In February, Vicolocorto hosted eight members of European organisations, as part of the project “Cultural Diversity as a Learning Tool in Youth Work”. This time, Carolina (from Vicolocorto) and Sabina (who works for EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal) went to Tukums, in Latvia. They experienced the working reality of the association Pozitiva Doma, which promotes intercultural awareness, non-formal education and voluntary service. Continue reading “Cultural Diversity as a Learning Tool in Youth Work – Study visit in Latvia”
Ciao! I am Stefania from Torino (Italy) and this is my first week in Slovenia. Actually this is my first time in Slovenia and it’s the first time that I live outside my country. So everything it’s new and exciting.
Brežice (I have to learn the right pronunciation yet) is a small and nice town surrounded by nature, in particular mountains and hills. It is beautiful to wake up in the morning listening the birds’sing and seeing pine trees.
There are a lot of services and in few minutes it’s possible to reach beautiful landscapes. In less than then two hours you can go to Ljubljana and in one hour to Zagreb. Me and Mariana (my portuguese flat mate) already visited Ljubljana the last weekend and it left to us a really good impression. It is not that big but is full of cultural centers and interesting events. It is calm but alive and active. I really liked Metelkova district with it’s graffities, artistic creations and the Art Contemporary Museum.
The Brežice youth center is a very nice building too. It is big and contains a theatre, a bar, a hostel and it is very active in organizing cultural events and workshops for the citizenry. There is a positive mood in the working team and I really appreciate the non formal approach among the people that are part of it. This helps me feeling comfortable and free to express my opinion and to share my ideas. Indeed I am already thinking about some personal projects and it’s good that the center give me the opportunity to realize them supporting me through courses or lessons on how to prepare a project from the beginning to the end, in all the aspects that belong to it.
I am happy to be here and to do this kind of experience, I can’t wait to see the amazing places of Slovenia, learn new competences and sports. Slovenian people use to practise sport so I would like to improve myself and may be the nature motivates me to do different experiences. I will update you 😉
You go girl! See you,
I’ve just spend the last 10 months in Narvik, doing my EVS with Narviksenteret’s organization, a War and Peace Centre located in a small town in the north of Norway with a lot of history to tell.
During my project I’ve been hosting tourists and groups at Narvik War Museum, taking photographs in many events, assisting in educational workshops for school classes, Christmas workshops, volunteering at the local festival Vinterfestuka and at the Easter Café with the Red Cross, involved in a Youth Exchange and a Training Course, social media development and more… My project is almost done and I will be flying home soon.
As I sit here and think about how to pack my suitcase for my homecoming I finally figure out that my EVS was not a small experience, as somebody may think, but it was a big chunk of my life. As I sit here and think about packing, I discover that in these 10 months I create and live a life, not a simple experience, that now I have to pull the strings, pack it up and “close”.
Once that the thought settle in, I find myself thinking about all the good things that this year has brought, and I do it with a smile on my face and shiny eyes. Life in Narvik was not an easy one but it was good.
I hated it sometimes: this place so quiet and people so silent and private, or when it was raining no stop, or in the middle of a snow storm, or when there was no sun at all, just darkness. A couple of times I was ready to quit and book my ticket to Italy but I’m so glad that I’ve stayed. Now all the “bad” kind of disappear and just the good memories remain in my heart.
I have vivid memories of Sundays morning sitting outside of my house chatting with friends waiting for our laundry to be done, trying new food and drinks for the first time, hours playing cards, walking down icy sidewalks and falling down miserably, defending myself when they say that “Italians are just pasta and pizza”, hiking beautiful mountains, fishing my first fish ever and screaming with excitement, having my family visit me and bring some of my Italian warmth with them, being speechless while looking at the Northern Lights, smiling and laughing until it hurts..
