Ciao a tutti, noi siamo Claudio e Giuseppe, abbiamo entrambi 19 anni e quest’estate abbiamo partecipato al progetto Estiu Cultural a La Plaça (dal 07-07-2021 al 31-07-2021) presso l’associazione socio comunitaria La Rotllana. La Rotllana è un’associazione operativa da 30 anni, con sede a Badalona (la terza città più popolosa della Catalogna e distante pochi minuti di metropolitana da Barcellona).
Siamo venuti a conoscenza del progetto tramite la pagina del Corpo Europeo di Solidarietà e l’associazione InformaGiovani di Palermo, la quale ci ha messo poi in contatto con La Rotllana.
Dopo alcuni incontri formativi online, abbiamo svolto i tamponi e siamo partiti da Milano Malpensa direzione Barcelona El Prat.
Barcellona è una città molto ben servita, soprattutto dal punto di vista del trasporto urbano, e ciò ci ha permesso di raggiungere molto facilmente e rapidamente il nostro domicilio.
Nella nostra casa vivevano anche altri volontari della Rotllana, provenienti non solo dall’Europa, ma da tutto il mondo (Marocco, Repubblica Domenicana, Gambia, Ucraina). La convivenza con questi ragazzi è stata uno degli aspetti che più abbiamo apprezzato di tutta l’esperienza; vivere, infatti, con ragazzi provenienti da paesi diversi, con culture diverse e che praticano religioni diverse, non solo ha ampliato la nostra cultura, ma anche creato una forte integrazione multiculturale.
L’ Estiu Cultural a la Plaça si trovava presso il Centro Cultural Escorxador di Badalona e le attività si svolgevano dalle 17.00 alle 21.00. Siccome entrambi siamo cresciuti con lo sport (Claudio con il calcio e Giuseppe con il Basket) i responsabili hanno deciso di delegarci all’area sport, che comprendeva il calcio, il korfball, il ping-pong e il badminton.
Avevamo vari compiti; primo fra tutti, montare e posizionare tutte le attrezzature necessarie per lo svolgimento delle attività. Una volta che giungevano i bambini, dovevamo assicurarci di prendere i loro appellativi e numeri di telefono, in modo che, nel caso in cui uno di loro fosse risultato positivo al Covid, avremmo potuto avvisare gli altri. Li suddividevamo poi in squadre e molto spesso giocavamo con loro, cercando di includere tutti (dai più piccoli ai più grandi).
Alcuni giorni della settimana, venivano organizzate varie attività, come i laboratori di percussioni e di circo, il talent della musica (in cui Giuseppe ha fatto da assistente audio) e il torneo di calcio (dove Claudio ha fatto l’arbitro).
All’inizio, ad essere sinceri, abbiamo avuto un po’ di difficoltà con la lingua, ma grazie all’aiuto dei volontari e dei bambini ce la siamo cavata.
Questa esperienza ci ha resi più responsabili ed indipendenti, ha dato luogo a nuove amicizie, ci ha fatto conoscere meglio la cultura e la lingua spagnola e soprattutto ci ha fatto sentire cittadini dell’Unione Europea.
Nonostante fossimo nel mezzo della pandemia, l’attività è stata gestita molto bene e con grande rigorosità nei confronti delle norme anti Covid.
In generale ci sentiamo di raccomandarla a chiunque sia interessato a lavorare con i bambini, a conoscere la Spagna e soprattutto a mettersi in gioco.
Hi ! My name is Juan and I am a 25 year old Spanish boy who has been going to Palermo for 10 months as a volunteer through the Erasmus+ Volunteeringe. I come from Arou a small town located in the north of Spain, in Galicia; and among my hobbies are sports, languages and traveling.
In this sense, after finishing my studies, I made the decision that I needed a change of scenery, travel, open my mind, gain experience and continue learning. That is why I decided to start this adventure; an adventure that took me to Palermo, and more specifically to the Libera Scuola Waldorf. An alternative school with teachers and a personal team really involved in the confidence of the student children. Children can be from ~ 3 years old to ~ 15 years old, and their teaching follows the Steiner philosophy. A way of teaching based on the creativity and free development of its students, away from any competitive aspect. Aspects that made me opt for this one from the beginning.
That said, my mission here is to support a 9-year-old boy with special needs during class. A really smart and cheerful child, who knows everything about his school, teachers or students. In this sense, during this year I have supported and helped this child during classes, while he designed, painted or played. Seeing how with the passage of time he slowly improved in each new or old thing that he did.
