My experience as an EVS volunteer

di Inês Melo Nunes, volontaria nell’ambito del progetto Youthquake

Hi everyone! My name is Inês, I’m 26 and I’m from Lisbon, Portugal. I’m a psychologist and I worked in Human Resources in a multinational company for almost three years, which gave me the opportunity to work in an environment of challenge and development. But at some point I realized that the work I was doing wasn’t really what I wanted, so I decided to quit my job to embrace new challenges and search new projects.

So, I decided to become an EVS volunteer for many reasons: (1) first, because I really wanted to help the people that were affected by the earthquake and contributing with something for the Youthquake Project (2) second, because I love Italy and (3) third, because I knew that this experience would be a personal challenge for me not only because of the multicultural experience but also because of the work.

And here I am. It has been 2 months since I arrived Rieti. And it has also been, half of my EVS time.

Returning to Italy, for me, feels like being home again. Because I did my Erasmus in Italy (Florence) and I fell in love with this country.  Returning here is like living again in a place that is so important for me, I feel comfortable. On the one hand I love the language, the food, the culture, the people and on the other hand I have an emotional affection!

So, when I try to write something about my experience until now, it seems like words don’t come. I think it’s a lot of emotions around here and it’s difficult to put them on the “paper”. Rieti is an amazing place (when it’s sunny haha), I’m in the middle of the mountains, wherever I look around I always see some mountain, and that is beautiful. Besides that, Rieti is a calm city with all the essential things that we need to live.

I’m working in a project called “Youthquake”, in which the main objective is to compile information about the associations that helped after the big earthquake that happened in 2016, in order to show the work that was done and has been done until now. I work in Arci Rieti, which is an association of social and civil promotion with incredible people!

Apart of the main activities linked to the project, I also have Italian classes in the office and in a school. For me it’s a big opportunity to have these classes, because I really want to improve my Italian. Also, I had the opportunity to participate in a project that has activities related to learn how to tell stories in a different way, for example we learn how to do a film or even, we tried funambulism, that helps you to express yourself in a different way. Moreover, this last month I had the training week in Rome, that is part of the EVS, and it was amazing meeting those people and had those classes, workshops, group dynamics and shares.

Summing up, during these 2 months I had the opportunity to explore different activities and learn many things. I believe this experience is giving me many tools regarding soft skills, I met people from all over the world, and that allows me to see things in a different way and to learn different ways of thinking.

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