Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

The wonderful experience of living aboard

I’m Gautier, a 21 years old man from France arrived in Pesaro less than one month ago to do a EVS here. After doing a Science High School I did one year of Art university, then I did a skills upgrade classes of Applied Art (design), in which I want to continue. But before continuing my studies in that field I wanted to travel aboard, to live in another country, and more precisely in Italy. After this experience I would like to continue design studies in Italy if possible. Continue reading “The wonderful experience of living aboard”

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Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

Hello there!

I’m Jonathan, a 18-year-old from the countryside in Northern Germany, near Hamburg. I always liked to travel and discover new things, and to share this with other people. I think the world needs this kind of curiosity, because by now, in our new “global village”, we increasingly get the impression that we know everything about each other. But this is completely false. Continue reading “Hello there!”

Red Cross, Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

Viaggio in una casa di riposo

È stato uno dei momenti i più importanti del mio Servizio Volontario Europeo con la Croce Rossa.

Prima ho avuto questa intervista con il direttore della casa di riposo di Via Spada. Dovevamo discutere solo un quarto d’ora. Lui doveva rispondere a qualche domanda per arricchire la mia tesi universitaria. Invece, la nostra conversazione è durata più di un’ora. Mi ha semplicemente spiegato lo spirito che si deve adottare quando si lavora in una casa di riposo. È stata una discussione piena di passione e di sincerità. Perciò, mi ha convinto a venire a fare il volontario ogni lunedì con Maria della Croce Rossa, in divisa.

Ho provato a mettere in applicazione i principi che mi ha insegnato. Le competenze tecniche sono importantissime ma non bastano affatto.

Si deve essere umano quando si cura di un anziano. L’umanità non si impara nei libri, neanche all’università. È un principio che si trova in noi stessi ovvero nei nostri cuori. Quando si cura di un anziano, non basta solo farlo camminare, mangiare o prendere le medicine. Ci vuole dell’amore, rispetto dell’altro. Si deve creare una relazione di fiducia altrimenti la cura dell’anziano andrà male. Ecco perché la presenza delle suore nella casa di riposo è indispensabile. Sono il pilastro che trasmettere questi valori.

Questi principi sono molto belli però sono difficili da mettere in pratica. In quanto volontario, mi confrontavo direttamente agli anziani. Nel 95% dei casi, contrariamente ai pregiudizi popolari, sono gentilissimi. Cantano, chiacchierano, giocano, camminano, ballano (per coloro che possono). A loro piacciono molto i giovani che vengono ad aiutarli. La nostra presenza è sufficiente per renderli felici. In effetti, si capisce perché,  la maggioranza di loro si sente abbandonati, nella solitudine della fine di vita. Rappresentiamo un po’ di speranza, una luce, una rottura positiva nella loro vita quotidiana. Non è bello svegliarsi la mattina per dare un po’ di felicità agli esseri umani? È un sentimento molto gradevole.

Talvolta, ho dovuto confrontarmi con casi più difficili. È capitato che qualche anziano non si sentiva così bene, sono malati, hanno un mal di testa, oppure sono frustrati, le ragione sono parecchie. Di fronte a questi casi, i principi di umanità diventano molto importanti da mettere in pratica. Ho imparato ad essere paziente, ad ascoltare quello che l’anziano dice o esprime (perché ci sono alcuni che fanno fatica a parlare). Andare in panico oppure arrabbiarsi non risolve il problema.

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Insomma, quest’esperienza mi ha permesso di imparare quello non avrei mai potuto imparare all’università. Sono dei principi di umanità, di pazienza, di cordialità che mi hanno permesso di migliorarmi in quanto persona ma anche di aiutare gli altri. A me piace questo spirito. Ecco perché ringrazio Giorgio Benvenuti e Maria Redessao della Croce Rossa, il direttore della Casa di Risposo, tutte le suore e i dipendenti che fanno un lavoro notevole per mantenere in vita questi spettacolari esseri umani che sono gli anziani. Mi fa davvero piacere che queste persone esistano perché mi dico che, nel futuro, quando sarò anziano, sarò trattato come un essere umano e non come un vecchio mezzo-morto.

