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.