My name is Zaneta, I come from small city in south-western Poland. Since I remember, I have been sensitive to social problems and willing to help other people. That's why, after my studies, I decided to take part in EVS. From the very beginning my goals were clear: the project should concern of a useful social work with children and human rights. Country didn’t play a huge role, but when I found the project in Bolzano, I knew, that this place will be good for me.

In my point of view,South Tyrol combine the tranquility of the Dolomites with italian “la dolce vita”. It is a region of contrasts, from Alpine peaks to the Mediterranean landscape, cosmopolitan, but also deeply rooted in tradition. You can clearly see the diversity of society and the cultural differences, but it makes the South Tyrol even more unique.

VKE is an association of volunteers, with 40 years of experience in a field of defend the rights of children to play. The range of activities is huge. During my service, I participated in many activities of the association: I worked in differents CasaGioco-mostly with children of immigrants, visited with PlaybusTeam small villages in the mountains-where we played with the local children. I had the opportunity to participate in the Children's City MiniBZ- which is a very special event, created for children and by children. I prepared also my own, smalls projects and initiatives. It's difficult to describe all of them in just a few words, but all these activities combined integration of children, without any preferences on cultural-language, nationalities or social backgrounds. It was amazing to see, that shared lives of young people - more with each other than next to each other - becomes more possible. Working with children, gave me something more, something, what I would like to keep in my heart: the secret, how to enjoy the little things, noticing the values ​​and uniqueness in them.

Life abroad, away from the family and usual friends, work in a new, multilingual and dynamic environment, meeting other EVS volunteers from all over Europe, allowed me to look at life from a different perspective and to open my mind to new realities. It gave me a opportunity to improve skills and knowledge in inter-curtural communication. By dinf of EVS I have gained quite a lot of professional experience. I met fantastic, full of energy and willingness to act, young people. I’m really glad that I could be one of the members of this lovely EVS-family. I have seen many tourist attraction and I discovered the beauty of small, unknown Italian towns. And finally, I have become to convinced, that pasta with parmesan tastes better than without!

My project is coming to the end... it is hard to believe how quickly passed these months. It still seems to me, that it all happened in just a few weeks. I would like to thank everyone, who did this year so special! (specially "Happy Shiny People" in Bolzano - without you guys would be not the same!)
Jan, Wenddi&Noemie, Roberto - great job and cooperation!
Thank you for all!

PS. One advice for you, if you read this short story and wondering if EVS is something for you ... Do not be afraid and just do it! It's a wonderful, unforgettable adventure!

Hi, my name is Simay and I’m from Vienna, Austria. My EVS project is at the youngCaritas in Bolzano, South Tyrol. Most of the time I’m at the youngCaritas office where I do a lot of different things, for example translations, handicrafts, corrections and many more. It is not easy to explain my work, but I can say that I already learned soooo much, even things I never expected to learn. Twice a week I give German language course to people who live in one of the numerous institutions of the Caritas. I really love doing this, because I feel that my help is needed.
As it gets warmer every day, there are a lot more projects of the youngCaritas, for example a project in which groups of young people has to accomplish an activity within 72 hours, for example painting a wall of an elderly home. Another example is a beneficial run “LaufWunder” for which I have to go to schools to present the children for what exactly they are raising money. I really enjoy those school-visits, because it is so interesting getting to know the children’s points of view of the world, which I get to know better through their questions.
As I started my EVS right after finishing school it is helping me a lot in my maturing process – but being responsible for myself and living on my own is not always as easy as I thought.
The first half year I was the only EVS volunteer at the youngCaritas, but now I got two new EVS-colleagues from Russia and Spain. I am so happy that I am not alone anymore, and I enjoy being with them and exchanging ideas and opinions.
I have three more months to go, which I think will pass by quickly, because the weather is very good and fortunately there are a lot of other EVS in Bolzano. Getting to know so many people from other European countries makes me feel more like an European Citizen. After this year full of experience I am sure that I will go to visit my new friends in their countries when they return home. Thanks to EVS we created this European-wide network that opened my mind and changed my point of view regarding a lot of things!

Hello everybody,

I’ve spent a wonderful year of volunteering service in Bolzano, Italy full of everything: joy, difficulties, rise andfalls, new explorations, travels and a lot of love.

100_5794_Armine

The EVS is a unique way to explore oneself and to evaluate your own life.

But I have to confess that it was not always easy and sometimes, I just wanted to walk away. That’s why in my opinion one should know definitely why he/she wants to participate in the project, what does he/she look for there and to understand all the difficulties that may face there. Apart from the opportunity to travel and learn a new language, it’s a responsible job with people who need help (elderly, disabled, immigrants, kids etc.). So it’s important to be respectful to people with whom you work with,understand their needs and try to give your best to make their lives easier or at least, a little bit more happy.

And in order to get the best profit from the project, one should be open and curious to explore and experiment, ready to face challenges.

Along with all the difficulties, it was the best year of my life that I will always remember with smile.

Thanks to InCo for giving me a chance to try it and for all the help and support I’ve got all along my service.

My best regards
Armine

Hello friends,
my name is Alina and I am here in Bolzano the fourth month. I am very happy because this is a great experience! language learning, work (activity) with interesting people, communication with people from around the world - I love it.
I wish all to get the experience of volunteering in the EVS.

