s organisation, Women Connect First. Our main goal is to create stories of peace. And we have to interview them and finally produce a video.
HS: What would you say you have achieved through volunteering?
[Their achievements through volunteering - 3:24 to 4:55]
ZN: Well it may sound pathetic but we achieved sharing of peace with the community in a way because when you look at the lovely women of Women Connect First are just thrilled to see the work that we are doing and we offered to see them every day. And everyone kind of bonded throughout those two weeks. So that’s the part about Women Connect First and I got very excited about that.
CB: I think we probably helped the communities with our projects. Apparently it is easier to implement such projects with young people who are willing to help. So we create a drive and gather momentum because we are all together.
AA: And also the community, they have done something for us and we have done something for them. Because all the people in this neighbourhood are extremely kind and engage with the people and so I have learned that.
ZN: Everyone gets involved in the community.
HS: So what would you say you have enjoyed most about volunteering?
[Getting to know the community - 5:00 to 5:49]
ZN: Meeting the people, really… And that’s the best part about traveling in general too.
CB: Probably to get to know them because if we were here just as tourists it would have been completely different.
MG: To being able to listen, for the first time in my life to the particular stories about countries which is not peaceful and you realise you cannot guarantee all that you have because in some countries it is not guaranteed as well.

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