// ESC Voluntary Service with Youth Organisation "Radica" in Calvene, Italy - NaturKultur e.V.
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ESC Voluntary Service with Youth Organisation “Radica” in Calvene, Italy

If you’ve ever wanted to help out in a community that really needs it, wanted to work with children and adolescents, and if you enjoy outdoor activities and would like to perhaps learn how, for example, activities with horses and donkeys can be educational – we might have the volunteering opportunity for you! And to top all that, you can do it all while living abroad and learning first hand about Italian culture!

Location: Radicà, Calvene, Italy

Dates: 12/10/2020 – 05/08/2021 (10 Months)

In short…

The organization “Radicà” in Calvene, Italy, have made a 10 month volunteering position available for a compassionate young person who would like to try and improve the lives of the younger population (mostly aged between 6-17) in Calvene who have difficulties related to their family lives. If you get accepted to this position you will be welcomed into the community centre run by the Radicà, where you will get the opportunity to learn about various educational methods from youth workers, as well contribute with your own ideas, culture and experience.

The Hosting organization:

Radicà is a non-profit organization located in Calvene, a small town in the northeast of Italy. 

It runs several projects among which are 2 educational community centres, which welcome children aged between 6 and 17 (sometimes older, in specific cases), who are (or whose families are) in temporary difficulties, and who need the daily accompaniment of educators. One of these centres is residential, meaning the children live there, while the other is a day centre, so the children are picked up and dropped off daily, and the whole area within which the two community centres are found is called Contrada. In the community there are times for fulfilling responsibilities (school, work, homework etc.) and times for leisure when everyone can choose a sport to practice or do other recreational activities.

The duration of time children spend in these centres is determined by the specific project they are working on. Both parents and social services are fully involved in the construction of the educational path during the entire stay of the young people. During their time spent at Contrada the children take part in cultural, recreational, educational and challenge orientated activities, and they are surrounded by a trust-inspiring, positive environment which has a culture of active listening.

The activities are carried out in the apartments found within Contrada and in the spaces outside; common spaces are the kitchen, dining room, living room, fields and the woods. The day centre is open from 9am to 6pm on weekdays throughout the year, with activities and timetables that change according to the needs of the times and the group.

Overall Radicà hopes to help integrate the children it hosts into society better by educating them in their daily life with a range of activities that involve both formal and non-formal educational methods, and that are tailored specially for each child.

 

Volunteer’s role and tasks:

As a volunteer you would be involved in the activities carried out in community centres described above.

Specifically, in the first period of the service you would help the educators in everyday life of children with difficulties related to their family and the problems they had as family. These difficulties can lead to behavioral, relational, affective and psychological disorders. In order to help you would be carrying out the following activities:

  • supporting the educators in daily tasks;
  • supporting the educators in the preparation of meals and houseworks;
  • participating in the community life through the organization of community games, craft workshops and others educational activities relevant to the children’s personal projects

These initial activities are planned and will be carried out with the intention of you, the volunteer, forming a good trusting relationship with the children, so that further into the volunteering service you would be able to carry out activities with strong intercultural values (of course with the permission and support of the educators), such as language lessons through music and film, cooking workshops, traditional games and so on. You will also be encouraged to come up with and carry out their own personal project, which would utilize your skills in a unique way within the organization.

On top of all this, you would get to join educators in animal-assisted activities for adolescents with psychiatric problems, which are realized with the help and cooperation of horses and donkeys (“experimental pedagogic Farm”).

 

Logistics:

Calvene is a village lying at the foot of the Small Dolomites, mountains famous all over the world for their beauty that makes them a tourist destination for skiers and hikers. Places that have sadly also witnessed the First World War. In Calvene there isn’t a bus or train station but one bus does arrive; plus Calvene is near to Thiene (about 10 km), a town in which there is the train station and bus station well connected with Vicenza and Bassano del Grappa.

All meals and food found in the community will be made available to you (it is possible to share the meal with community’s guest but also to take ingredients and to prepare its own meal using the food of the community in a shared kitchen). You’ll also get about 25 Euros per month for buying your own extra food, as well as 150 Euros per month spending money.

You will be accommodated in a single bedroom in one of the Contrada’s community houses (to give context, Contrada is a little road with several houses designed and built up in the last 30 years to create an environment based on familiar and traditional neighborhood features).

You will also be provided with a bike as a means of transport, health insurance, Italian lessons with a professional teacher, and access to Online Linguistic Support.

You can apply if:

  • you have a strong interest in volunteering in the context described above and to have experience working with youth and children who have suffered;
  • you are willing to live in a small, traditional and provincial town;
  • you are able to drive (driving license);
  • you are open-minded and have a responsible attitude that will lead you to better understand the learning process and the rules of cohabitation;
  • you don’t mind spending plenty of time alone
  • you are interested in learning a different European language (very important: in this part of Italy only few young people can speak English).
  • you are part of the European Solidarity Corps database
  • you are a creative, patient and proactive person;
  • you are a friendly, communicative and active attitude;
  • you wish to develop interpersonal relationships;

To summarise, with this ESC project you would get the opportunity to live in a community that strives to help young people facing a variety of great difficulties, by giving them to chance to live in a healthy, trusting, family-like environment. An environment where they will get to learn while having fun and have fun while learning. If you’d like to help these young people get through their difficulties, and learn crucial skills when it comes to helping disadvantaged young people while you’re at it, why not apply?

Applications are already closed – we will be in touch!