Call for a Greek volunteer in Faenza!

Are you looking around for opportunities to travel in Europe? Do you want to visit and stay to another country for almost a year? Then we are here to offer you this amazing opportunity!

We are looking for a Greek participant to join our ESC project and to come live and volunteer for 11 months in Faenza, in Italy. SE.M.I association (Seeds for More Interculture) is a non-profit association working with European mobility projects and has as main objective the introduction of the multicultural element in the local community of Faenza.  It aims at offering an empowering experience that will open the minds, and change the lives of the volunteers and the young people in close contact with them.

YOUR HOUSE

You will live in the beautiful apartment in the city center that we call ”Casa Europa”, because our volunteers live there. You will have the chance to make new friends from all around Europe and get in touch with so many new cultures!  The accommodations are double rooms in city center to be shared with a volunteer or student of the same gender. The volunteers will get pocket money + food money, €280 per month.

Casa Europa

YOUR ACTIVITIES

From writing European mobility projects to blogging and courses to asylum seekers, as a volunteer near to us you will have the chance to experiment and try new activities, but also learn a lot! You will have Italian lessons  for foreigners in school and Online linguistic platform. You will get in touch with WordPress, Canvas, Salto Youth and other IT Tools and of course a lot of activities to boost your creativity.

Activities

YOUR PROFILE

Aged 18-30, from Greece, male or female (LGBT welcome!). Speaking a bit of English and/or Italian and/or Spanish and/or Lithuanian. Open minded, creative, willing to get in touch with the Italian culture, to share knowledge, to show initiative and implement own projects! To apply, please send a motivational letter to info@associazionesemifaenza.com stating your country of residence and your birth date!

Your colleagues

Please take a look here: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/placement/24695_en and send us your application! We will be happy to meet you!

Hungary for a new experience

Ciao a tutti,

And that is all I know in Italian.. for now. 

Landed in Faenza – from Hungary through London

Hi, I am the “new” volunteer of SE.M.I. from Hungary. Arriving as the first volunteer of this year at the beginning of September, I had the chance to enjoy the Italian summer; swim in the sea, hike and eat gelato (although people eat it all year round here so..).


Day trip to Cattolica

Repeat.


But how did I get here in the first place? I had lived in the UK for 7 years before I came here to do an ESC, which was something I was planning to do for a while but never felt like it was the right time. Well, the pandemic made it easy, there was nothing to make me stay in London anymore so why not to spend the second wave in Italy then?

Of course, it could have been a different country (not better obvs) but the project was also very attractive to me as it is so focused on creativity. In fact, our motto is that “we are all equal in creativity”, which I resonate so much with. Studying architecture in university, I thought I have some skills to share but I also couldn’t wait to learn new things and fortunately there is always something interesting happening here. For example, Aula21‘s, a local youth group’s photography exhibition, MEI Festival, Festival Comunità Edicante (a workshop about stop-motion!) and small scale local concerts as well as all the other things we organise ourselves – volunteer insta coming soon!


Living THE life in Faenza

Peace and Love

I was lucky enough to be able to visit other cities/towns in Emilia-Romagna in the last month and hopefully will travel more after things get better virus-wise so if you are interested in recommendations and looking at *aesthetic* photos stay tuned. I will definitely make a post about that.

About the community.. well it’s great but my favourite is the neighbour’s cat. Mathilde claims he is her best friend but we’ll see about that.

Ci vediamo dopo,

Györgyi – l’ungherese (who is not hungry anymore)

Looking for a Finnish volunteer to join us in Faenza

Our sister association Informagiovani, the Youth Information Centre of Faenza, is looking for a Finnish volunteer (aged 18-30) to join their team for 12 months between December 2020 – December 2021.

As our volunteers, the successful candidate will live in the town centre of Faenza in a free accommodation and get €280 food and pocket money every month. The cost of the travel at the start and the end of the project is also reimbursed.

To read more about the project and see an interview with of one of the current volunteers please visit Informagiovani’s website as well as check out the official ad of the project on the European Youth Portal where you can also submit your application if interested 🙂

A summer in the age of Covid-19!

