2020 ESC volunteers Joao and Paula


My name is João Rodrigues, I am 27 years old and I was born on the Madeira Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I have been working as a Graphic Designer at the Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre. Recently, I participated for a year in an exchange project in Kiel, Germany at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule, where I developed my studies in Editorial Design and Illustration.

During my assignment as a volunteer in Belgium, I am thoroughly enjoying the complementary learning process with the communication team, my voluntary partner, the artists in residence and the centres’ workshops. My internship in Destelheide & Hanenbos is one big adventure in which I discover something different every time.

In the context of voluntary work, I really appreciate “learning by doing”. I see volunteering as an opportunity to expand my personality by exploring and recognising my limitations.

Furthermore, as a volunteer I’ve become more sensitive, aware and tolerable of the atmosphere I am surrounded in. I like to volunteer as much as possible because it gives a sense of inner fulfilment.

In this day and age, we should focus more on this kind of non-formal education.


My name is Paula Fernandez. I am 22 years old and I am from a city in the south of Spain called Granada. I have studied Fine Arts High School and 2 years of a Fashion Design degree.

I am a very creative and artistic person. I am also a nature lover, ever since I was a child my parents took me hiking and taught me how to enjoy and take care of nature.

I have done several volunteering jobs, international and national. Currently, I am a Greenpeace volunteer in my home city.

Every assignment is different. We are warmly welcomed and the house we are staying in is really beautiful!

It is a pity that the internship turned out to be a little different due to corona, but we are well taken care of and still get quite a lot of homework. I haven't been bored yet!

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