In this sense, this has been a beautiful job and at the same time difficult, where you really feel useful, and where you create a deep human relationship, due to the simple fact of being by his side day by day, helping, being patient, joking or laughing. On the other hand, apart from this work, sometimes I also help or do other tasks for Libera Scuola Waldorf, such as helping in the kitchen, taking care of the space by cleaning things, or also helping in some events that the school holds, such as Easter Day or "San Martino" where we go for a walk with only light in our homemade lantern.
In addition to these daily activities, I had the opportunity to create my own project at school. This was none other than the creation of a diary, in which I have captured everything I did with my child in class individually, in order to reflect, see his development, and help future volunteers who will be with him.
In this sense, everything done during this year revealed a whole new world for me; a world where volunteering is not only a mission in order to help a purpose or the discovery of new skills; since most of the time, volunteering means moving to a new city, discovering a new culture, a new way of life, a new language, and a whole new world about yourself.
That said, this year was a year full of things, emotions and memories, where apart from working at school, I got to know myself; and also where I met people and friends that I never thought I would meet. But above all, it was a year of traveling, discovering Palermo, its streets, and at the same time Sicily and Naples, living experiences that have made me who I am now.
Hi, my name's Antoine, I'm 18 years old and I'm French. I did my Erasmus+ volunteering in Palermo in a private school which is called Libera Scuola Waldorf di Palermo.
I came here to discover myself and get a new experience and new capacities.
First of all, my work consisted in assisting student with disabilities. The children in this school are from 6 years old to 14 years old. I helped a student who's 13 years old, and at the same time I supported the work in the kitchten of the school to prepare the lunch for children.
I had also the chance to do a project with the kids which consisted in teaching them how to do origami.
This was a wonderful experience because all the kids are so sweet with the teachers and the volunteers as well. And this experience is awesome not only thanks to the service in the school but thanks to the social life that we had. We were used to hang out with some friends and during the week-end we tried to travel around the Sicily.
Mi chiamo Stefano ho 23 anni e sono giunto ad Othona dalla Romagna solatia…. che dire!
L’impatto, soprattutto per il discorso climatico ma anche per la location isolata, non è stato dei migliori ma, subito dai giorni successivi ho capito che avrei vissuto un’esperienza talmente coinvolgente che mi avrebbe cambiato la vita.
FREEDOM. È la prima parola che mi salta in mente se devo parlare del mio anno inglese; libertà intesa come alto senso di appartenenza sia con le altre persone che rispetto al territorio circostante: la brughiera selvatica e allo stato brado, il litorale spesso acquitrinoso, il mare pur sempre limaccioso ti entrano nell'anima ed impari ad amarli ed apprezzarli nelle lunghe passeggiate, spesso solitarie, svolte nel tempo libero. Tim, Debbie e Richard i pilastri di Othona mi hanno accolto con affetto e calore tutt'altro che British, mi hanno permesso di vivere un’intesa esperienza che mi ha quotidianamente messo alla prova scoprendo una nuova persona dentro di me.
FAMILY. Il concetto è praticamente spiegato sopra ma è impossibile descrivere con poche parole il rispetto e il calore che ti trasmettono le persone che vivono in comunità e credetemi non esiste parola più azzeccata per descrivere Othona.
Il consiglio personale che posso dare ad ogni ragazzo che non ha ancora ben chiaro cosa fare nell'immediato è quello di prendere al volo la preziosa opportunità che viene offerta agli aderenti dell’European Solidarity Corps.
Vi mettere in gioco, ritroverete voi stessi e qualora ne abbiate bisogno diventerete perfettamente autonomi e cosa importantissima imparerete l’inglese punto di forza di ogni curriculum vitae.
Cosa aspettate????? Othona Bradwell Community vi aspetta!
Quando lo scorso maggio ho scoperto di essere stata selezionata per un’esperienza di volontariato europeo a sfondo ambientale in Islanda non potevo crederci: mentre il mondo si trovava immobilizzato dalla pandemia, a me veniva offerta la possibilità di realizzare un sogno.
