When I became a volunteer in Romania, I didn’t think that my future plans would turn out differently than I imagined before. I sought to get out of the monotony, and seeing how many opportunities young people can have, I decided to choose the right project for me from the European Solidarity Corps. Thus, at this moment, I am in wonderful Sicily, in the city of Palermo at the end of my volunteering project in Associazione InformaGiovani
It’s already been seven months since my favorite phrase is “non parlo italiano”, seven months full of challenges and beautiful memories, even if that may sound cliché. I had the opportunity to discover both the Sicilian culture and the people here who made me feel less homesick.
The experiences lived here are very diverse, from a workcamp held at the monastery where I learned to cut trees, preparing the camps for team-volunteering projects, informing young people about their opportunities in Europe to the so-called office work.
I have tried to offer a little of the knowledge I have accumulated in the past, but of course I learned from every opportunity that this project brought to me. I can say that together with my colleague Maxime, we had a marathon of ESC projects facilitating workshops in the volunteering teams.
My experience in Sicily was shaped by the people I met here, some wonderful persons who encouraged me in this whole adventure.
One thing I heard very often during this period was that I am a brave person for deciding to take part in such an experience, at only 18 years old. For me, it wasn’t courage, it was a well-calculated decision and a desire to explore, which I’ve had since I first learned about the European Solidarity Corps.
This project was like an open book, that made me want to discover every chapter. What I like the most here is that every month I have the opportunity to meet, through the workcamps I attend, young people from all over the world who have chosen to be actively involved in the community.
I realized that every project or activity matters. In Italy I was able to take advantage of the knowledge I gained in high school, following my participation in the EPAS program. Thanks to that experience, I managed to create activities for young people in Sicily, about the European Union.
Of course I had unlimited support from my flatmates, a multicultural space, where you can hear six different languages ??every day.
All this is part of the charm of the volunteer experience.
At the beginning of this experience, I focused more on professional development and on the skills I can acquire here, but I consider that my development took place more on a personal level. I learned things about myself, finding myself in a new context, creating a new life from scratch.
Sicily and especially Palermo is a special place for me, where I will return with every opportunity.