The best thing about the EVS is how many people I’ve crossed path: with some of them I’ve shared all my 10 months in Narvik, with others just weeks or days but all of them influenced my personality and help me changing myself in the best way possible. I’m more open minded and accepting when I meet people, I feel more like a citizen of the World and not just one country, I’m more aware and sure of myself, more independent and, mostly, I have a bigger heart, filled with all the people that I’ve met and ready to welcome the ones that I will meet.
If I need to use just one word to describe EVS it would be CHANGE.
It’s very true that you always return as a changed person.
Ciao a tutti!
I’m Alysson, a French girl, 23 years old and I come from Lille, a big city next to Belgium (so I could eat French fries all the time aha).
As you see, I don’t speak Italian (for the moment), but I am motivated to learn Italian, because it’s such a beautiful language!
Of course, it’s not the only reason I moved to Pesaro to do an EVS. So let me introduce myself.
I just graduated in Master of Human Resources, in a Work/Study Program, it means that I had courses and worked in a company at the same time, to validate my diploma.
It was really great because I gained experience, but I wanted also to travel and to have an experience in an association. So here I am, in Vicolocorto, in Pesaro, Italy!
During my different personal and professional experiences, I had opportunities to help people to find a job, to take part in several group works by simulating interviews or by providing advices about their CV’s and cover letters. So naturally, I wanted to share my knowledge with people, to help them in having more opportunities.
My professional goal is to work in a professional and social inclusion. So when they proposed me to do a volunteering with Erasmus+ program in Vicolocorto for 6 months who is working for professional and social inclusion of youngsters, I just said immediatly yes, yes I want! (It was not a proposal, but for me it’s the same aha).
Moreover, I never lived abroad.
I’ve been to a lot of countries like Spain, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, also Italy (in Roma), Belgium, the Netherlands , Denmark , Czech Republic and even Vietnam and Cambodia for holidays.
In each country, I met really nice people and I discovered a lot of wonderful landscapes and amazing cultures. So for me, it’s very important to travel because it helps to be more independent, open-minded and adaptable. Like a French expression says, “Les voyages forment la jeunesse” , which means travels help youngsters to improve themself, and I couldn’t say it better.
I’m only in Pesaro since one week, but I already met nice people and discovered amazing places! It seems to be a great start, and I also can’t wait to have more projects at Vicolocorto.
So if you want to live an experience like this, just live your dream and if you are afraid to be alone in a new country, it’s not the case, because there are your EVS tutor, and also other EVS volunteers you could have fun with.
See you in next articles, to follow my adventures as an European, French, and now un po’ Italian SVE girl!
La vida è bella 🙂
Si è svolto dal 5 al 13 giugno, a Dilijan in Armenia, il seminario europeo “Crossroad exclusion and gender”. Al seminario hanno partecipato circa 30 persone provenienti da: Armenia, Ucraina, Bielorussia, Lituania, Estonia, Georgia, Repubblica Ceca, Olanda, Germania, Spagna e Italia.
Le discriminazioni di genere sono un problema che colpisce la vita delle giovani donne europee, discriminate in vari ambiti: dal lavoro, alla salute, all’istruzione, alle condizioni economiche e sociali. Ecco perché giovani volontari e lavoratori presso Ong e Associazioni si sono incontrati per discutere sul problema, studiare la situazione in Europa, scambiarsi buone pratiche e redigere progetti per migliorare concretamente la situazione.
Il metodo adottato durante il seminario è quello dell’educazione non formale, con sessioni di lavoro in gruppo in cui il sapere viene condiviso e ci si confronta sui vari temi da affrontare.Molte sono state le simulazioni tra cui una sorta di gioco di ruolo sull’immigrazione, in cui i partecipanti erano o migranti alle prese con la burocrazia, o personale sanitario dei centri per l’impiego, della polizia e delle amministrazioni, che devono gestire le richieste d’asilo e i permessi di soggiorno. Altre attività hanno riguardato il tema delle discriminazioni di persone portatrici di handicap, e LGBT, ma il focus è rimasto sulle esclusioni legate al genere.