L'Islanda è una terra incantevole ed è stata nella lista dei paesi che ho sognato di visitare per anni, uno di quei luoghi che ti attraggono e ti fanno sentire a casa senza sapere perché. Beh, nel caso dell'Islanda si può immaginare perché sia una destinazione da sogno: ghiacciai che terminano in spiagge immacolate, montagne gigantesche che nascondono villaggi immersi in fiordi, paesaggi drammatici, scogliere ripide e aspre, vulcani maestosi, canyon magnifici e massicci, cascate incredibili e molto altro.
Fin da piccola, ho sempre amato trascorrere del tempo immersa nella natura, godendomi lunghe passeggiate ed escursioni.
La mia aspirazione nella vita è riuscire a dare il mio contributo per proteggere l'ambiente, porre rimedio all'inquinamento e ai danni ambientali e aiutare le persone attraverso la comunicazione e l'educazione ad essere più consapevoli del loro comportamento, prediligendo uno stile di vita sostenibile. Credo che questa sia stata la ragione che mi ha spinta a diventare volontaria candidandomi attraverso il corpo europeo di solidarietà con SEEDS Iceland.
Le principali attività di SEEDS sono legate alla promozione della protezione e della consapevolezza ambientale, alla comprensione interculturale e alla pace attraverso l’impegno in progetti sociali, culturali e ambientali.
Sono arrivata nella Terra del ghiaccio e del fuoco il 3 luglio 2020, quando tramonto ed alba si fondevano nell'assenza totale di buio, mentre il mio progetto è terminato il 21 dicembre 2020, il giorno più breve dell’anno con sole 4 ore di luce. A causa della pandemia, non riuscendo a trovare soluzioni plausibili che mi garantissero il rientro in Italia, ho continuato a svolgere le attività di volontariato sino al 17 gennaio 2021.
Il mio ruolo durante gli scorsi mesi è stato quello di coordinare campi di lavoro dove gruppi di volontari provenienti da tutto il mondo viveva e lavorava insieme, generalmente di durata compresa tra 10 e 15 giorni.
Durante l'estate ho avuto la possibilità di condurre dei progetti con alcuni “host” locali. I campi all'aperto includevano attività di tipo manuale preposte alla conservazione della natura, protezione ambientale, attività di ristrutturazione e restauro per le comunità locali e perlopiù avevano luogo fuori da Reykjavik (quindi sono state anche un modo per esplorare e visitare luoghi meravigliosi: la migliore ricompensa dopo tanta fatica!). Non dimenticherò mai le giornate trascorse negli altopiani islandesi tra due ghiacciai, una delle zone più remote dell'Islanda con paesaggi ultraterreni e montagne pittoresche, o l'esperienza unica di calare nella camera magmatica di un vulcano dormiente, durante il mio primo campo di lavoro.
Da ottobre, a causa del freddo, i campi si sono svolti a Reykjavik. Anche durante il buio inverno ci sono tante alternative per intrattenersi e divertirsi, e il mio compito principale è stato quello di sviluppare workshop, discussioni, giochi, presentazioni ecc... La capitale è ancora più magica coperta dal candido manto di neve, illuminata da innumerevoli luci natalizie e dall'aurora boreale, che danza nel cielo!
Per quanto abbia vissuto questa bellissima ed entusiasmante esperienza in un periodo critico contraddistinto da sfide e imprevisti dovuti alla diffusione del COVID-19, dalle difficoltà sono sempre sorte nuove stimolanti occasioni. Un esempio è l’aver coordinato dei campi virtuali che mi hanno dato l’opportunità di conoscere persone da tutto il mondo, continuando a sensibilizzare sulle problematiche ambientali attraverso un continuo e ricco scambio di idee e cercando soluzioni atte a pensare nuovi modelli di sviluppo e stili di vita sostenibili.
Nel tempo libero ho avuto modo di approfondire la cultura, la storia e le tradizioni del posto, ho girato in lungo e in largo questa meravigliosa isola e compreso ancor di più che quando si vive a stretto contatto con la natura islandese, così ribelle e spettacolare, è immediato l’averne rispetto e cura così come trarne ispirazione per riflettere e migliorarsi. Infatti, durante l’autunno, ho trascorso un mese in un’adorabile casetta nel bel mezzo dei giardini botanici di Reykjavik, che è stato di profonda ispirazione per riprendere in mano passioni come la pittura e la scrittura a cui non mi dedicavo da anni e scoprire l’amore per la fotografia.
