No One Is Out: Palermo, a unique experience
My EVS experience started in early spring in the historical city of Palermo, through the “NO ONE IS OUT” project. From the very beginning, I was excited about living in Sicily, because I was going to get to learn about the place’s cultural diversity, about a new language, I was going to live with other people from various countries and finally work as a volunteer abroad.
I was first welcomed to the city by my mentor, who picked me up from the bus stop. He brought me to the house, told me all I should know about the accommodation and about my flat mates and then showed me a bit of the city. He was very warm and helpful. From the beginning until the end of my project, he offered his help every time I needed it.
Concerning my accommodation, I lived in a big and comfortable flat that I shared with 6 more people of different nationalities. The location of the house is very central; therefore, I could basically walk to work or to anywhere I want. Palermo is overall a city where you can take long walks and enjoy the surroundings. Then I feel lucky for my flat mates because we were very close to each other and we could easily communicate about everything.
Finally, the most important part to share from my EVS is my work:
I was involved in different local centres, the first one being Centro Astalli, a centre for migrants/refugees which has a shelter to welcome people who have recently arrived in the city. The centre also offers other types of help, like essential commodities (showers, clothes, laundries), Italian language classes for adults, legal support, psychological support etc. Three days a week, I prepared breakfasts and after that I went to a place called “Bazaar” which essentially is a room where there are clothes, shoes, toys etc. that have been donated by people: we are responsible for managing the distribution to people who come and pick them. The second place that I worked in is a Woman Centre, called “Spazio Donne”, where women from different disadvantaged backgrounds or victims of violence come to learn about their rights, learn new skills and can be empowered. I really liked this part of my work, because I participated in many workshops with the women when we made smoothies for instance, or hair masks. I also had the opportunity to participate in workshops in high schools, where we had students do role-plays and express their opinion about gender stereotypes and human rights through small debates. I think this part was essential and all of us enjoyed it a lot.
Finally, I worked at a kindergarten called Fantabosco. What’s interesting about Fantabosco is that there are both Italian and immigrant children together and, through my work, I could witness the Sicilian mentality a lot and how they treat everyone equally no matter their background. This experience also helped me a lot with my Italian, since it was the only language, I could speak with the kids but also with the workers.
To conclude, I can say that these two months in Palermo have been a very nice time for me. It felt very good being in an international environment and I recommend everybody to take advantage of such opportunities because they are unique experiences.
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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