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 :)

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.

I am working in SOS Children’s village in Vicenza from January 2008. I chose this project, because I had the intention to work for children in foreign surroundings; moreover to have an experience which is totally different from my studies, daily routines and life in Hungary; and last but not least to get to know Italy through learning of the language and travelling.
I got much more, though…
In the first period my head was full of confusion, because everything was new and unknown for me. I got to know new people every day, to say nothing of the

fact, that I was constrained to use that very little Italian knowledge I had. The children, however, were open-minded towards me from the very first moment, and they greeted me with lots of affection and love. In consequence of these facts I think that immediately after the first 3-4 weeks I grew up personally and became much more sensible towards children from disadvantages families.
In the Children’s village I’m working in a traditional SOS family with 6 lovely children between the age of 3-7. I have to say, I have a lot of fun with them. As they are quite lively, there is no time to be bored!
Every day is different from the other, especially in the summer we always tried to find out variable activities for the children. Apart from the international summer holiday in the mountains with all children of Villaggio, there are organised different outings and sport activities, like swimming pool visit, also for the smallest ones.
When the children are at home, a normal day looks like the following: In the morning after the breakfast, I help the children with their home-work, since the smallest ones are busy drawing or colouring pictures. Sometimes they also help us doing some housework, like preparing lunch or tidying up the rooms. When they at school, however, there are much transport for them and the afternoons we usually play together in Villaggio or in a park in the neighbourhood.
The work is not always easy, though. It takes quite a long time, till the children get to know you and trust you. You have to be strong and decisive with them, so that they have respect towards you. After 3-4 months I started to feel self-confident with children and gradually I also learnt how to work with them, how to speak to them. It’s a long process, I know, but in the end I feel that I am also an important person for them.
Now I learnt so much about children generally (for example: how to bring them up, how to care about them), that I really look forward to have my own family. I also got to now better myself, because here had the possibility to live independently and organise my life on my own. It brought me self-confidence and the feeling of responsibility.
All in all I am having an extraordinary time here in Villaggio SOS in Vicenza. Apart the facts mentioned above, maybe the most important things I gained during my service is the affection towards children, which, I think, will influence my future.


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