My impressions of the project of EVS in Italy

Now, two and a half month, after the beginning of the EVS project in Italy, I would like to share my impressions of the project, the living place and the Italian people with you.

I began to search for projects a long time ago before the start of the project. First I chose projects in Great-Britain and Ireland, for the one and only reason that the single language that I knew was English. However this two places are popular for volunteers and so they have already chosen volunteers. For that reason the coordinator of the office of the organization “Lastochki” recommended me to search other countries and projects and I am very thankful for that recommendation, so I planned to go to Italy with the opportunity to learn this wonderful language, so I got to know the open-minded Italians and of course I work here as a volunteer. I perfectly can remember the day, when I found the organization with the name “Legambiente Circolo di Sernaglia” and I very much liked the topic of the project. The topic of it was the work with children in schools and kindergartens. Very fast I got an answer from the organization and I had an interview via Skype with them. The interview was positive and so I got the answer “We have chosen you!” Then came the time of anticipation and also the time of paying for the flight etc., but all these problems solved and I was one step closer to my dream. About the visa process I do not want to write much, but it was not good for my nerves! Thank you again to “Lastochki” for helping me to solve all these problems. With visa and ticket in the pocket I made me on my way to my new home and my new family.

I live in the north-east of Italy, in the region of Veneto in the small village of Fontigo. This region is famous for its vine. We have a big house with garden. After the small flat in the city at home, this is like freedom for me. At the beginning I had some doubts, how to live in such a small village, because I am used to live in a big city, like our Samara, but now I do not regret my decision.  The place here is very picturesque: hills and green places.

Early Spring. On the top of the mountains you can see the snow

The organization, where wonderful people are working, is very friendly.  At the arriving all members of the organization prepared a dinner for us.

dinner at our arriving

Our tutor and teacher was Emanuela, also called our “Big Mama”. With her I had my Skype interview and she prepared all documents for my arriving in Italy. About her I can tell you much, but I only talk about the most important things, she is funny, open-minded, and hearty and for that reason the kids love her so much. She has the talent to find the suitable words for children of various ages.

With our “Big Mama” Emanuela

How I already told you earlier, we work with children in a school and in a kindergarten. We help Emanuela and the other teachers to prepare the excursions or we work in the laboratory to the topic “Nature”. At Saturday we had an event “Creative Saturdays” for young children from 6-9 years. We made with them hand-made articles, sang songs and danced. All these activities were in English, so the children had a great time and in the same way they learned the English language a little-bit.


Nesting box at the “Creative Saturdays”

Our little guests at the park “Fontane Bianche” 

Handicraft work in the kindergarten

Apart from the work with children we also assist to develop the park, plant trees and flowers and clean the park “Fontane Bianche”. This park is huge and well-kept and so we help to keep it in this constitution. I like this area very much with its trees. We often are here in this park during our free time with the bike.

Mostly I want to tell you, that the lovely habitants of this city organize festivals. There exist festivals of strawberries, water, potatoes, trees, hang-gliders, wine, beer etc. At some of these festivals we worked, this was fun. Now we actively help to organize the festival of hang-gliders, which takes place at the end of May.

Festival of water in Gisione. Making small owls out of paper

Festival of hang gliders in Mur

Much people ask me, how do you do with learning the Italian language? And I can answer, that it is not easy for me. Two times a week we have language course, it got easier to understand what the people say, but speak I can’t until now. But the Italians say “piano piano”, that means step by step I well learn the language.

Now I come back briefly to my project, what do we do, but I also would like to tell you something about the people I am living together. We are 4 people, 3 girls and one boy. We are all different, but we live in harmony and got friends. We spend time at festivals, in bars,  at the beach and we travel sometimes.

Journey to Slovenia at the weekend, lake Bled

The people here are very interested and ask us about our countries and want to get to know more about the culture etc. We want to organize an evening, where we present to them our national food etc. I think they will like it.

Me and my friends and flat mates

That’s all what I want you to tell about the project EVS. How you already know, I like it here very much. I would like to tell all future volunteers to try this project and don’t give up after the first rejection.  Remember the saying: “Who is searching, is finding.” Good Luck.

Julia Safina, EVS Volunteer in Italy, 13.09.2016