Hello my lucky readers,

I have to apologize, I know! I was absent for so long and I really missed writing a blog and sharing my ESC experience in Italy. Unfortunately, due to Corona virus pandemic I’ve spent almost two months inside the house and when I finally could go out I really wanted to travel and visit all the places in Italy that I could before my return back home. This is how I left my beloved blog posts aside…

The end of September is coming and brings with it the end of my project and my return to Greece. Except my departure this evil month- I never liked September, because it brings me so many things to deal with- also signals the end of the summer and the summer is the main topic of this blog, my Italian summer full of aperitivos, pasta and pizza.

So, this Covid-19 summer was particular for everybody. While doing an ESC project we are expecting to meet a new culture, to visit new places and explore as many places as you can in a year. To my year though, I had to remove in total three months that I couldn’t move from Faenza and after from my house.

I was really angry, guys! How this 2020 can punish me in this way? It was my first experience abroad and now you’re telling that due to a monster killing virus I have to stay put? I don’t accept this! But… I accepted it! And the best way to accept something is to take all this anger, transform it to something else and use it. So I did; I transform my anger to kilometres and during this summer I visited some of the places that were in my ”Dream Travels List”. I visited Pisa, Livorno, Modena, Cinque Terre, Levante and Padova. To all these we can add some places near to Faenza like Ravenna, Pesaro, Brisighella and Fognano. That’s not so bad, right?

I tried as much as possible to enjoy the sea -but I’m from Greece so the Greek sea will always be the best for me-. I went to several beaches around Emilia Romagna, but also I loved the Italian agricultural character especially in Tuscany. The highlight of my Italian summer it was my small, but perfect trip to Cinque Terre. There I felt in love -I know it’s mainstream, but seriously guys, there are magnificent-. Due to our monster killing virus friend, all the touristic places in Italy like Cinque Terre that usually are full during the summer, now were almost empty and it was an opportunity to visit them and admire their beauty in peace. I know this is bad for the economy, but it was perfect for me!

After and before Cinque Terre I was lucky and I had the chance to visit some of the most beautiful cities of Northern and Central Italy, like Modena and Pisa- also Pisa was empty in a scary level- and with the help of the ESC activities I traveled near to Faenza several times.

That was it for today, folks! I’m planing to publish another and final blog next week in which I will summarize this experience, a whole year in Italy -secretly starts crying-.

Until the next time…

Me and my travels,

Danai, Greece

Summer Activities With Kids In Brisighella

As an international volunteer in Faenza, I have the chance to participate in very interesting and different activities. Now, when everything related to the COVID-19 has become to change, we can continue with our activities. Of course we still have to be careful and responsible: hold the distance and wear a mask, but I’m happy that the life has gradually becoming back to normal again.

The beginning of summer brought new experiences in new environments. Although I am the volunteer og S.E.M.I. – Seeds For More Interculture, we also collaborate with other organisations. One of them is PiGreco Apprendimento. So during the last few weeks I have been in Brisighella to help the local instructor with the activities for kids. We have about 6-7 children who have enrolled to this summer camp. That’s not a big group, but it’s even better, since in this way more personal approach is possible.

Every morning I travel from Faenza to Brisighella. The day is divided into different parts. We begin with a short gymnastics to stretch our body and to wake up, although the children don’t really like it. Then we sometimes have some activities, like inventing a story or writing down the vocabulary or describing our weekend in English. After that we have a bit of time to do the homework. That is interesting, because in my country, children never have to do homework during summer. Of course this year is also a bit different because of the coronavirus, but it’s still quite strange to me. On the other hand, we don’t spend for hours studying there, but only about half an hour, which is good, because the kids can study a little bit, but they can also play and enjoy the summer. I usually help them with English. When nobody has English homework, then I usually bring my own Italian book with me and I can study Italian myself and the kids can also try to help me, which is quite fun.

After homework we usually have some creative activities, such as picking herbs and putting them into a jar, building a castle, colouring the stones or self-made mini sculptures, etc. When it’s very hot we go to the river and the children can play there or we go to the park to play football.

These weeks have been super amazing, the kids are wonderful and the activities we do are so creative and interesting. I have really enjoyed working with these children and I hope that they have also learned something from me.

Il ritorno a Faenza…

Ciao a tutti,

It’s me, Danai and as every Friday from now on I will be here giving you details about my ESC project and my life in Faenza. If you read and remember my last article, I was talking about January, my little first taste of 2020. We are only watching the previews and I am already tired, like really tired…

Brisighella

I spent my January between two countries, Italy and Greece, while studying and actually dying from boredom and of course travelling and changing zones of hour. After, the first difficult weeks, I returned, for good this time in Italy, but it is just for 2 weeks since I am flying to Brussels at the start of February -you will learn all about it with plenty of photos and a huge blog post.

