From Rita’s eyes Blog

23.02.2023 Mateusz Przybylski

Hey everybody,

I’m Rita, 19 years old, from Germany. My project here in Italy (Bolzano) started already 5 months ago, since then I’m working at an elderly peoples home where I’m helping out with the animation/free time activities. 

A few years ago I heard a podcast highly recommending a year of volunteering. The main reasons they mentioned were character development, responsibility for our society and getting to know oneself better; also regarding work places or courses of studies. Since I agreed with their points there just wasn’t a good reason to not try and do it.

Working with the elderly (here we call them “anziani”) brings me a lot of joy. They are really kind and it’s mostly easy to make them happy. I enjoy listening to their stories and playing games with them. One should not forget, that there are reasons the elderly people don’t live on their own: many don’t hear well, can’t walk or move their body, can’t see etc. which can make finding an adapted game hard or cause difficulties when playing. On the other side it can be fun to explore and find out what the peoples talents are; maybe the demented one is a great cutter, the blind one is really social or the hardly moving one keeps the group together. 

As with all big decisions I think one should have a good reason to keep going, some kind of motivation to not give up; a reminder why one started. Volunteering in another country in a different language at a new job isn’t easy, but the joy, the learnings and the enrichment regarding personal aspects and ones view on our society are totally worth it.