7 months in Molfetta - Volunteering during Coronavirus Blog

26.07.2020 Magdalena Harcińska

volunteering in Italy during hard time of coronavirus

I was looking for long time suitable ESC project as I wanted boast my skills and change something in my life. My dream place to live was south Italy. When I saw project in municipality in  Puglia I knew it’s something for me. I choose Italy as I was fascinated by rich culture and lifestyle. When I came to Molfetta I was completely charmed by this small city next to the sea where everybody  know each other.  I arrived in Molfetta in the end of November and my project was ending in end of June so my staying was only 7 months so I was determined to use my time as best I could. I was the last volunteer to come as others came few months before me. I experience shock when I realize in municipality nobody is speak English  even my tutor. I needed boast my Italian language skills really fast to be able to communicate and enjoy my staying. Luckily my ESC project was about European Union projects so I was able to work in English for some time. In municipality they give us a lot of freedom with our work and they was open for ideas. As a part of my voluntary experience  I was  going to schools of Molfetta to talk about global warming and importance of recycling and keeping city clean. I was happy to do it as sadly as we saw a lot of garbage in the city and for me ecology is really important.  As my coordinating organization was InCo I was taking part also in international evenings and testo a fronte – where volunteers was able to present poetry from their country –sadly mine turn  was canceled because of coronavirus situation.  My whole project change as I wasn’t able to participated in  planned actions,like planting garden with children and cooking with elderly. I wasn't also able to experience fully Italian lifestyle because of Coronavirus security measures. For 3 months I was dealing with quarantine reality which was hard because of isolation and not secure situation. Paradoxically this quarantine was the most boosting civil competences situation. People sing on balcony’s, putting lights on, clapping, Italian flags was everywhere. It was like all Italy was saying : Andra tutto bene! (everything will be ok). During this time I was amazed by solidarity of people around the world. I participate in social movements like : spesa solidale – helping with shopping for elderly, sewing mask for people who can't afford them. Also for municipality I was able to help distribute food for less fortunate people. I also use this time for self development: I was following online courses about digital marketing and managing international projects.

After quarantine finish I was taking part in very important for me events with cleaning beaches of Molfetta. I was happy as I saw there are also people who care about environment and they are ready to act as soon as we was able to go out from homes.

Molfetta for sure will stay in my heart forever as I experience here many good things and extreme like Corona quarantine, still I’m sure I was happy here and I learn a lot about organizations, civil movements, and about myself. I meet amazing people who want make change in the world and was full of ideas and walk in the life with open mind. I also hope that I make small change in Molfetta -charming Italian seaside city.