Essere coinvolta in vari progetti solidali e ambientali, collaborando con organizzazioni di volontariato come Icelandic Red Cross, Icelandic Forestry Association, Iceland Family Aid, The Blue Army of Iceland, Sea Shepherd Iceland, mi ha inoltre aiutata ad acquisire nuove competenze e ad arricchirmi in senso umano: specie durante il periodo natalizio, l’aver donato un sorriso e l’aver contributo attraverso iniziative di beneficienza a rendere più piacevoli le feste per persone in difficoltà, mi hanno restituito una felicità autentica che ricorderò come il miglior regalo.
Senza ombra di dubbio, la parte migliore di questo magnifico progetto è la possibilità di essermi resa utile per un obiettivo comune in grado di migliorare la vita delle persone e le condizioni ambientali, all'insegna della condivisione. Credo che la volontà di cooperare tra gli individui sia alla base dell'umanità: il corpo europeo di solidarietà mira a promuovere la solidarietà nella società europea, riunendo i giovani per costruire una società più inclusiva.
Ad accompagnarmi in questa incredibile avventura è stato un gruppo di fantastici volontari provenienti da tutto il mondo, con i quali ho vissuto momenti indimenticabili e condiviso la maggior parte del tempo tra risate, divertimento e spensieratezza, ma non solo. Ognuno di loro è riuscito ad ispirarmi, a contribuire ad un cambiamento necessario, ma temuto, rivelatosi del tutto positivo: qualcosa che resterà con me per sempre e che mi ha insegnato quanto siano importanti la volontà e il coraggio di inseguire i propri sogni e il credere in sé stessi, anche quando sembra che il mondo vada a rotoli in preda ad una pandemia.
Alla fine, posso affermare che il vero viaggio è stato quello nella vita delle persone: conoscere nuove personalità, rispettare le idee e le scelte altrui, ritrovarsi nelle esperienze di vita dell’altro, riconoscersi nel diverso e accogliere culture, lingue, abitudini, credenze come fossero proprie, ne è l’essenza.
Se dovessi riassumere questa esperienza in una frase, sceglierei questa citazione: "Come corpo tutti sono singoli, come anima mai".
Ciao a tutti.
I am Lidia from Georgia, 24 years old. I was an Erasmus+ volunteer in Italy, in Palermo, in the organisation called "InformaGiovani" and it lasted 1 year.
I am a filmmaker. My passion is to write scripts for movies, to direct, to edit videos and as a hobby I’ve got a photography.
The main reason why I decided to volunteering in "InformaGiovani" is that I could have the opportunity to follow my passion. What was I doing as a volunteer? – I was editing videos, taking pictures, supporting in adminstrative tasks, and also made researchments about different topics. What concretely I’ve learned is writing project draft, basic information about needed documents for organisation while having some activities or trainings. As I did video editing more than before I gained better skills in that.
For example, I made a promotional video for 9th of November (antifascism day) where I wrote a project, shoot the video and edited. It was challenging for me as I worked on it with my colleague. Generally I prefer to work alone and I’ve never done such task with someone else. But we did it. I could cooperate with her. I’ve learned that the way of communication is the key of cooperation. And also I mastered project-writing skills.
I was editing a video for workcamps as well. We were in Prizzi in order to check the location. I took photos and videos so I was working on them.
I’ve created videos about "ESC and my experience" to inform youngsters about opportunity offered by European Solidarity Corps and short video making tutorial. By creating them I gained more information, learned working on new editing program, how to put subtitle in youtube.
I also have to mention archieving documents, putting them in order. For someone it can be boring but for me it was interesting. When I was a child my dream was to work with documents, so it’s like my dream came true :D
ITALIAN PASTA – well-known in all over the world. Of course, we also eat Macaroni in Georgia but I didn’t know that it doesn’t go with maionese. Before I couldn’t imagine pasta without this souce but now I became like Italians and forbade my parents to use maionese in pasta. :p
I had spare time to discover more and more new things, to do something what I like. So I worked on my short length movies with friends I’ve gained here, in Palermo, took some nice pictures, hiked, travelled. I visited some other cities of Italy. For me unforgettable was Etna.
I can’t continue writing without mentioning my exhibition. I’ve started to show my photos in public, for the first time in my life and it was big step for me. But then Mr.‘’Corona Virus’’ came and destroyed my ‘’exhibitions’’.
My cultural shock was little school boys with earings. I’ve never met young boys with such style but I like it =)) People are so nice and friendly here, in Palermo. They are always ready to help you even if most of them don’t speak in English.
