Monthly Archives: January 2015

The beginning of a new experience

Hello everyone!

My name is Thomas, I’m a 22 years old French EVS volunteer and I arrived in Pesaro on the 1st of December for a 6 months project with Vicolocorto. This is my first trip to Pesaro, and to Italy actually, and so far I really enjoy it. I barely knew anything about the city before coming, but I was not disappointed: the sea, the cultural influence, the architecture of the streets, the nature and of course the weather! Even though we’re in the middle of the winter, it’s still way warmer than what I’m used to in my Northern French hometown and I have to admit that being able to walk along the seaside anytime I want is something I particularly like. I can’t wait for the spring to start!

A few words about me:

This is actually my second experience of the European mobility programs. On the summer of 2013 I got a Bachelor’s degree in Law, and I wanted to take a break from studying because I didn’t know what I wanted to do next and I needed a little time away to figure this out, while making myself useful and discovering new countries and culture. I was originally supposed to do an EVS in a kindergarten in Tallinn, Estonia, with my best friend but this didn’t work out: the hosting organization simply bailed out on us. Fortunately, another organization in Leipzig, Germany, was willing to host the both of us for a French civic service, which is kind of the same thing as an EVS only it is funded by the French State and not by the European Union.

So there we were, working for six months in a German kindergarten. I have to admit that it was not easy at the beginning since I had absolutely no knowledge of the German language, and most of my coworkers (and of course, the children as well) couldn’t speak English. But we managed to work things out somehow, and this experience turned out to be really amazing. I discovered a country that I now love a lot, a new culture, a new way of life and I met really great people from all over Europe (not a lot of Germans though).

This is part of why I chose to do an EVS this year instead of starting my Master degree. I felt like I needed more time to travel, learn new things and think about my future, even though I already have a more precise idea of what I like and want: working at an international level, whether in a legal area or in a diplomatic/social one (which is also why the project that Vicolocorto was offering particularly interested me).

 Anyway, I still have four months and a half in this country that I never visited before, and I wanna enjoy it as much as I can.

See you later!



How to use ‘Windows Movie Maker’ – a lesson at the centro sociale “Salice Gualdoni”

We watch them almost every day, we laugh if they are funny and cry if they are sad – videos and movies. But how do you make one on your own?
For the younger generations this might not be a big problem, we either learned it already in school or can just go on the internet and search for instructions.
For older generations, who didn’t grow up with all the technical innovations, the whole research might be a little more difficult. This was the reason why we got a request from Laura’s father, Giancarlo for a lesson, about the Microsoft program ‘Windows Movie Maker’ from the elderly centre in Pesaro.

The people there are very active, going on trips and organizing events of which they are taking videos and pictures. The goal was to create a final video of the trip or event they were participating to. We decided to help them out and explain a little bit about how a program like this is working. I was the chosen one for this activity, so I informed myself a little bit on Youtube tutorials (since I’m not a great expert about video programs myself) and prepared a Power Point presentation about the Movie Maker.

Besides from the topic, there was another challenge waiting for me: the people at the centre don’t speak any English.
So with my more or less profound knowledge of ‘Windows Movie Maker’ and the Italian skills that I learned in school and gathered here during my EVS, I entered the centre on a rainy Friday afternoon in the beginning of December.

Vicolocorto, SVE, Katharina, centro socioculturale Salice Gualdoni, Movie Maker
My “class” consisted of 8 elderly people, some of them had brought their own laptop. The lesson started by introducing ourselves. I told them a little bit about who I am and what I am doing in Italy. In return, they told me their names and also explained more about the center itself – what they do in their free time and how they organize events. Then it was time for the Windows Movie Maker: I started with the presentation I had prepared and tried to explain with the help of pictures what the movie maker is and how we can use it to create a whole video from small videos and images. During this presentation, everyone was really quiet and trying to follow my speech and the examples I gave.  After that, I started to make a video on my own while they could watch. There, a lot of questions arose and I tried to answer them with the help of Laura.After 2,5 hours, everyone was a little bit tired – them from all the new information, me from speaking a lot of Italian.

One week later, we came back to the center – this time with handouts and with the intention to not only hold a speech, but create a workshop, so everyone could try on their own. I was accompanied by Sandra, Thomas and Klaudio, a local volunteer who helped me a lot with the translation and also had some more technical knowledge about the program.
Thanks to Cinzia and Anna, we were offered drinks and cake, so we had a good base to start from. This time, the lesson was a lot more interactive. I explained the steps and they followed the instructions with their own fotos and videos, supported by Klaudio and me. Some difficulties arose, but could be solved in the end. After 3 hours, everyone had created a smaller or bigger video, containing some subtitles and special effects.
Everyone was very satisfied, even though there were doubts if they would be able to do it on their own. But for that problem, we had the handouts on which they had been writing notes.
In the end, everyone was very thankful and I was proud that I had been able to hold a presentation in Italian. Also, we were invited for future projects in the centre – maybe about traditional Italian food and cooking next time 
A presto!
If you are interested in finding out more about the center’s activities visit their website: