European projects, opportunities and experiences!

Hello, hello again and we are back here to share our beautiful memories through European mobility projects!

I’m sure that in this point, every one or even the one person that is reading these articles should acquired already some more information about European opportunities for young people. Leaving apart this fact, I will continue like nobody knows nothing and I will share an experience with the European Solidarity Corps again.

This time from our beautiful, and a bit cold right now, Italy we will travel in Greece, the country so near to us, but for sure warmer! A girl from Calabria will share her story and experience with ESC from last year -a half regular and half Covid 19 influenced year-.

*ME, MYSELF AND I*

Hello, I am Grazia, I’m 29 and I’m from Italy. I made my amazing ESC project one year ago, in Thessaloniki, Greece. After my graduation in Social Work and Sociology I really wanted to challenge myself “on the field”, moved in a new country and I wanted to do it on my own. When I read about the project I suddenly had good vibes about it and I applied. After one week my life changed! I had been selected..so I booked my tickets and prepared myself to this amazing new project! My impact with my “new home” was amazing. For the first step I have been in Greece and I felt so amazed that I couldn’t believe it. People, places, culture were really close to me that I felt I have always lived there for a lifetime.

*WHICH PROJECT I JOINED*

“A world without exclusions” was my project’s name, thanks to it I discovered and saw with my own eyes what working with people with mental disabilities means and what is the aim of promoting an environment which fights for their social exclusion. The duration of the project was 11 months, it was a “long term” project.

S.F.A – Drasi gia to kati allo” is the organization where I carried out my volunteering activity and is a daily center that takes care of people with various types of mental disabilities and lead them through a “creative” path. Art, music, play permit them to discover, experiment and promote their abilities in a place that they feel like a second home. Firstly, the impact I had with the work was not immediately simple. For the first time in my life, I was dealing with a reality I didn’t know. Starting from scratch I was really scared, I didn’t know what I had to say or to do. I was convinced that I would have left my feelings out of those rooms, but I was wrong. The more the days were passing by, the more I realized how many shades I could find hidden in a movement, a smile or the sight of people that since the moment I met I have not seen for their illness, but for the simplicity of their being. My work was to support the participants during the daily activities and workshops, I also studied the Greek language to better get in contact with them and the workers.

All the new cultures, all the new friends…

*MY EXPERIENCE IN A NUTSHELL*

When you decide to become an ESC volunteer you have to know that this is a “full immersion” experience, that’s why is important to play the game with all of your energies if you decide to do it! Thanks to that I could really enjoy my adventure and I don’t have any regrets. I met some wonderful people, I made friends that I still have in my life, I changed my mind, reflecting about myself and my attitude, visiting new beautiful places. I discovered a new culture (I am totally in love with), enjoyed the Greek food and habits, I really started to “think” as Greek person in some ways. I also kept building my career, made new professional contacts, I rediscovered one of my love…writing! Unfortunately my project was interrupted too soon because of the pandemic. I left Greece after 4 months, but I finished my project from Italy. Firstly, I was really frustrated about this of course, but I tried to face also this bad moment with a good attitude, trying to turn it in a positive and productive thing.

What I can say is that I would repeat the experience I have done a thousand times, because everything that happens in life always teaches us something, especially the bad moments. I would recommend to everyone to have the experience ESC at least once in your life, because it is an experience that you will carry forever and whatever you decide to do after that adventure will surely have contributed to that choice.

Food, work and Thessaloniki..

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