In any case, since I came back to Italy, I am feeling really empty regarding my energy batteries. Living like a nomad for only a month made me realize that I am getting old. You can laugh as much as you want, but since my birthday -2 weeks ago- I am feeling a grown-ass woman of 25 years old, that I have to eat healthy, before 8.00 a.m and sleep a lot. This is a clear sign that I need some rest, it’s not logical for me to feel old.

Office, office, office

But guess what… my body might need some rest but my head is all about the outgoing side of life and is yelling at me all day YOLO (You Only Live Once). So as you can imagine, it’s been 6 days now that I am living again in Faenza and I was out the 5 of them.

First, when I returned I had to see some friends that I has been literally a whole year since the last time I saw them. We went to a sushi place in Faenza, which I love from the first glance. It’s an all you can eat place with 20.00 every person and you can literally take everything on the menu. In the start I though that the quality will be low, but nooooo, everything was delicious, really really tasty. I ate until I was ready to pass out on that little table, still full of food and I return home only to realize that since I returned in Italy I have to get use again the waking up at 8.00 o’ clock every morning. I got over in as a drunk a glass of water trying to digest all the food and went to sleep.

Sushi Life choose me…

Since that moment the 8.00 o’clock awaking became again a habit. And so on my days kept passing with coffees, aperitivos, pizzas and drinks that gave not only calories, but also a bigger need to sleep and relax alone, away from all; ”JUST GIVE ME A BIT OF SPACE” I was saying to myself while I was getting ready to go out again. Yes, I have to say that I am an irony with a pair of feet, really you have to stop taking me seriously.

The weekend came and my bed was waiting for me. Saturday free, Sunday free, what could it gone wrong? Yes, I forgot I am making plans without even thinking about it, without consciousness, without checking…

Long story sort, I spent the whole Saturday in the streets, the bars and the restaurants of Bologna. It will be unfair if I say that I didn’t had a good time, I love Bologna as a city and I had a really good time with plenty of friends this Saturday. The only black and bad thing is as usual Trenitalia with all the train delays… I had to wait almost an hour to the cold and melancholia station.

Aperitivo?
Yes, please…

‘TGIS” (Thank God Is Sunday) was my new moto before even start walking in Faenza after Bologna. And finally, I stopped. I stopped making plans, I stopped going out, I stopped changing 5 outfits per day and I had my Sunday to sleep, rest and chill on Netflix. I did nothing -except an aperitivo, but it was really close to my house, doesn’t count-. It was nice and relax, but to keep on grumble a little bit more, as I told you before the awaking at 8.00 o’clock has became a habit again, so even though was Sunday, I woke up around 8.30… but all good, really tutto bene!

Alla prossima,

Danai, Greece

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Appuntamenti Internazionali… Sempre vanno la pena!

Ciao a tutti per ancora una volta,

Sono io, Danai, la volontaria greca a Faenza. I hope you didn’t forgot about me…

So for another time I am here to tell you everything about my life in Italy, my EVS experience and all the interesting things that happened through this week.

Unfortunately, this past weeks I couldn’t live in Faenza, I had to go back in Greece and write some remaining university exams, that I’ m really hoping to pass and GRADUATE THIS YEAR. All this situation with back and forward travels between Greece and Italy made me really tired and combining the study that I had to do, I can truly say that after a while I was begging to return to my everyday life in Faenza and be in a chill mood for a while without having so many things to do.

Stavros Niarxos Foundation, Athens, Greece

Except all these difficulties and all the studying, I had a great time in Greece, because a friend of mine came to visit me in Athens. But to talk to you about this I have to do first a small introduction.

As everybody knows at this point the ESC or EVS or SVE -the same thing, three different ways to tell it- is an incredible opportunity that helps you in many ways. Regarding the flexibility of work hours and environment, the chance to live abroad and the experience to learn a lot of new things, I believe that I already talked to you for some of these. One of the most important and interesting things that this SVE experience is giving you is a lot of new friends from all over Europe and in this way you can have the best intercultural experience and of course expand your multicultural view.

