Amra spent her EVS in Italy
How did you discover the European Voluntary Service (EVS)?
I was looking for opportunities to go abroad when I discovered the EVS programme. I attended a information meeting on EVS organised by CIDJ and I thought it was very interesting so I told myself “why not?”.
Tell us about your project.
I went to Italy for 10 months where I joined Adelante, hosting organisation which is part of the Zattera Blu EVS project. It consisted in taking part in young minor’s daily life that had been away from their parental home for economical, social or other reasons. The goal was to make them feel at home, like in a big family, even though they were living in a social care centre.
Why did you choose this project?
The notion of family is something which I am very attached to and the fact of being together, having diner together, helping with their homework and the housework, offering out-of-school activities… is what attracted my interest when I read the project.
Did you speak Italian before going?
No, I didn’t. I had some notions in English and Spanish which helped me a little bit at first. When I arrived in July, I had a 40-hour week of intensive Italian course and then, I had 3 hours of Italian per week until February. After that, I enrolled in an Italian school to take a Italian certificate (B1 level)..
How did you feel when you arrived in Adelante?
The first month was very difficult for me, I felt a bit excluded from the group because I didn’t speak Italian. But then I liked it a lot and I made some friends. It is always easier sharing one’s situation with other people!.
Were you the only volunteer on your project?
We were several volunteers on the same project but we were not working at the same place. We all had a different mission with different working hours.
Where were you living?
During by EVS at Bassano Del Grappa (a small town close to Venice), I was in a flat share with two other EVS volunteers from different countries. The flat was big so we had the chance to have our own room.
How would you describe your EVS in 3 words?
Enriching, (too) quick and unique.
What experience do you keep of your EVS?
The knowledge I learnt and the moments of sharing. I also think that the fact of going abroad and having this first experience in the social sector may help me to find a job in this field.
A word to future volunteers?
Take life as it comes, be patient and enjoy!