Interview with Melanie Wolff

1. Introduce yourself in less than 4 lines.
My name is Mélanie, I’m French and I’m 24 years old. I have studied a Master’s in Humanitarian and European project management and I am doing an EVS at KKG in Malta.

2. Why do you applied for an EVS? And how did you find this EVS project?
I have applied to an EVS because I believe it is a great opportunity to be involved in events that are meaningful to me whilst travelling and discovering new cultures.
I came across KKG while browsing the EVS accredited organisations database and I have contacted KKG’s manager to ask if there were any vacancies.

3. Have you been to Malta Before? If yes: why did you choose it again ? If no, what did you think about it before you came?
I had never been to Malta before but I had only heard good things about it. I did not have any specific expectations as I really enjoy the spontaneity of discovering a country on the spot.

4. Now that you are in Malta what do you think about Maltese life ?
I really enjoy life in Malta and I think it is a fine blend of foreign cultures thanks to its strong Mediterranean influences while still benefitting of the European comfort and living standards.

5. What does it mean to be a volunteer for you?
Being a volunteer means to take a few months out of my life to do something that I believe to be meaningful and useful to society and true to my values and principles.

6. Have you worked in the field of Fair Trade before you came to Malta?
I have never volunteered with a Fair Trade organisation but I have always tried to be aware of the origin of my products and which working conditions my purchases are supporting.

7. Is this your first time for a long time abroad?
No this is not my first time abroad. I have lived, studied and worked in Germany, England and New Zealand for several years.

8. How Fair Trade is represented in your country? Do you have organisations like KKG?
Fair Trade companies and cooperatives do exist in France but I think they suffer from a lack of visibility as most people are not even aware that they exist.

9- What do you learn from you collegues, who come from others countries and are doing an EVS with you?
Being passionate about travel and interculturality, the experience of an EVS with people from different countries is very enriching and is a great way to broaden one’s ideas and perspective on life.

10. Few differences do you notice between your country and Malta?
Our cultural differences reflect in many aspects: architecture, food, the way people interact with each other etc.

11. Any suggestions you have on promoting Fair Trade in Malta and around the world?
I believe that the best way of promoting Fair Trade is to raise awareness about working conditions and how items are produced. I am convinced that people would make more ethical choices if they knew in which conditions some of the items they have purchased have been produced.

12. If you could change something within KKG or the EVS program what would this thing(s) be?
I really wish an EVS experience would be recognised as a proper working experience and entitle volunteers to unemployment and retirement benefits.

13. Do you recommend the EVS programme to your friends?
Yes I do recommend the EVS programme to my friends who wish to live and work abroad.