From the previous paragraph is easy to understand that I made a really good friend this year, thanks to ESC project that I am being a part. My friend is called Federica and she does the same project with me, but in Greece. She lives in the northern part of my country, near to my hometown and she working with another organization based in Greece. To explain you, to do a program like this you have to have a sending organization and a hosting organization. In the case of Federica and me we are sharing organizations, in sense that my sending organization is her hosting and my hosting (SE.M.I association) is her sending.

Long story sort, in some point near October we started working together for a project and also doing some language exchange classes via Skype, so I can help her communicate in Greek and she could help me improve my Italians. From this cooperation with ended up good friends but we never saw each other until now…

When I realized that I would be in Greece for two weeks this January and also inside this time I would have my birthday, I invited Federica to come and visit me in Athens. And so she did…

She came in Athens Thursday afternoon and she returned Sunday morning. It was four amazing days. I tried my best to make her see all the sights of Athens and all the cultural things. We did a long walk in the center of the city, visiting Thisio, Plaka, Monastiraki, Sintagma e Psuri -the heart of the city-.

We also eat a lot, like a lot! I wanted her to try some traditional Greek plates and we ended up eating ‘till we were dead and couldn’t move -especially the first day-. But except the things that we did in the city, we got to know each other better. Making new friends is always a thing that I enjoy and through this project I am really happy that I met a bounce of new and interesting people from all over the world. Through others you also have the chance to see yourself and your behavior and accept or change things. You can evaluate and challenge yourself. One thing is moving to a whole new country but maybe the most important thing of all is to make a social life there, without knowing anyone, between strangers, you have to find your place and make your circle. It’s difficult, it’s challenging but also it’s a huge opportunity for self improvement.

Until the next week,

Danai, Greece

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Il ritorno dopo Natale…

Ciao a tutti,

and a Happy New Year!!

I am back here to start the 2020 with a lot of energy, new experiences and food, of course. For the Christmas holidays I went back in Greece to see my family and my friends and enjoy some time in my home.

My feelings were mixed…

 

2019 memories photo

 

Before even leaving from Faenza to start my trip back to Athens I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to return. I had to stay in Italy to see how is Christmas time for the Italians and have this experience, too. But, my tickets were already paid and I couldn’t chance my mind so easily -after all, I think I already told you that I don’t have that much money to spent…-.

So, I returned in Greece and I landed in Athens. After a long journey I was finally home, in my bed sleeping during the afternoon because I was really tired from the flight and the change of the environment. I woke up at the right time to start my first night out in Athens and meet my friends. And that is how everything started….

 

I spent a week in Athens going out every single night and having fun. Of course with a bit of sleep and a lot of food. I saw all my friends and we had so much fun that after a point I almost forgot that I live in Italy now. After this fun and exhausting at the same time week, I took the bus to visit my parents and surprise them. They had no idea that I am going to my hometown to see them, even though they were literally begging me to go I was always telling them that I don’t have the time. Their reaction was precious!

I spent New Years Eve with them in our small village, in which they have a small, beautiful and traditional coffee shop. It was exactly what I needed after the previous week. I relaxed near the fireplace, I drunk coffees and hot chocolates, I took long walks with my dogs and I ate a lot for an other time. I also helped them if it was needed.

 

 

After 4 days with them, I returned to Athens to start getting ready to come back here, in Italy, in the magical Faenza. But, I never expected that for another time I didn’t wanted to go away. I got comfortable in Greece, with all these people around me that I love and it was really hard to come back here. I had to sit and think about all the positive and negative things to realize for another time that the opportunity to be here is amazing and I don’t want to change a thing.

 

 

After all, I am going back in Greece soon…

Danai, Greece

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Brisighella sei bella!

Ciao carissimi lettori,

We are here to entertain you for another time! Well, let’s see want is going on this week. We don’t have a lot of changes, the everyday life goes on pretty smoothly and I am working in different things.

As you can easily understand in this point, I am usually talking about my weekends so I can describe better the life in Faenza. The weekends I am going out, I am travelling and actually enjoying some alone time.

Something like that happened this weekend, too. Friday night we had our traditional dinner with pizza and wine, as we do every Friday. Thankfully, we found a cheep pizza place and also we don’t have preferences in our wine, so we don’t spent a lot of money every time. The difference of the past Friday with the previous ones is that finally I convinced the others to go and dance a little bit. So we did! Faenza is small -fact that I am repeating in every blog- but it has things to do and places to go out and also has a place that you can go and dance until the morning. After some hours, at 4.00 o’clock in the morning we returned home with my Lithuanian and blond friend to sleep until the next evening -because is Saturday and I don’t care if I am waking up late.

