LGL participates actively in the EVS programme as hosting organization, and has already implemented seven projects in which young people from Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Portugal and Turkey have carried out a 10-month voluntary service with us. Our EVS volunteers gain new experience and skills related to working in an NGO as well as knowledge of international issues of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. In exchange LGL benefits from the new perspectives and initiatives brought by young volunteers from different European countries.
To read about our ongoing and upcoming EVS projects click here. If you are interested in being an EVS volunteer at LGL, please find more information about possibilities here or in our StarterKit. For comprehensive information on the reimbursement of travel costs click here. Do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Our Former EVS volunteers:
Position: EVS volunteer
About the volunteer: Activism has always played an important role in my interests. I try to participate actively in the communities I navigate through. Whether trying to challenge the mind-set of my family and friends, or in a more formal context, as the case of this volunteering experience, I am a firm believer in fighting for the human rights of all. It all comes down to this question – if I know things can get better, why shouldn’t I do something about it? I have a Bachelor’s degree in Languages and International Relations, from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto (Portugal), which included a period of mobility studies in Warsaw’s Collegium Civitas (Poland), through the Erasmus program. Following my B.A., I completed a master in Tourism. For my thesis, I decided to research on gay tourism in Portugal, as a way to contest the lack of gay academia in this area. I leant on queer and feminist studies to theorize about the importance of queer spaces for the development of the LGBTQ+ community.My interest in LGBTQ+ issues, are fuelled by own identity. Through my upbringing as a gay black man, I have become interested in working with intersecting identities, and uplifting the voice of the disfranchised and unheard. I am volunteering through the European Voluntary Service, in the project “Disappearing Borders: Empowering LGBT community and allies in Lithuania”. My goal is to gain experience in LGBTQ+ activism, learning from the experienced organization that is LGL. Furthermore, I am certain I will gain a brand new perspective on how to navigate the world, as a queer person, and hopefully I will get to interact and exchange ideas with the community.
Position: EVS volunteer
About the volunteer: My sensitivity for human rights and equality springs from my socio-political situation as a member of Romania’s considerable Hungarian minority group and its LGBT+ community. Because of my interest in the way religious tenets conflict with modern concepts on sexual orientation and gender identity, I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania. During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to study abroad twice as an exchange student. Thus, I studied at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) with an Erasmus-grant, and at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest with a Makovecz-scholarship, respectively. The aforementioned universities offered a wide range of courses, many of them including topics such as gender equity, feminist theology, the social situation of women in various historical periods or the ethical perception of homosexuality. In my BA thesis I conducted an intertextual analysis of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah by using early Jewish writings and commentaries on the Qur’an in order to provide an alternative interpretation of the narrative which might lead to positive changes in religious discourse regarding LGBT rights in the Middle East. In addition to my studies, I translated for MozaiQ (a Romanian LGBT rights organisation) in a crowdfunding campaign against the referendum to ban same-sex marriage, and took part in several LGBT-related projects (ex. Youth in Action project “Rainbow School Backpack”, the X. LGBT Christian Forum of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Summer School “Action for Equality”). My main reason for volunteering at LGL is to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the field of LGBT+ activism.
Country of origin: Italy
About the volunteer: Since I can remember I’ve always thought that I will live through Art, it’s one of the few certain things in my life. I graduated in March 2015 in Cinema, in a University of fine Arts in Rome. Then I had different jobs like an internship at the Opera Theatre of Rome and some as photographer on set. But I was looking to something that will be bring me out of the stressful Rome and that it would involve more. So, thanks to my sister that has already had an EVS experience, I begin to search EVS projects focused on art activities, and LGL project was the most interesting for sure.
Few years ago I started going at the meetings of the Mario Mieli LGBT Organization in Rome to discover the LGBT community issues in Italy and confront with other points of view. And so I started to be more conscious of the real situation and see things in other perspectives.
For this, I thought I could give my support at this organization through art; cause I’m really convinced that Arts (a drawing, a picture, a movie or any other art form) can always be one of the strongest “weapons” to tell, explain or share something important.
So here I am to give my contribution, to make new experiences and friends, to reach personal and common goals and to grow up as an active person in this mad world.
Position: EVS volunteer
About the volunteer: Sveiki, aš esu Tania. I come from Slovakia and I graduated from British and American Studies program at the faculty of arts. Studying cultures and languages inspired me to work at the Slovak Embassy in Lisbon after my studies, where I assisted in consular help for Slovak citizens living in Portugal, and I also received basic training regarding diplomatic issues. Coming from an official structure like this, I felt the need to work with a smaller group of people with huge passion for a cause, and the LGL seems to represent exactly that. During my university studies I had a chance to represent my country at the European Youth Parliament session in Jerevan, Armenia as an international delegate, where we tried our hand at creating legislation and its defending before European Commissioners. Other than that I do translations, corrections and web content for my favorite organization that provides fair working conditions for people around the world. I‘m fond of sports of all kinds, hiking, ballet, spending time with my friends and I feel very blessed to be working and learning with the amazing people at the LGL.
