Portrait of the month : Margot, Emma and Perrine, volonteers in the summer camp (August 2018)

This month, we have met three French girls…

Portrait of the month August 2018 : Perrine, Emma and Margot - Emmaus Iasi RomaniaMargot, Emma and Perrine are involved in the association “Scouts et Guides de France” (Scouts and Guides of France). In the context of our international summer camp, they came to live and work with us during three weeks. They had the kindness to tell us about their experience in Romania!







Hello girls, can you introduce yourselves one by one?

Perrine: I am Perrine, I come from Le Havre in France. I study in Paris, in an engineers school.

Margot: My name is Margot, I am twenty. I come from Le Havre where I am studying. I am in second year of law.

Emma: My name is Emma, I am nineteen. I am also student in Le Havre, in law. I live near Honfleur.

In which context did you come to Emmaus Iași?

Margot: We came with the association “Scouts and Guides of France”. It is a branch for the 17-21 year-old people, in which the young people have to raise some international solidarity projects. During two years, we have worked to earn some money, to be able to leave and work in an association, and to meet local scouts. We are free to chose the association.

Does this kind of project only happen one time in the Scout experience?

Margot: We can do it again if we wish. It is in two years: we do a similar project during the first year, the difference is that it is at the national level. Last year, we went to Emmaüs, at Le Mans (France). This year, we chose Romania.

Emma: You also have a third year, we can say it is the continuity. You share with others what you did before.

Can you explain in a few words what are the Scouts of France, how does the association work?

Margot: The Scouts is an organization to learn how to live together, in the nature and according some values. The association was created around a hundred years ago. The goal was to teach young people how to live together and how to raise projects. There are many Scouts movements in France, they are divided in groups, depending of the cities. For example, we are part of one group of Le Havre. Each group is then divided in age groups. Also within the Scouts, the young people between 17 and 21 are called companions.

Can you describe your experience in Romania? What did you do in the association?

Emma: We came to spend three weeks and a half in the association. We were a little longer in Iasi, a few days in Popești, and the last week is aimed at discover the region.

Margot: In Iași, we spent a lot of time sorting the “pod” (the stockroom with the clothes, ed. note). There was a lot of sorting and cleaning to do. Then we helped arranging the shop, sorting the dishes, the jewels… We tested several posts, it was interesting. In Popești, it was a bit different: we worked in the garden with Maureen and Leïla (the volunteers in civic service charged of the agro-ecological project, ed. note), we also went to Sârca to do some gardening.

Before coming, what were your expectations?

Margot: We didn’t really knew what we could expect. We did some research about Iași, because we didn’t know it at all. We read something about the history of the region. We wanted to be surprised, once here.

As you don’t speak Romanian, how did you manage to communicate with the companions?

Margot: There have been some funny moments, some misunderstandings, but finally we always managed to get understood.

Emma: With a mix of English, French and Romanian.

Margot: We have started to learn Romanian with them, by the way.

It was not your first experience with Emmaus.

Perrine: Last year, we spent one week in an Emmaus community in Le Mans (France), we worked with the companions of this community. We mostly worked in the shop: we sorted toys, clothes… Like here, we lived with the companions.

Margot: The community was bigger than here. I think there were like forty companions. The atmosphere was very different, however we found some common values with the community of Iași.

How did you hear about Emmaus Iași?

Margot: Through the website of Emmaus International. You can see all the Emmaus groups on this website.

So after your first experience last year, you wanted to come back in an Emmaus community?

All of them: Yes, we did.

Perrine: We really enjoyed there.

Emma: After this first experience, we knew it was what we wanted to do.

Did you already know Emmaus before working in Le Mans?

Margot: Yes, we had gone there already. It is very famous, in France, with l’Abbé Pierre.

Emma: Moreover, it is in our area that everything began for Emmaus. There are plenty of Emmaus shops in our region, not only in big cities.

You met with Romanian Scouts. Can you talk about them, about your projects together?

Margot: There are much less scouts in Romania than in France. Even if they are still five thousands! In France, we are two hundred thousands scouts. We met four Romanian scouts: they are scouts of Iași. They told us that in our age group, they are about fifteen. We will have the opportunity to spend more time with them this week.

Emma: They will make us visit the city and the surroundings.

Will you go hiking?

Margot: We will see, it would be great!

Emma: The scouts we met left for one month, from Constanța near the sea, in the South of Romania, and they hiked up to Satu Mare (in the North of Romania, near the hungarian border, ed. note). They did all by foot, and walked 40km per day!

Perrine: If we go hiking with them, perhaps it will not be so… extreme!

Did you have the opportunity to meet scouts from other countries?

Margot: When we were in the 15-17 year old age group, we went in a big scout meeting in Germany.

Emma: There are people coming from everywhere. It is often during big meetings that you can meet people coming from abroad.

Margot: We went to two meetings in France, and one in Germany. By the way, one of the scouts we met in Iași was in a meeting we went also, in France.

You could had met there!

Perrine: We were fifteen thousands… so very little chances! (laughs)

Do you wish to add something?

All of them: We will be definitely sad to leave! We have been greatly welcomed. We want to say thank you to the whole team, and to Maureen who took care so well of us!

Thank you for your help and kindness!

Go back to the beginning