Thursday, 07 December 2017 13:16

A new life in Italy: My volunteering experience with SEYF by Ignacio Díaz

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“The road goes ever on”. That is how begins the English poem wrote by J.R.R Tolkien, mostly known for being the author of The Lord of the Rings, in which the British professor describes the unique feeling of stepping into the unknown, to the adventure.

The hero’s journey, as many times it’s been portrayed in films and literature.  How the hero leaves behind the coziness of home in order to search for something else, something that would change him forever. Well, I am not a hero, but I am certainly feeling I am in a great adventure from the day I got off the plane landed in Italy, not so long ago, in order to start this EVS with South European Youth Forum (SEYF) in Lecce. “The road goes ever on”.

I remember my first time I had to go to the supermarket alone, on my own.  I was lost. Without knowing a word in Italian, something as familiar and common as buying food turned into a huge challenge.  It was just me. The “hero”, trying to understand how to buy some potatoes in an Italian supermarket in a small town in the south of Europe.  It was not such an epic quest I was on, you might think.

To get to the main point, after a month working on this project EVS ‘People’, I can say, proudly, that this adventure has already changed me. It has made me braver, forcing myself to overcome my inherent shyness, so I can learn and help others.

This adventure would be empty if it was not about helping others.  There is a selfish rewarding feeling in knowing that your work has a real meaning for people who not only need more but also deserves more.  After a month here, and knowing that this journey has just started, I can see how that feeling can be fulfilled here. My time, my efforts and my ideas can have a real impact on people.

I must confess, I was not aware of how many and different works they do in SEYF. When I first came here from Spain, I did not have clear what my job would be here. Now I know there is not just one job to do, but many. From planning exchanges week with other young people from different parts in Europe to helping migrants and refugees, which, by the way, it really makes me proud of my time here. All of that in a way It can help me to improve my communication skills, in such things as social media or writing.

It has been a month now, a month of new discoveries, friendships, and a new self. As the poem says; “Road goes ever on”. And I am on that road.

SEYF Italia - Eventi

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