End of EVS: Time to look backwards and realize all the things learnt

18 September 2019Experiences

It seems it was yesterday when I arrived to Palermo to do my EVS and now it’s about to finish. It is incredible how fast time has passed and how many things I’ve done and learnt in these nine months. I feel really lucky because I’ve participated in so many different projects and thanks to that I could learn a lot.

Since the first day I have been working in Centro Astalli, a center that welcomes immigrants and where I’ve spent most of the time during my EVS. I had very nice and hard-working colleges, always ready to help everyone and I have done my best to do the same and help as much as I can. I learnt a lot here and it feels like a home, but I also participated in many other projects during my EVS.

One of my favorite projects during my EVS has been Media Literacy for Migrant Women, refugees and asylum seekers in which I’ve been one of the trainers. I could see how much these women learnt so I feel really proud of them. In the beginning we started with very simple things such as how to use the mouse or how to write on the keyboard, but they all learnt quickly and soon were able to use Drive, all social networks, they could search any kind of information such as a job or where to live and they even wrote a recipes book! Each of them made their contribution to it thanks to the digital skills they developed and the result was a beautiful book with recipes from all over the world. In this project I had amazing colleges: Silvia and Giulia, who guided and completely involved me in the project from the first day. We worked really well together and the good results of this project is a clear prove of it.

Moreover, since I really liked the expressive-workshop of a project I did in the beginning of my EVS, I then participated in a second one: this time it was the intercultural-workshop because we were around 20 young people from different countries (Italy, Spain, Germany, Gambia, Ivorian Cost, etc) and every day we were discussing about several topics to put into common perspectives from different cultures. To make it more dynamic we did some outdoor activities such as visiting a church and a mosque where a nun and an imam shared with us their religious experience, or a treasure hunt around the city to know better the multicultural aspects and history of Palermo. Thus, we will never forget what we learnt because we lived it in first person.

The most emotive moment was when we did the final event of the projects MEDLIT and Ragazzi Harraga because we presented the projects, some videos, we gave the certificates and there were a lot of speeches with grateful and beautiful words. This was the culminating moment in which we all could look backwards and see that we got even more than what we expected from this project.

Even after the event some women were sending us messages of gratitude for everything they learnt and how much they improved during the project. One of them said that we had taught them as a mom teaches her children and that there were no words to express how grateful she felt with us.

Also, during this event we were able to raise awareness about what an EVS is, everything we have done and learnt here, so that many other young people have the opportunity to do the same.

During a weekend I went to Rome to do the mid-term EVS training where I met a lot of EVS volunteers in Italy, so we could share our experiences, learn from each other and we learnt a lot during the trainings like how to do the youth pass, what other European opportunities there are and we even met a person from the National Agency, so we could ask all our questions, make suggestions, etc.

I cannot put into words all the good experiences this EVS gave to me, the people I met or what I learnt… I cannot even express how grateful and lucky I feel about this experience. The end of my EVS is coming, but for all the good things I lived and leave here, Palermo will always mean home for me.

 

 

Beatriz Nozal Bordetas

EVS volunteer within the Erasmus + project “No one is out”

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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