Name: Veronika Štefečková
Country of origin: Slovakia
About the volunteer: LGBT topics have always seemed to be important to me. I am more interested in it since I was studying at the department of sociology at Brno (Czech Republic), where was the Pride held the first year of my studies and I have realized that homophoby is a real problem. Then one of my friends came out as a trans and that was the kick to start to be more interested in transgender issues. As I was studying gender studies at that time, I have written all of my essays on that topic and my bachelor thesis was named „Transgender – towards a human rights perspective“ where I introduced a shift in approaching transgenderism with using of theories of gender. I have been a trainee in TransFúzia – organization for empowerment of transgender people in Slovakia. I have got engaged also with a women´s right organization in Brno which deals mainly with sexist advertisement and that is the other topic of my work as I am interested in feminist issues and fighting sexism, too. Last year I experienced a few non-formal education trainings and I have found out that it is really important to move out from a comfort zone to learn new things and to develop yourself, so I have decided finally to go abroad for my first time. I have discovered EVS and it was fortunate that there was a call from LGL in that time. So here I am!
Country of origin: Italy
About the volunteer: With a bachelor degree in Political Sciences and a master in International Economics and Politics, the desire to work on topics such as the protection of human rights comes out pretty natural to me, so when I read about the LGBT EVS opportunity I simply said: why not?! Of course, there are also other reasons that let me decide to apply for this specific EVS project. First of all, I was attracted by the opportunity to gain experience in the advocacy sector. In fact, even if thanks to my academic results, I won different scholarships abroad and I worked for different International Institutions and NGOs (during the Erasmus Placement in Brussels for example, I worked for Caritas Europa; with the MAE-CRUI in Chicago (USA) for the Italian Consulate; and by means of Leonardo Da Vinci project for the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Valencia), none of them gave me the specific chance to experience what working in the advocacy unit means, and I was very curious about. Second, the topic is very specific and relatively new, there still is a lot of work to do on it and I found this stimulating. Moreover, being Italian, I saw it as a challenge. As everybody knows, Italy has a deeply-rooted catholic culture, and even if it is a long time that GLBT rights are at the centre of national and international public debate, the political class still find hard to treat these themes with the necessary respect. Third, I have always been active from a social point of view (I started practicing volunteering when I was 16 years old) and I hate discrimination, in any form and/or level. I have a natural and very strong sense of justice and for this reason I found the project in line with my personality. Finally, I missed living abroad. So now, I am here, with all my fears and worries, but ready to learn and put myself to the test.
Country of origin: Italy
About the volunteer: My involvement with civil society organizations began in the union of students in Italy where I was battling for a better educational system and working on LGBT* students’ rights. After being elected as my school’s ‘representative of students’, I worked on the improvement of the anti-discrimination regulations and and prompting students to work with NGOs. At the same time I became a member of Arcigay, an Italian organization for LGBT* people’s rights. With Arcigay I organized activities for the LGTB* community in my home town Piacenza – for instance I instructed students in different schools about concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity. This year I also worked with Amnesty International on several events and petitions and graduated as a Quantity Surveyor. Furthermore I started travelling around Europe to learn about different societies. Thus I came across the European Voluntary Service and, since I love visiting new countries and meeting new people, I could not turn down the opportunity to contribute to LGL’s initiatives as a volunteer.
Name: Annemarie Walter
Country of origin: Germany
About the volunteer: The European Studies opened a whole new world for me. Not only that I learned a lot about East(-Central) Europe, I also traveled whenever I had the opportunity. It did not need much to convince me of the beauty of this part of the world; I right away fell in love with the first city I ever saw east from Germany: Vilnius. During the past five years I visited many other cities and countries, lived one year in Czech Republic – and still had Vilnius on my mind and in my heart until I eventually returned for an internship. I worked with children, I brought ‘The Young Americans’ for them to Vilnius for music and dance workshops. And when my internship ended after four months I decided to stay in Vilnius. During my internship I had attended a conference on family in the Lithuanian parliament. I was shocked by the anti-LGBT* main speech (held by a German) and I realized that this is an issue I want to get engaged in here. I want to support LGBT* people with their inclusion into society and I would like to make the struggle of LGBT* people in Eastern Europe more visible in Germany. Which fits pretty much my EVS topic: “Volunteering for Visibility and Inclusion”.
