To value life by helping others

Friday 4 November 2022

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Ciao a tutti! I’m Diana, and I will try to put into words how much this project meant to me.

I remember so well the day I arrived in Palermo, I met the other volunteers and we all gathered and shared our views of the world while listening to music, and it fascinated me how much we all have in common and how much we connected. It made everything more special to have this friends that you can count on and share this experience with.

I’ve always wanted to work with people and make a difference for the community, and ‘Mapping Solidarity’ showed me how grateful you can feel, and how much you can learn and value life, by helping others.

I have volunteered at CESIE and collaborated with some partner associations such as Ubuntu, where we took care of kids, and did different activities with them, from helping with homework, drawing and painting, reading books, among others. They helped me to improve my Italian, sometimes I didn’t know the correct word to express myself, but they understood what I was trying to say, with some mimics in the middle, and taught me how to say it in Italian. It was so interesting to see how creative and full of energy they are.

I also carried out activities at a center for the mentally disabled. They really welcomed me and amazed me with their kindness. It’s a big family, were each one of them is so unique and pure, and they make everyone feel integrated and happy. We also did different activities with them, from dancing and karaoke, exercises for the body, painting and collages, and a lot more. I think it changed me in a good way, it made me reflect on how lucky I am with what I have in this life, and how sometimes we forget to focus on the good things.

When I think about Palermo, I feel this sensation of wonder. It’s a multicultural, artistic, beautiful city. It has so much going on that you always find something that surprises you in a good way. I am so happy to have participated in this project, it had a big impact in me and in my future. Thank you so much for this opportunity! Will surely come back to Palermo one day :)

Diana Ribeiro

Volontaria ESC – Mapping solidarity 2020

Youth Unit