Sian, ACT volunteer in Palermo, Italy

From England 

“Having now lived in Palermo, I can conclude that I have well and truly found my feet and feel at home in this beautifully diverse and exciting city. Time passed so quickly as I have emerged myself in activities, events and people”

 

Earlier this year I decided to participate for the ACT: Youth in Movement project because I was ready for a new challenge and wanted to develop skills that would equip me for a career in the charity sector. It is fair to say that my ACT experience has exceeded my expectations as I have grown personally and professionally.

As a part of our journey, we were given the freedom to create our own personal projects to implement with members of the centres at which we volunteer. The journey to creating and implementing these workshops was more challenging than I would have previously thought, as it was challenging to engage participants, and create a project that they too could feel a part of. As the weeks went by, and as I began to voice my ideas about projects that could be implemented, I learnt how communication with team members can nourish an idea and allow it to grow and become reality. The support and advice I received from my fellow volunteers was extremely valuable.

Finally, I created an art workshop with the purpose of bringing many migrants and locals together, to make personal and shared art out of recycled materials. Every week more and more people showed his interest in this workshop. The project takes place, in a local community garden and the art we have created has been used to decorate the garden and make it more beautiful.

Whilst I was planning and leading the art workshop, ideas had also been growing in my mind about musical workshops we could implement in the Kindergarten where I volunteer. With the help of my mentor I have been able to implement these ideas and have created a musical instrument creating workshop with the children. My work in the kindergarten is the most rewarding aspect of my role as a volunteer, as I have discovered a new passion for working with children.

Another rewarding experience of my journey was my participation in an Erasmus funded youth exchanged named Pride and Prejudice that invited young people from Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Gambia and Guinea to participate in a week of activities, games, and experiences that all had the purpose of combating prejudice, and celebrating the beauty of unique cultures. During this week I met many amazing people from all over the world and learnt a lot about their individual cultures, and in learning about our cultures we had the chance to critically evaluate the concept of prejudice, why it exists, and how we as young people can combat it.

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