Hello volunteers and future volunteers!

I'm enjoying the 4th month of the precious experience in Villaggio SOS di Vicenza. The more time passes by, the more interesting it gets, so i recommend the ones who have not made a decision to add a colorful page to their personal history to join :)

I have been a volunteer in the project called Growing Up Together in North Italy and the experince I have gained so far has been so special. Being a part of a big team that is working for the needs and rights for the children who are disadvantaged in some ways and the idea of making a difference in somebody's life is a great feeling. EVS should be mandatory! :)

My name is Gokhan and I came from Turkey (Istanbul). I’m living in Vicenza from 8 months: this north italian city is small –according to my standard in Turkey- and at the same time is calm and sweet. In this city there is one of the center of Villaggio SOS Vicenza and I’m doing my EVS experience in here.

Villaggio SOS is a non-governmental international organization which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since 60 years. It provides to children and young a permanent new family and the family-based care. Generally about ten children are grouped into a house with an SOS mother and those houses are grouped together as a "Village" with shared facilities.

My house in Villaggio SOS Vicenza is called Casa Ragazzi, where there are 6 young (15-17 years old). I’m there helping in the house care and helping boys and girls in their needs. The staff from Villaggio is really nice and friendly. In Casa Ragazzi I’m spending a good time and all the people is understanding with me. Above all with the language gap, they help me and always try to understand me and my needs.

During this experience I have spend my time empathizing with the young who lives in Villaggio and trying to help them, meeting a lot of people from different country and traveling Europe during my holidays. This year is a big opportunity of my life for learn about new cultures, traditions and languages.

My name is Ceren and I came from Turkey (Istanbul).
Before I came to Bolzano I had no idea about this city. After a bit searching actually I was afraid. Because Bolzano is a different city. İt's in South Tyrol (Italian name Alto Adige) and German and Italian cultures has been mixed together. Also a small minority have Ladin as their mother language.
Most of people speak German sometimes without Italian. And that's because I have to say that; here is not real Italy.

On the other hand Bolzano entirely located in the Alps. And at that times for me it means "I will die from the cold". With all these feelings and fear I came here. And after 1 month later, I remember like yesterday, I told to my family "I can live here until at the end of my life".
Even if it is not real Italy, Bolzano is a fantastic city with a perfect nature. Small, cute, peaceful.. And warmer than istanbul, I have never seen any snow in the city!!

My hosting organization VKE aimed to defend the rights of children to play. And they arrange so many usefull and nice organizations for children without recompense. Still my project is continueing and till now on I haven't got any problems with my team. They are always so understanding and friendly..
I have learnt so many things and still I am.. I learnt to manage my life with myself (which is really sometimes so hard and exhausting. Because although so many friends, you have to resolve the issue of alone) and of cource different cultures, languages, ideas, foods and everything..
And I met here some amazing people which is really makes me so lucky!

And I want to say one of the last thing; during EVS you would have perfect moments, memories, friendships and everything but at the same time you have to prepare yourself for "live in solitude". And for sure it is gonna be your biggest experience that like never before in your life.
- Alıntılanan metni göster -

When I was 15 years old, I had a dream - go to live to Italy - not forever but for certain time of my life. It took more than ten years, but finally my dream came true: I spent one wonderful year of my life doing EVS in Bolzano, in South-Tyrol. And even if it is not real Italy, but the meeting point of two cultures - Mediterranean and European – I am really proud of this cultural and work experience, happy to have so many new friends and very satisfied to the chance to be one of the members of VKE - the public oriented organization aimed to defend the rights of children to play.
VKE has two game centers (Spielhaus) with fixed structure for playing activities out of the usual school timetable and play bus (Ludobus) that organizes different activities on the playgrounds, school neighborhoods, private courts, streets and public places. During my Service I was part of the Ludobus team, so that I was all the time “on the wheels” and had a possibility to see the whole region (Suoth-Tyrol), work on the mountains and work with the children with fewer opportunities in periphery of Bolzano. And I like their goal - to give possibilities for children to play without any preferences between nationalities or social level.

Now after one year, at the end of the project I have to say, that I am really lucky person, who didn’t have to face any problem during my service: everything went just like I expected and even if at the beginning I was a bit confused of bilingual community (Italian and German), I feel myself now richer of this unique experience and two new languages (I can not speak German, but I understand more than I expected and at the moment I am really motivated to learn it),the lovely persons I met, my affection to the mountains and to the nature around Bolzano and of course Bolzano by itself…..this all will bring me back here 

To close my project I would like to thank everybody who made possible to make one year voluntary service in Italy: my sending, coordinating and hosting organizations, my family, all my friends who supported me in decision making period and all this lovely people I met during my voluntary service and with who I spent very special and beautiful moments in Italy.
At the moment still in Italy, enjoying the last summer sun shine and air of the mountains, I feel myself confident, happy and satisfied. The time flew so fast, that I have to ask to myself: do I have to go home already? Was it really one year? For me it seems like I arrived here yesterday….and after one week I’m already gone…

All of these youngsters, who are thinking about doing EVS I have just one suggestion: do it, it is the best experience and time of your life and you will remember it forever. If I could decide now one more time…I will do the same, everything again!

Arrivederci Italia….e a presto!

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