"In the Young Caritas office I am part of the social media content creation team" - Sophia volunteering in Italy Blog dei volontari

10/01/2024 Mateusz Przybylski

Γεια σας! I'm Sophia, I'm 22 years old and I come from Cyprus. Last June I graduated from the university with B.A in Sociology. For years now, I could see myself living in a foreign country and I was always searching for the best opportunity until I recently discovered European Solidarity Corps.

Since I finished my degree, I wanted to practice my academic background in real life. In Cyprus, I am active in the civil society by attending various protests, public events and being part of groups that advocate for human rights and social justice. Hence, I spent plenty of hours until I found the project that caught my interest the most and which was aligning with my ideas, my passion to help people and to contribute in the society in general. From the 26th of September 2023 I am volunteering in Young Caritas in Bolzano, Italy and I will be carrying my mission for 1 year. In the Young Caritas office I am part of the social media content creation team, I prepare the visuals for our events, I participate in school workshops in different schools across the region and we talk about topics such as climate change, fast fashion, youth empowerment, empathy, women's rights etc. Soon I will be volunteering in other services of Caritas and specifically at a house where women who experienced domestic abuse live and in an emergency call for the winter to provide to the homeless people the necessary. As you can see, my project allows me to gain experience and knowledge in several fields.

Apart of the project, I believe the second biggest part of ESC is the opportunity to live in the country of your choice, which in my case was Italy since I really love the Italian culture and becoming fluent in the language is one of my main goals for 2024! I feel that my passion for travelling and connecting with like-minded individuals from different cultural backgrounds can be fulfilled to the maximum here. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to romanticize everything about living in a foreign country. Personally, I experienced a mixture of feelings leaving for the first time for this long my home country with 1 suitcase heading somewhere pretty much unknown. Creating your social circle, maintaining your mental health, learning the language, adapt in your new house with new housemate(s): all of these are a real challenge but at the end of the day, it created a version of me that I would never imagine I had if I stayed in Cyprus, in my comfort zone. I am grateful for this decision, and I encourage every young motivated person to join programmes like these!