I partecipanti hanno avuto modo, oltre che di confrontarsi tra loro, scambiandosi statistiche ed esperienze, anche di conoscere direttamente la situazione armena legata alla disparità di genere e all’omo-transfobia. Un pomeriggio è stato dedicato alla conoscenza della popolazione di Dilijan, che ha aperto le sue porte al gruppo di partecipanti europei, si è lasciata intervistare e ha raccontato la propria opinione su quali sono i ruoli dell’uomo e della donna nella società armena e come i giovani vivono la situazione. Molto interessante è stata la visita nella capitale Yerevan degli uffici di due associazioni: Women Resources center, attivo contro la violenza sulle donne e Pink Organization (pinkarmenia.org), attiva nel riconoscimento dei diritti LGBT, nell’educazione sessuale e riconoscimento dei diritti umani.
La volontaria del Women Resources center ha illustrato una situazione molto difficile per le donne armene, relegate nel loro ruolo di mogli e madri, a cui è reso difficile poter lavorare e rendersi indipendenti, e spesso vittime di violenze domestiche. Il governo è coinvolto da dieci anni nelle problematiche dell’equità di genere ma è osteggiato nella sua attività da lobby fasciste, nazionaliste e pro-Russia. Il concetto che cambiando la tradizione e la società patriarcale si distrugga l’identità armena, concetto quasi sacro da preservare dopo la tragedia del genocidio, fa sì che sia molto difficile evolvere la situazione e migliorare la condizione di donne, gay, lesbiche e transessuali nel paese. Attualmente non c’è una legge contro le violenze domestiche e si sta discutendo su una legge che impedisca ai medici di rivelare in gravidanza il sesso del bambino, questo per limitare la piaga degli aborti selettivi di femmine. Il numero di aborti praticati sia legalmente che non in Armenia è molto alto, e non c’è educazione sessuale o non è corretta e superficiale.
La Pink Organization si occupa di difendere i diritti di gay, lesbiche e trans, ma attualmente ha dovuto ridimensionare molto il proprio ruolo per garantire l’incolumità dei manifestanti che sono stati spesso attaccati da gruppi nazisti. L’associazione è in collegamento con altre nel Caucaso e le battaglie per supportare i diritti LGBT si collegano a quelle per i diritti delle donne ed i diritti umani in generale.
Al termine del seminario si sono fatte delle proposte progettuali che riguardano i singoli partecipanti nel loro specifico campo lavorativo, creando partnership e motivandosi ad andare avanti, a scambiarsi informazioni e suggerimenti, a creare eventi comuni.
Come partecipante italiana posso testimoniare che questo genere di seminari ha un impatto molto positivo sulla popolazione locale, lo scambio reciproco avviene alla pari e crea un clima molto motivante e collaborativo. Capire qual è la situazione in altri paesi europei riguardo all’equità di genere e aver modo di ascoltare testimonianze dirette fa sì che si comprenda meglio il fenomeno e ci si impegni, ognuno nel proprio campo, per migliorare le cose. Punto fondamentale è riconoscere il problema dell’equità di genere e delle discriminazioni come un tema che riguarda i diritti fondamentali dell’uomo. Creare reti, condividere esperienze e soprattutto dimostrare che il tema dei diritti sta a cuore a molti, facendo sentire la propria voce è uno dei risultati di questo seminario.
Never too late to protect your human rights. With the development of the society, people always assume that everyone is equal, no matter who you are, no matter what your job is. And also there are different laws, regulations protecting our citizens. But actually, in reality, some people don’t receive enough attention from families and other public associations, centers that are lead for women which suffer of violence. Some women, they kept silence even when some terrible violence happened to them, but some others did not, they used their rights to give lessons and be an example for people, underlining that women also need to be respected in any case and situation. And we all are encouraged to do so!
