Roma Villaggio SOS 2010 Blog dei volontari

31/01/2011 robyn wright

My project was called 'Growing up Together' and the title could not have been more accurate. It all seemed so easy to plan ahead and imagine the projects I wanted to do with these kids (kids who I knew nothing about at the time), to picture myself laughing, teaching them guitar, english and breezing through each day...
Well, I did reach the point where I breezed through each day but not until I did some 'growing up' myself. When I arrived I took the role as 'big sister' to the kids. It was not really my role to discipline the children but instead to encourage them to modify their behaviourand follow my good example. I was to do workshops, lessons and help with homework and assist the house mums with house work. Engaging with the kids was difficult at first, they live in an environment full of volunteers that come and go, family members that come and go and so, it was not surprising that my attempts to make meaningful connections were not embraced by all and certainly not immediatly. After slowly learning about the children and their backgrounds I understood a little more of why they were not bouncing for joy at the prospect of letting another person in. I persevered and slowly gained a great deal of responsibility with the village. I reached the point where I was responsible for six children of different ages and abilities and I had built up very strong relationships. I persevered to change the way I was perceived as 'big sister' was no longer appropriate for my role and became very integrated in the village.
It was only when I abandonded my own pre-concieved images and ideas of the activites and the kids that the connections really began. The kids made every day a wonderful challange and through the highlights and lowtimes I would not trade a moment. I feel like they are the ones who have taught me! I have learned so much about myslef and my abilities. This experience has changed me and I would recommend EVS to anyone. I loved everyday and even moreso now I can reflect on my time in Rome, the skills I built, the challenges I delt with the happy times!!!!