There is always a question ‘’why to do volunteering’’ – But trust me, it’s hard to express by words, you should live it in order to understand it. Volunteering in European Solidarty Corps gives lots of opportuneties.
Ciao a tutti :)
I’m Tolunay from Turkey and I’m writing this article from Palermo/Italia.
I didn’t have any overseas experience before I came here so it was the first time abroad for me. I didn’t know what kind of people I’m going to meet or what kind of food I’m going to eat. Then I arrived in Catania and then took the bus (actually I’m late to take the bus but the bus also late, this is Sicilia) to Palermo. Our organizer Massimilano took me from the bus station because my sim card didn’t work and I called him from someone’s phone. He took me a place that I can eat something and meet some of my flatmates. When I arrive there all my worries are flown like a bird because I’ve eaten the best pasta of my life (almost 20 years)...
I can still remember the taste of paradise :) Maybe it was just a portion of pasta but in my country, there is nothing about pasta culture so the pasta was delicious. And then I’ve met 2 of my flatmates, Lidia and Leticia, they were also really nice (of course not more than the pasta). They helped me to take my luggage to the EVS house, showed me the best places in the city and house stuff.
I’ve chosen Palermo because... first of all this is Italy and Palermo is in Sicilia. Sicilia is the biggest island of the Mediterranean sea, the weather is always perfect (imagine, we were going to parks for sunbathing in December). You can find anything you need, maybe also the things that you can’t find in the North part (for example warm people like the weather). Someone can tell you that ‘there is mafia don’t go there’, just don’t listen to them and don’t worry about this.
The place where I work is an association which is in a disadvantaged district of Palermo. They work for children who have fewer opportunities and life difficulties. What I’m doing there is designs (logo, poster…) for their Erasmus+ projects and joining the workshops as a facilitator. Children are very cute and adorable, they can’t even speak Italian - some of them speak dialect -, also I’m not able to speak in Italian still but they always find a way to communicate with you. About workshops, there are rooms for sport, music, dance, computer, art… and I and other local volunteers help them about homework and join workshops to help children and teachers. If you don’t speak Italian you will have some headaches for a few weeks as I had…
If you’re a volunteer you will have free time and vacations. You can improve your skills, you can travel or you can do both.
During my stay in Italy I visited almost all the dream places I wanted to see in Italy before Coronavirus. I was really lucky that I finished my trip and turned back to Palermo 1 week before the quarantine.
I also improved my English (before volunteering I was A2 level) and Italian a bit. I feel more comfortable using Adobe and other design programs, and I have beautiful friendships here. I’m already thinking that how I’m gonna leave this city and my friends.
This volunteering is the biggest experience in my life for now, if you are already European citizen, maybe volunteering abroad will not sound interesting to you, but as a Turkish citizen, I needed one hundred pages of documents and spent almost 1 month to take a visa for long term so it’s hard to find a way to go to Europe and take advantage of opportunities.
I think everyone should do volunteering once before die, also volunteering is good break if you're bored with your university exams.
Thanks for reading.
My name is Maria Pavlova. I am from Russia and I am a volunteer in Palermo with program “Erasmus+”, and I want to say that this project for me is a waking dream.
A very long time ago I carried a secret dream about travelling, about the volunteer work. But the concept was so vague for me. Every moment when I were free from studies and I started looking for some volunteer project, I couldn’t understand anything on foreign websites and couldn’t imagine how to cover the whole scale of the work. So the dream was distant and unrealistic, until one day.
Once in a social network I found an announcement about a meeting dedicated to volunteer projects abroad. There I met the guys who already participated in the projects and told in detail how they got there, what they did and what they saw.
Everything seemed so clear and simple - just do it. So I had only one question - “why don't everybody participate in such projects?” - everything pays, you live in another country, etc. So I finally decided to try, because I was already 29 years old, and you can participate in “Erasmus+” projects only up to 30 years old. It was my last chance.
After browsing the site, I chose for myself the projects that interest me, wrote my CV and wrote motivational letters. For each project, I wrote a certain motivation letter, which outlined all my skills, projects, experience and unlimited desire. In total, I wrote about 10 letters. It was impossible to leave an application on the site at that time, since Russia was not in the list of countries, so I wrote directly to the organisation, by mail.
I got an answer about three months later, only from Italy, from the mysterious city of Palermo, in Sicily. At that time, I had already forgotten what I wrote to and where, so getting an email from a school in Sicily was not only surprising, but incredible.