Saturday wasn’t a lot fun and it was certainly chill. I had a breakfast with my roommate and then with chilled all day in the apartment watching Netflix and eating. It is not ”party hard” kind of weekend, but I was really needed to stay in my warm couch all day and do nothing. I love myself, I have to respect its needs.

Sunday on the other hand was pretty interesting. We planned a small visit to Brisighella, a picturesque, tiny city near by. We spent only 10 minutes in the train and we were there, somewhere between 21th Century and Medieval Times.

Brisighella has the tittle of the most beautiful small city in Italy and I can’t give them wrong. Within 5 minutes walk from the station we were in the city center, which was full of little shops and restaurants. It is easy to notice from the first minute in this city the beautiful towers around its hills. Using the stairs we got to one of them and after 10 minutes we got to the highest point. The view from up there is certainly breathtaking and combined with the warm and nude colors of Autumn it was one of the best things I saw lately.

After a small walk upon the hills and enjoying the view, we decided to take a break and something traditional. As you may know one of the traditional dishes of Emilia Romagna is the ”piadina”. It is a kind of wrap, but a different one depending the area, stuffed with whatever you want. It is delicious, I love it, I ate it in 5 minutes.

So, that was it for today, I don’t have anything else to describe you.

Until the next time, have fun and eat italian food..

Danai, Greece

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Aperitivo con altri volontari…

Ciao carissimi lettori,

and continuing in English as usual…

So, here I am, the Greek volunteer, to entertain you and keep you posted for another time. The life here in the beautiful and small Faenza goes on with calm and happiness. I am really appreciating that I am working for an organization (SE.M.I association) that keeps me motivated, find all the time new things to occupy me and I am never bored.

I mean, I was used to work a lot back in Greece and there was a time last year that I was doing three different works in the same time and I managed to handle it and enjoy it in the same moment. As you could understand in the start here I was afraid that I might be bored. A job with specific working hours and not many to be sincere, in an office like a normal human being and without the necessity to run like crazy all day, all of these things made me wonder if I could managed them. I know that sounds crazy but I was used to it, to run like hell and change two jobs everyday, then come back to my apartment with my energy levels in the lowest possible point.

Likely, the situation here is not like that. Even though, I work in an office the most of the time and I have specific work hours, I am occupied the most of the time. The association finds new things for me to do everyday and I feel like they understood me from the first moment, I am an active and a little workaholic person, I am finding new activities to do all the time.

Another thing that I am, is a communicative person. I mean, I have too my personal daily limits in communication, but they are pretty high. I love communicating and meeting people for the first time. And for another time, SE.M.I didn’t let me down…

I am almost two months in Italy now and I socializing with the other volunteers that we work together and also with some Italians that I met through my activities. The things is… I wanted more. One part of the ESC experience is travelling all year, explore the new country that you are currently living. So if you combine these two you can easily understand that I want to meet volunteers for other cities in Italy. And the organization saw that need of mine, but need of other volunteers too.

Our coordinator organized an aperitivo in a city near to Faenza, Forli. Forli has a big team of volunteers and also we met other three guys from Cesena. All together, a team close to 25 people, we managed to find a table in a place a little away from the station, but really nice.

The majority of the volunteers were Spanish or at least spoke the language because they were from Ecuador or Argentina. At this point I have to note that Spanish people in Italy are sooooooo many. We have two in our team too, but in Forli there were too many. Also, you have to know that I love Spanish people. When you do programs like SVE you are dealing also with cultural gaps and differences, which is truly interesting if you are asking me, but also can create problems. To conclude, with Spanish people I feel really close and I can communicate easily, they are cool and fun in every situation, I am enjoying their company and I made already a lot of Spanish friends.

Back to the aperitivo after a small pause, it was amazing knowing all these new people from all around the world. We shared our stories, we talked about our jobs in Italy, our experiences here and of course we exchanged number so we could meet again. As the true face of a party animal, I may be in Forli this weekend to party with them to an event that they recommended me.

Pretty much that’s it for this week, I think I shared enough with you my lucky readers. I think that there is no need to highlight that the ESC experience is the best and you certainly have to try it.

Arrivederci,

Danai, Greece

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