Life is a wonderful challenge: Sonia’s personal growth in Sicily

16 October 2018 | Stories and testimonies

Here is Sonia’s evs story: thanks to the European Voluntary Service and YOUTH MODE II project, this spanish young lady discovered Palermo and its intercultural soul. Enjoy your reading!

My name is Sonia Aguilera, I’m Spanish, I’m doing a volunteer service in Palermo, I want to tell my experience.

I’ve always wanted to be a volunteer, to help others.

A friend of mine had told me about the possibility of doing a volunteer service in Europe. This idea remained in my mind and I started looking for this kind of experience.

After three months of research I saw an opportunity in Palermo. When I read the project I felt a great desire to participate.

Before leaving for Palermo I was nervous, I did not know what I could meet in the new adventure; I was afraid, it’s a feeling that come out when there is a change.

Once I arrived in Palermo, in the month of April, I had a good impression, I can say that until now everything that I have experienced here has been positive and made me grow as a person.

I worked in an after-school associations, multi-ethnic spaces for children. Every day is a moment of growth by learning new things from children and adults.

I learned a lot about African culture, since most of them have African origin, and their families moved to Italy years ago.

In Palermo it is impossible to get bored, I met many new people from many places in the world. I met other volunteers and together we went to discover Sicily. We shared our experiences and we built a beautiful friendship.

In general I can say that it was a personal growth experience, I developed values like patience and perseverance, I learned to share everything with others. I’ve never been a materialistic person but here I’ve seen that there are people who are happy with little. People who have gone through a difficult path until they get to the life they have now in Italy. People who have won challenges and who today have become strong.

My experience is not over here, I still miss two months where I will experience new adventures.

I advise everyone to leave the challenges and make a volunteer experience, because you would learn a lot and it will be a good experience.

Life is a wonderful challenge: never give up and face it with optimism!

What is EVS?

EVS (European Voluntary Service) is an international volunteer program funded by the European Commission. It enables all young people legally resident in Europe, aged between 18 and 30 years, to carry out an international volunteer service in an organization or in a public body in Europe, Africa, Asia or South America for a period ranging from 2 to 12 months.

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