From our point of view, keeping silent means dying, every woman should raise her voice and ask for help and advice, in order to have justice and equality. It’s a fundamental right for all women. As one lady from The Provincial Antiviolence Center “Parla Con Noi” stated: “Justice for women that have been abused or murdered, justice for those who are now starting their path against violence, justice for the idea for every child, adolescent, friend, woman to live without violence and abuse.”
We went to an exhibition called “ M’AMA NON M’AMA”, which was run by a group of college & university boys and girls aged from 18 to 25 from Pesaro, who came up with the idea of raising awareness about women rights or to be more precise, violence against women in our society nowadays. They tried to do this by showing photos, articles, videos and particularly a real story of a woman, who was an acid attack victim from Pesaro, that caught the attention of all people there. They went through a long way from the beginning until now to make this exhibition possible; it took them lots of time to work on this project since they all still are students and they have to balance their time between school and project. With all the efforts they put on this, they are now all satisfied by seeing how people were coming and showing their enthusiasm about the exhibition.
When asked about the engagement into this kind of “giant” topic, they said “Even though we were born in an equal society, there have been more and more cases of violence and abuse with huge number of victims, who mostly are women, shown on newspapers or public media recently. The most important one was the case of a woman named Lucia, who is from our same city, that inspired us to do this project.”
Later on, we had the chance to participate to a flashmob, which took place in the main square of Pesaro (Piazza del Popolo), also on the theme of raising awareness about protecting women which are suffering of gender inequality.
The flashmob, called “ One Billion Rising For Justice”, is held on the 14th of February each year since last year and it was extremely successful by involving 1 billion people in 207 countries. All these actions had the purpose of demanding the end of violence against women and girls around the world.
The event was organized in Pesaro by the Provincial Antiviolence Center “Parla Con Noi” (Talk With Us) and was administered by the Province of Pesaro and Urbino with the Social Cooperative “Labirinto” and the Association “Percorso Donna” with the purpose of informing and sensitizing people in the need of promoting cultural changes which are fundamental to fight against violence among genders. The lyrics of the song “Break the chain”, the song used in the flashmob event, tries to involve more and more people and says what needs to be conveyed to everyone in order to have more possibilities for this urgent issue to reach and provoke people all around. That people who still think genders violence is not their own business and ignore it somehow. Simona, one of the organizers of this event said: “What we would like to achieve here is that women will become more aware of their existence in the society. There will always be people who will listen, support and provide them a proper way to avoid or prevent the violence that may happen to them cause of religious believes, customs and so on. In addition to this, the aim of the event is also to make people recognize that violence is not just one’s business anymore, but of the whole society and violence is not only about physical attack but also about mental attack, which is as worse as the physical one. According to some researches, 3 out of 10 women have suffered violence and it is really a big alarm for us, it is happening among us, therefore we all have to be responsible for this”.
The event went successfully as expected since lots of people had come and participated in the flashmob including men, women and also children of all ages.
We also did short interviews to some participants, people who were in the main square and attended the event.
- How did you know about this activity?
-Through the internet. We know the association that was promoting the event and checked on internet.
- How do you feel about this issue (violence against women)?
– We watched the TV and we saw violence against women everyday in the news. So, it is important to be present in this event.
– We have to respect our value as women. This event respects this value.
– I know real stories of violence: some close friends, even my sister.
– The issue is not just about physical violence. This is about different kinds of violence that all women suffer. Also the psychological violence .
- What can you do to solve this problem?
– Get conscious of the problem.
– Try to educate children to respect the women.
— a group of women who are mothers, teachers —
They are aware of their rights, take actions to not only protect themselves but also to others.
And for us, to be a part of this meaningful event was wonderful, we acknowledged more about the issue and somehow raised our voices to help protecting all women out there who are suffering genders unfair, inequality which should never ever be existing in our society any longer. We don’t really believe this problem can be solved quickly, especially when more and more people notice about this issue. Start asking for the changes: the more attention will be paid into our vulnerable women really soon and changes will be made!
~ group of reporters ~
And what about you?? Are you ready to take actions to help others?? Or just to protect your own rights??Let us know ^-^