My name is Juliette, I’m 25 years old and from a small village in Germany. One year before my volunteering program, I decided to go to Italy. It started in the NaturKultur house, where I was participant in a youth exchange which inspired me to join more opportunities given by the european solidary corps. This youth exchange opened my mind and pushed me to continue my way in this direction.
My ESC happened in Naples, a chaotic city in the south of Italy. I worked in an organisation called „Salamhouse“ which helps refugee kids and offers cultural activities. My main responsibilities were about creating workshops for the kids, with the aim to help to integrate this kids in the napoletan society. Workshops were held about human rights, culture, language (where each kid could present in his/her mother tongue), traditions, etc. In october we talked about the tradition of halloween and created decoration like halloween masks, pumpkins and ghosts. The workshops were supposed to be in the afternoon, after the kids finished school. In the mornings, the other volunteers and I could come to the office to prepare the activities, like doing research or printing.
Beside the daily work at the organisation, I also had the chance to work online for Salamhouse. That included beeing active for a cultural magazine, doing designs like poster of human rights or writing articles as about the neapoletan culture. I was very thankful for the opportunity to work also in a second field, as online work is my interest and so, I had the chance to improve my own skills.
I ‘ve learned many things during my stay in naples and my work at the organisation. To get an overview, I pointed some of them out:
- Communication doesn’t only exist in language. There are more ways to get understood by each other.
- If the beginning is hard, you can learn from it and improve yourself by overcoming this period.
- Different people bring different mindsets and also ideas about planning the work.
- You can learn a lot by observing and tolerating other lifestyles.
- Living with strangers might be stressful in the beginning but beatiful when it gets to normality.
I definitely recommend to do an ESC to everyone. I can see how much it influenced me and others who were doing their ESC aswell. We all are happy that we’ve got that opportunity to learn lessons even for your whole life. Also you might change your mindset because of understanding how things work outside of your comfort zone, out of your country or your small village. I am more than grateful that I got this possibility for myself. I recommand this volunteering program to everyone who is ready to experience something new and inspiring.
Juliette is part of our project “Global Change Makers”, financed by Jugend für Europa and the European Solidarity Corps Programme.