My ESC Experience!

Monday 3 July 2023

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Hello everybody. My name is Matthias and I did my European solidarity corps in Palermo in the program “sharing solidarity“ hosted and coordinated by CESIE.

My arrival was last year in November and it ended this June. Before coming, I already knew a lot of places in Italy, but I was never anywhere more south than Rome. So coming to Palermo was pretty exciting because I heard people saying that Sicily is completely different from the rest of the country, and it turned out to be true. After my 8 months there, I would describe the city as loud, raw and authentic.

However, during these 8 months I was mainly working with other volunteers in the reception of Centro Astalli. A center for extra communitarian refugees and immigrants. So basically people that are not from the EU. The center provides different services for them, like medical, law, laundry and other support. I really liked Centro Astalli because engaging with the realities of poverty and the challenges faced by refugees was eye-opening and transformative. Then two times a week I helped the Caritas with their lunch service for people in need. I was part of a kitchen team and I helped to prepare food, washing plates and helping to serve the lunch.

Living with seven flatmates in the old town of Palermo has been an adventure in itself, teaching me valuable lessons in communications and teamwork.

All in all, coming to Palermo for the project was the right decision for me. It helped me to clarify my career goals, and pursuing studies in physical therapy in Germany will allow me to continue helping people in need.

Special thanks to my mentor Giulia and the coordinator of the project Cinzia for the support during my experience.


Matthias Ganz

Volontario ESC- Sharing solidarity 2022