Opening Borders Through Volunteering — Italy


Dates: 5. 12. 2016 – 1. 11. 2017

Venue: Valdagno, Italy

Programme and action: Erasmus+, KA1, European Voluntary Service

Participants: The volunteers have to be at the age of 18-30 years old, interested in youth issues, willing to get involved in communicating with young people, having team spirit, be responsible, creative, curious, open-minded and with good competences in using computer, internet, social networks

Volunteer: Markéta Macháčková

Please read the infopack.

Participating countries: Albania, Czech Republic, Spain, Ukraine

Something about the project: It is composed as a long-term EVS, the organisation Studio Progetto is the hosting organisation.  It is inspired by the principles of the World Cooperative Movement and places the individual and the community at the center of its work. It pursues the general interest of the community toward human promotion and social integration of citizens, managing health, social and educational services and promoting entrepreneurial activities, aimed at providing employment for disadvantaged people.Studio Progetto works in several areas: Minor and Youth Area, Health Area, Disability Area, Mental Health Area and Work Integration Area.

EVS report:
I have heard about EVS from my friend and ex-volunteer in one. One day we went out and she told me about her great experience she gained as an EVS volunteer working with socially disadvantaged children in France. It was the period of time when I was constantly thinking about working abroad for some NGO which seemed to be quite difficult, especially the admission procedure.

I did not have any working experience for some worldwide recognized NGO and many years of working experience in general and for this reason, I did not feel confident to consider applying for a job abroad. I started to follow EVS Facebook page and European Youth Portal with their offers and one day I came across EYCB page. There I found all information about EVS, the past and upcoming projects, one of them called Opening Borders Through Volunteering in Valdagno, Italy.

The aim of the project was to promote EVS, work in Erasmus plus project management or lead English conversation club. A duration of the project was 10 months.I had always wanted to get into writing  Europian projects and here was my chance!

I had written my motivational letter to coordinator Kuba and in two months I packed all my stuff and moved to Italy.

It took me about a month to get to know all my tasks and adapt to a new lifestyle. My organization employed about 200 people in different facilities.

My job required working in two offices. The first office was located in the center of Valdagno, the second office was in the small town called Trissino.

As a volunteer, I had a chance to understand the writing process of some projects and get to know what tasks need to be done before and during the youth exchanges and training courses. Additionally, I helped with organizing events in Valdagno and surrounding areas and spread information about EVS among young people. Moreover, I was part of English conversation club which was a great opportunity get to know  Italian culture and locals.

I lived in one bedroom apartment with a friendly volunteer from Spain who was my travel buddy as well. Together with other two volunteers from Albania and Ukraine, we used to organize intercultural evenings full of different cuisines. I worked with Roman from Ukraine in the office while Maria worked with preschool kids and Emiliano from Albania worked with people with disabilities.

During my stay both,  sending and receiving organization, were really helpful and friendly.

With all that being said, I would like to thank all people both, involved in working with Erasmus program and my amazing international friends, for such a great time.

I highly recommend to everyone who has some doubts about future or who wants to travel, learn new things or meet new people to give a try EVS. It is an amazing lifetime experience and you will not regret it.

Markéta Macháčková

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