Name: Alice Michelini
Country of origin: Italy
About the volunteer: I’m a student graduating in International and Diplomatic Studies. I am originally from Bologna but since my globetrotter nature is that strong, I believe I would fit more under the label of “citizen of the world”. During some travels I had the chance to work for some no profit organizations fighting for human and civil rights. The experience there was so good that it made me understand that human rights was my way. For this reason and as I always been a full supporter of LGBT* rights, I decided to join the LGL struggle in order to raise awareness and promote tolerance and respect.
Name: Adam Walsh
Country of origin: Ireland
About the volunteer: I graduated with a Bachelors in Law from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2012. I then moved to Frankfurt am Main, Germany to complete a Masters in Law and Finance. During my time in Frankfurt I worked with numerous international law firms. However, outside of the office, I volunteered alongside an LGBT charity so as to open up their support services to English speaking youth. As well as this, I established a successful LGBT and friends networking group. The group, the first of its kind in Frankfurt, was designed to allow any individual to forge new friendships and professional contacts in a welcoming and open-minded environment. Volunteering alongside LGL shall be an invaluable opportunity to work with a multicultural, international team on aiming to effectuate equality and human rights for all. “We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it,” George Mason.
Name: Mayina Mukhammadjanova
Country of origin: Czechia
About the volunteer: I’m an artist, I’m fond of making pictures in different ways and love clouds, I have emigrated from Tashkent (my own city) five years ago, and lived for a while in Prague. It’s a little bit difficult to live in Tashkent if you a little bit strange, women and artist in same time. Indeed, peer pressure isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. Having lived through such experience of being different in a traditional society I became confident that supporting those who are not “in-line” with the mainstream is very important thing in which I would take a part.
Name: Alessandro Boussalem
Country of origin: Italy
About the volunteer: I am a student of International Politics and Human Rights in my home town, Torino (Italy). I have always been interested in issues regarding LGBTQI rights and when I learned about the possibility of coming to LGL and be a full-time volunteer for 10 months, I couldn’t help applying for it. I love travelling and experiencing cultures I don’t know much about, and this is my first time in Lithuania. Oh, and if you ever pop by the Office, I will be the curly guy drinking espresso. You most definitely can’t miss me.
Name, surname: Rocco Magistro
Country of origin: Italy
About the volunteer: I’ve been always keen about human and social rights, since I was a teenager, being involved in politics in and outside my high school. After the high school, I start to cooperate with some feminist group first and then with the biggest LGBT organisation in Italy, Arcigay. There I mostly worked with young people, being the leader of youth group and meeting about three tousands of students in the schools of my town. I also worked for an independent radio, talking about sexual liberation.
Since this year I’m volunteering with European Voluntary Service for LGL, I mostly help with website, contacting other LGBT organisation in Europe and managing workshops.
Name, surname: Maksy Mäkivirta
Country of origin: Finland
About the volunteer: I’m an EVS volunteer from Finland, and I’ll be working at LGL until the end of April. I’m also studying for my bachelors in Music and Media Management, and mostly I work with international correspondence with partners etc. and with various types of project and/financial applications. I’m also in charge of LGL’s soon-to-be blog, and as I am a volunteer I’m here for pretty much anything&everything!
Name, surname: Joana Estrela Barbosa
Country of origin: Portugal
About the volunteer: Graduated in Design Communication at the Fine Arts School of the University of Porto, in 2012. I enjoy drawing comics about things people say and have a not so healthy predilection for watching “Wipeout UK”.
Name, surname: Ceren D. Baykotan
Country of origin: Turkey
About the volunteer: I graduated from the Department of English Linguistics at Hacettepe University in Ankara in 2007. During my undergraduate education at Hacettepe University, I received my associate’s degree in Foreign Trade from Anadolu University, Eskisehir in 2006 through distance learning. Furthering my education, I attended Sakarya University and received my master’s degree in the Department of International Relations in 2011. At the moment I am still a doctorate student at Sakarya University’s Department of International Relations. Academically, I am interested in gender studies.
Country of Origin: Finland
About the volunteer: Originally from England and Finland, I have lived in Vilnius for over two years and am part of LGL’s international team, working mostly on communications and events such as IDAHO and Baltic Pride. I am passionate about defending human rights and combating prejudice and discrimination of LGBT people. Working for and with the LGBT community with a team of committed activists gives me motivation to continue reaching for the goal of equal rights for everyone. Before joining LGL I graduated from the University of Tampere in Finland and worked in various communications roles.