Sami

 

 

Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

My EVS in Sverzov, Slovakia

From Italy to Slovakia

I arrived in the village of Sverzov on the 7th August 2017 after a very long bus travel through Europe and Slovakia. Watching through the glass of my buses and trains, since the first day, i was impressed by the wonderful landscape, made of high hills and thin trees, houses with a sloping roof and uncontaminated nature.

On the first day of my job i was quite lucky, because Marian and Yarka decided to bring the children on a trip in Bardejov, to the swimming pool. It was a beautiful day to know the roma children i would work with. They surprised me for their spontaneity vivacity: since the first time they asked me a lot of questions to know me and they started to teach me the slovak language teaching me colors and numbers since that first day.

The first days were hard, i admit: i had to get used to my new life and to my new job: working with children isn’t easy, you must have a lot of patience and energy.

The children

My schedules were 9-12 in the morning and 13-16 in the afternoon. Particularly, in the morning the pre-school children come to the centre, kids of 5-6 years old, instead the older children (from 12 to 16 years old) come in the afternoon.  About the little children, going in the community centre is very important because there they learn not just the Slovak language, but even the good manners and how to have a good behavior with the other people. We teach them the colors, numbers, how to write geometric shapes and we play with them with the many toys that are in the centre. Despite these children are no more than 5-6, it’s very hard to manage them, because they are so hyperactive and lively!

In the afternoon the atmosphere is more chaotic and funny, because the older children are more than the young ones, between 10 and 15, and because some of them like playing guitars, sometimes piano and all of them love singing and dancing. They learned playing roma songs from some girls from a near village that once a week come in the centre teaching music to the children. They really love music, and they also formed a kind of band that play these songs for people, in some free concerts: we went to a retirement home where they played for seniors, they really enjoyed it. Another time we went in Kojatize, where they played for roma children in their community centre. Also one time they played in the Sverzov’s culturny dom for seniors.

Children that come in the afternoon speak very little english, and sometimes I teach them something, improvising a lesson in the centre. When the weather is sunny, we go to the football camp near the centre where we play football or volleyball.

Sverzov

Life in Sverzov is quiet, and I prefer this kind of life rather than life in the town. Everything is so close to my house! In just one minute by walking I can reach the community centre, the mini-market (potraviny) and the bus stop. In the village there is also a bar, that is open every evening, where I go sometimes to enjoy a beer.

Sverzov

Despite Sverzov is a little village, it is actually very alive. You can always meet someone while you are walking through the three Sverzov’s streets, sometimes the centre is full of people, working and planning activities or events for the local community. It happened three or four times, during my EVS period, that in the Culturny Dom had been organized parties or events. For example, last September there was the “Miss”, a competition between the girls who attend the centre, girls of 10-12 years old, that singed and danced doing choreography that they prepared before with the help of Yarka. The ladies changed their dresses more times during the representation and they sang songs like “Despacito”. At the end of the competition, three judges voted and choose the winne, this year the winner was Misha, that received the crown from Sabina, the last year’s winner.

The Culturny dom is a very used place where are often organized parties for the local community. One time, it had been organized a party for the senior’s association: there were about 100 people sitting in the culturny dom’s main area enjoying a lunch all together with the typical meals of their villages. So everyone could try so many meals settled on a buffet table: there was gulash, different salads, potatoes cooked in many different ways, many different kind of meat and cheese, and many more things! Everything was delicious, and everyone had good time eating and enjoying some shows, like our children that played and sang typical songs with the help of the women that usually play with the children, listening poems recited from the elementary school children or songs sang by the senior organization’s women and typical slovak songs sang by a group of men from sverzov, dressed with typical slovak clothes.

English Lessons

After a couple of months I started to do free english lessons for the local community. I  started teaching English to my colleague Marian and Natalia, a 16 years old girl from Sverzov. After about one month, other people started to come to my lessons, so I decided to divide my students in two groups. I really like to have these English lessons because in this way my contribution to the local community is more important and funny. My lessons are about many topics: grammar, weather, food, time, but also reading English books, watching videos and doing conversation. I can see how my students improve their English and this is a huge satisfaction for me, but so do I improve my English and my Slovak.