After the letter, we agreed on a skype interview. At the same time, I already contacted the organisation that is involved in the preparation of volunteer documents - the sending organisation. They inform what documents need to be done, contact the host country, reassure you if you lose your nerve when you apply for a visa, etc.
I looked through all the materials on the Internet, where the volunteers talk about how they had a Skype interview with them, I got ready for mine. I was surprised, but everything was very comfortable. I spoke in English with the teachers of the school where I had to work.
I was a little worried about the language and not in vain. You need to know English well. If you speak English well, everything will be easier - in communication, preparation of documents, etc. I did not know Italian well. I could only read a little and say a few phrases. I studied Duolingo (foreign language study program). When I first arrived, sometimes I had stress about misunderstanding. At the school where I work, only about three people can speak English. Children speak only Italian and teachers too. So at first it was difficult. My program included Italian language courses at the university, after a couple of months I was able to understand Italian and speak.
So, what am I doing.
I am a volunteer at a school in Sicily. This school has a Waldorf education system. This type of education is from Germany and there are such schools everywhere and in Russia as well. Features of this education: the emphasis is on art, mobile phones during classes are prohibited (both for children and teachers).
My main task is that I help a girl with special needs - she has down syndrome. She studies with ordinary children. I help her in the lessons, play with her in breaks and so on. Also, for two hours every morning I help in the kitchen - I make coffee, salad, cut bread. And then I go to the class.
Since the school is creative and I am a versatile person, that is, the opportunity to participate in school activities - at Christmas, the feast of St. Martin, the Christmas market, summer school activities. We sang at a Christmas concert with a music teacher, during the fair I painted portraits of children. So a lot depends on you - if you don’t want to be limited only by your immediate duties, you can ask to organise a lesson in additional education or to do some work, which, of course, will be an invaluable experience.
At the end of summer activities, when there were no children in the school, I was preparing the school for the new school year. I tended the garden, washed the classrooms, and painted themed pictures on the walls. One of the features of the Waldorf school is the thematic design of the class. It all depends on the future topic. For example, I painted a 7th grade wall on the topic of geometry and astronomy. In the fifth grade, the year will be devoted to the legends of the North and the world of the Vikings and their mythology. On the wall, the maestra and I depicted a mythical tree with eight worlds. So I tried another profession during my volunteer experience.
For myself, I understood that volunteering is probably a profession of the future. This system: "work is not for money, but for the idea" has opened for me a new world, new opportunities.
Volunteering is a knowledge of the world and of yourself in this world. This is an opportunity to live a completely different life, in a different country with other people. To discover the qualities that you did not even suspect about, to develop communication skills, responsibility and fall in love with this beautiful world.
Where and how I live.
In school, besides me, there are two more girls volunteers. Vanessa came from Germany, Clemence came from France. I live with Clemence. We share a room in an apartment, and we share an apartment with the family of one of the school’s teachers. This is not very unusual for me, because I have always lived with someone. I try to avoid domestic conflicts, and it’s not difficult for me to wash the dishes and the floor. But, of course, we are all human beings, so it’s not easy to come and live with a big Italian family. Everywhere you need time - to look at each other, to understand how comfortable it is for them, to join the team. Our family is big - four children - two teenagers and two kids and parents. But there is enough space and, to my happiness, there are no conflicts. Sometimes we arrange dinner together, prepare traditional food. I cooked borscht and looked for sour cream everywhere, Clemence baked crêpes, Emanuela (the hostess) prepared pasta and we had fun talking or playing games.
Mostly, I spent all my free time walking around this magical city: gardens, parks, museums ... And of course, discovering the amazing nature - mountains and the sea. But also after a hard working week, I sometimes succumbed to nationwide classical Italian relaxation and spent the day in a nice cozy cafe, enjoying tart hot coffee and listening to the incessant conversations of local residents.
I really fell in love with this phrase "Dolce far niente", which teaches us to relax and slow down in a constant cycle of life's problems.
About the opportunity to travel during the project.
Since you have a visa and free time, you can travel. The distances between the countries are small; you can find very cheap tickets. Two hours and you are in Rome or in Milan. My program provides for such an event as a meeting with other volunteers from all over Italy. Our meeting was held in the suburbs of Rome, where we shared our impressions for a week, made joint projects and, of course, discovered wonderful Rome.
During the school Christmas holidays, I went to France with my neighbour. We became good friends and I lived at her house in Nantes for several days. Then I went alone to Paris and Lyon. There I lived on coaching. So I spent surprisingly not too much, and got enough impressions.
So, I want to say that everything in this life is possible. This project gives a lot - indescribable impressions, experience, acquaintances ... Laughter and tears. My little and big life - new and beautiful!
Who am I and why did I choose Palermo?
Hello, my name is Leticia and I am from Spain. Here there is some information about my experience volunteering in Palermo.
I was 26 years old when I arrived in Sicily in August 2019, within this opportunity I was looking for trying a different professional field than mine (I am a pre-primary teacher); to live in a foreign country, to learn the culture and language; to live with people from other countries and to find out who am I and who I want to be in the future.
When I was searching for a volunteering project, in my priorities list was to work with vector images and I found out this opportunity within IG in Palermo.
At that moment, I did some researches about the city and the population, like reading old volunteer’s articles and talk to them, and the answers were different depending on the person so I realised that I didn’t want to have any expectations and just let the city surprised me…
When I arrived, it caught my attention all the differences with my city and culture: the crazy traffic, the trash and cats on the streets, the Italian language, the food… little by little the new became normal and I adapted to this place, incorporating into myself the culture and language. I realised now that after these 11 months in Palermo, I end up loving the good things and understanding and respecting the rest.
What was I doing during my time in Palermo?
Working time: I was supporting Massimiliano and Monica at the office of InformaGiovani. In resume, my tasks were to create logos for projects and banners for events; to support preparing informational meetings with youngsters and to support the international projects like youth exchange, workcamp and training course. In this time was included my study time of the language courses, very helpful to learn Italian.
As the final project of my volunteering, I wanted to do something for Palermo’s society so I decided to do a workshop about sexuality. Searching for information about contraceptives, I realised how broad the topic was and that I had to focus on one point, so I came out with a new idea that became my final project: to create a board game about contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections named SAFERSEX.
In my opinion, the work during these last 11 months has been pleasant and smoothy. Furthermore, I can now work with agility on vector software and image edition, I consider that I am more able to do team working and I have improved my languages and communication skills in both Italian and English.
At the beginning was a priority to learn Italian, so I joined a theatre group and Wingchun lessons. It was very helpful to raise my confidence in speaking Italian and enjoy learning theatre and Wing-chun.
With friends I used to go to the beaches and natural reserves nearby: Monte Pellegrino, Cefalù, Capo Gallo, Mondello beach, Virgin Maria beach...
Also, the historical centre was a usual meeting point to take a walk, eat pizza, listening to the musicians playing on the street.
I discovered the best ice cream shop of all Palermo… I did a great investigation, the winner?
A famous ice cream shop of the centre… I love it.
Finally, I would like to outline that in a volunteering service not everything is great, sometimes it is not what you expected, as in my case, it has been a totally different experience from those that my friends told me they lived. Each volunteer service can be different.
However, I would like to say that I am happy about my experience because having in mind to be useful to the association but also to myself, I developed skills and abilities that I didn’t have before and now I feel more experienced and ready to the next adventure.
* Feel free to download the game SAFERSEX at the following link: https://safersex.wixsite.com/game
A little part of discovering...
Hi ! I'm a French girl leaving in Palermo for 10 months as an European volunteer. My name is Clémence. I'm 23 years old. I love to work on photography, to create, to travel and to handle time with friends. I came from Nantes, a dynamic and beautiful town in the west part of France, near to the end of the Loire river. I discovered that Palermo got this cultural and human dynamism as well, which make me feel better as home when I came here in September 2019.
I already did a volunteer service in my own country last year and needed time for my professional project. So it was the perfect time to get this experience in Italy. I choose this country because I wanted to learn Italian, most of all. I'm enjoying now to talk in this beautiful language. I'll improve more as well because I still need to learn more.
When I was looking for a mission, I saw this one in Palermo at Libera Scuola Waldorf.
It's an alternative school with a teachers and personal team really involve in the confidence of the student kids. The kids can come from ~3 years old till ~15 years. Their way to teach follow the Steiner philosophy. A way to teach without a class fuller than 10 or 12 school student, without note so with more time to explain and give knowledge to them and without any competition aspect. That was a really allure way to see the school. For my personal improvement, I knew it was the good project for my year. So I candidated and didn't leave it away until I got the opportunity to come here.
