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07Maggio2018 I help kids and they became my family here

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di Maria Ana Pereira Pais Foz Romão, volontaria nell’ambito del progetto Youthquake

My name is Maria and I’m a Portuguese girl, currently living in Silvi, Abruzzo. You probably had never heard about Silvi, and neither did I until I knew I would live here for four months. Three years ago, I did an Erasmus in Parma, the northern part of Italy. Time passed and I came back to Portugal, I travelled more, and finished my studies. But there was something about Italy that I didn’t forget… a desire to come back to this country where I saw so many beautiful places.

After I finished my studies I didn’t feel like starting to work right away: I needed some personal and professional growth and new adventures that could provide at the same time ways to do something good for others – and that’s how the idea of volunteering came up. I had some friends who already did EVS projects and so I decided to look for it. Once I saw that there were places in Italy I didn’t think much and just decided to go for it. Although I knew I would stay in the centre of Italy, I didn’t know specifically where… until I was accepted here.

I must say that from that moment on, there has never been a day in which I regretted my decision. There are some days better than others, but everyday these people make me feel at home, with their kindness and hospitality. I could not have chosen better!

Adding to the amazing people from Silvi – the “silvaroli” – I also have the privilege of living in a quiet and beautiful place right next to the sea. I am truly lucky for being able to go for walks by the beach, to swim in the clear and warm Adriatic Sea and to watch the sunset almost every day.

Concerning my project, I work in a Social Cooperative – Cooperativa Sociale New Laser, mainly in a Center where I help kids doing their homework. Besides, we also play games and as time is passing by, I intend to plan other activities with them, where we can explore together their own personalities, likes, fears and concerns. It’s impossible not to like these kids… and as the time passed by, they became my family here.

I’m in Silvi since two months now and I can say that I feel like I’m from here – my Italian is not perfect – but that is not a big problem because if there’s the will to communicate, we can always communicate, even if with a smile. And we smile a lot here!

I’m thankful to Silvi for giving me so much happy moments and for being such a warm home to me.

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