Christmas time

Christmas time here is started at the beginning of December: it is a very important event for the local community. Saint Migulas brought presents to the elementary school’s children on 8th December while the Devil was assaulting the bad children. During the Christmas period there was always a lot of people in the centre and we were very busy: we prepared wreaths and soap to sell for charity. I have personally gone along the river many times to collect the branches to prepare the wreaths. We organized a Christmas dinner with the older children and with the girls from Snakov: we celebrated with fish, salad, polieuka and candies; and after dinner we sang all together Christmas songs. At the end of the dinner, two Snakov’s girls did something like a rite: everybody was in a circle, singing and playing, while the two girls took place at the right and at the left of each person in the cirlce, they put their hands on the shouldiers of the person and, with the eyes closed, they recited a pray in roma language. I think it was a kind of protection-pray. The major invited me to spend the Christmas evening at his home, with his family. I was very happy because I could spend the Christmas in family and taste the typical slovak Christmas dishes, like fried fish, kapustnica, and typical sweets. I really enjoyed the fact that the dinner started with a shot of rum, and ended with a shot of rum!

Paolo “Trips” Tritto

 

Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

Dear Diary… I’m Nayra!

Dear Diary,1

It starts my experience in Pesaro. I leave on stand by a life in Barcelona to introduce me on one of the experiences that I hope will be the most enriching of my life. I bring a backpack full of illusions, hope, fears, expectations, ideas and motivation.

I’ve only been in Pesaro for 35 hours and I love it, from what I have been able to perceive it is a very cozy and quiet city. It is cold but I can live with that, I haven’t tasted typical Italian food yet but I still have 9 months to delight with its gastronomy. Pesaro has everything  you need to live and, above all things, it has sea! Italian is charming, cheerful and dynamic: I look forward to learnig it! I’ve noticed that is not only similar to Spanish, so it’s to Catalan! So that could help me learn. The people who I’ve had the opportunity to meet have been very friendy and cordial, so Pesaro is far from being a place that I want to leave.

I hope to get to know people, places, food, languages, infinite variety of habits, soak in multiculturalism, give the best from me and be useful. My idea is that things happen for a reason, that they don’t arrive to yourself without a purpose, so there is some reason that I still have to discover that explains why it’s been possible for me to live what I have to live. I have opened my senses, expectant and conscious ready to be stimulated, so let’s go EVS! Let’s discover how this story continues…

Nayra

Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

Ciao Pesaro!

Ciao! My name is Léa, I’m 25 years old and I’m from Nice, in France. I’ve been here for three days now, and even if I don’t know what the future holds, I feel that I’m on the right tracks.

To understand why I’m here, let’s fast rewind to March 2017. I had been living in Montreal for almost 3 years, where I had a quite happy and steady life. I was working in a communication agency that hired me right after my Master, I had a great group of friends, and I even managed to survive two canadian winters!

Somehow, what seemed like a perfect life for a couple of years just didn’t anymore. I was missing the adrenaline of new projects, and in a way, I felt stuck. At 25, I had to make a decision: either to keep going this way, working on my career and getting settled in Canada, or to take a turn. As you probably guessed, the second option won.

After processing this decision, I had to figure out what to do. In a moment of despare (or intuition?) I literally searched on Google “How to travel without money?”, and surprisingly, I landed on a great blog post giving multiple ideas, presenting different international programs and solutions. One of them was the EVS program.

After more research, I realized that this program was exactly what I was looking for : something new that I never did before, a way to make myself useful and stay active, and an opportunity to visit and learn the language of a new country. Plus, I really missed Europe!

Everything went fast after this, I gave my resignation and left Canada in August. I started searching for EVS projects and applied to the ones I found most interesting (I was looking for a project with youngsters, that could also be related somehow to communication, which was my field of experience). Vicolocorto contacted me in December and here I am!

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To me, these 10 months in Pesaro are an opportunity to reflect on what I want for the future. I also have some short-term goals that I hope to achieve: learning italian, developing my skills with video-making and drawing, learning how to play guitar, and visiting 10 cities I don’t know. But for now, it’s time to get to know Vicolocorto, the different tasks we have and the others volunteers that work and live with me!

Léa