«Che faccio qua ? »
My mission is to support a 14 years old girl with special needs. She's a school student in Libera Scuola Waldorf 7th grad class. She can do a lot of things: painting, make jokes (a lot of jokes!), try again and again to improve her dance moves, for examples. But she's doing it slowly and sometimes with a big difficulty of movement. She speaks less than us. She began to speak at school last year. She needs to improve all these aspects. She also loves water. It's her matter because she's so in fluant materials to create and to live in the present moment. She's the kind who live with a lot of freedom in her personality and in same time too much of restrictions, her body as well.
So I'm helping her to live in school with hours to respect, activities to do and involvement in the school work to get. It's an handsome work because you really feel useful and you got a deep human relationship. If she's not allright today, I have to deal with it and find a double-energy for the school day. Energy for her to be more in her school day and energy for me to give her this source of zeal.
I have other tasks to do for the Libera Scuola Waldorf, like help one kitchen work, or take care of the space by cleaning stuff. It's happening when my girl is not at school for the day. Most of time, I'm only working on a day with my girl : from her arrival to the lunch time. I'm doing it from September of 2019 and finish it in the end of June 2020.
There are also some events in the school like the Day of «San Martino» where we went for a walk on mountains with only light in our home-made lantern, or the «Bazar» where the school create a market with responsable items, jewelry, soap, etc. for school, for parents, and who ever is coming ! We also did the «Carnevale» of course ! All the day, the whole school was celebrating and enjoying to be together. Such a good memory!
This experience show me more about how to handle a common rythm. When I’m with my girl, I must get her rythm for being with her and, in same time, find a way to get her in the rythm of school. So I take more time to talk, to make her understand how much time we have before the next class, etc. It needs a lot of patience and sometimes it’s hard, to be honest. But she needs it, so I’m getting motivation back. It can be usefull for later when I’ll work with team, as well.
In plus of this daily activities, I got the opportunity to create my own project in the school. It’s an activity we must do for and during the volontary time. Because of the exceptional pandemic situation, it was not sure how I will do it (by computer, in face-to-face, etc.), but I got all the time the insurance to do it. I planned to do an italian class about the right of the pictures (law) and the principe of the journalistic angle and the proximity law that use journalists to write articles. I got this knowledge during my studies and I did this class by animations activities that I knew how to do it thanks to my last year of volontary in France. At the end, I did this course for one class of the school. I choose the age of teenagers because it’s closer to their habits with phones, and to their growth time. They’re becoming more autonomous, but still need good informations to understand well. I’m glad to be able to try a new activity here.
Volonteering is not just the mission
Volonteering is not just a discover of your abilities in, most of the time, a relationship work. It's also a moving in a new city, a new culture, a new way of living. Learning a new language gave it to me a little headacke at the beginning of my journey. It passed out really quick because I'm lucky to have a mother language near to Italian.
It's an experiment as well about what's a language are. I discovered it's not just a way for communicate. It's also a way of act, with gesture, movements and way of expression. So I get a step to learn myself to another way to act.
The culture is so mind-attractive as well. I had to find my place in all of this. When I got it, I began to enjoy a lot to learn Italians’ way of living, cooking, etc. I saw how they used to take care about olives to make olives oil. Great stuff in Sicilian nature with such amazing people.
I took time (and money as well... haha) to discover a little more the country. I went to Milano, to Napoli by my own and I went to Rome with the «On-Arrival Training» organised by National Agency. All the time a great time to discover, to deal with another part of Italian culture. Even Italy is not the biggest country of world, there's so much to discover and so different way of living: the north and the south don't have the same road stuff, for example.
I knew already Sicilia because I went for a roadtrip with two friends in last June. It was such an amazing time also because it's such a beautiful region of Italy! I'm glad I didn't see just Palermo. It was, as well, an unexpecting opportunity to meet people from Libera Scuola Waldorf in first time and get one of my most human experience of my life.
I felt so useful, and I know a little more than before as well that it's so important to take a time for others.
I nostri partner
Questo sito è realizzato con il supporto del Programma Erasmus+. Né la Commissione Europea né le sue Agenzie sono responsabili del contenuto, che rispecchia unicamente le opinioni degli autori. Responsabile Pietro Galluccio
L'attività di InformaGiovani è supportata dal Comune di Palermo, che ha concesso l'utilizzo di un bene confiscato alla mafia per il progetto di sportello