Rita and Tancredi from Italy were volunteers at Youth Center of Ioannina for almost 4 months. Their project was called "Youthquake" and it was coordinated by Italian organisation ARCS. Their main tasks included work with asylum seeker children at Agia Eleni accommodation facility, office work on content creation for website and support for international communication and youth project development. Their project was supported by the European Commission and is under the European Solidarity Corps programme.
I’m Rita, I come from Italy and I did my ESC for two months. During my time in Ioannina, I was given the opportunity to choose how to divide my volunteering time depending on my objectives and preference. So I went to the Agia Eleni accommodation facility 2-3 times a week, to prepare and do non-formal education activities with the kids, from arts and crafts to dancing and outdoor games. This helped me bond with them, better know their interests and personalities and have fun with them along the way! While it may have seemed hard at first, the children always welcome every new volunteer with such a friendly attitude and a happy smile, ready to show what they like or would like to do on the day. It was also amazing to see how easy it is for them to switch from their mother tongue, to Greek, to English in just a second, making it easy to both learn and teach new words in different languages for all of us.
For the rest of my volunteering time, 2-3 times a week, I also went to the office in the heart of Ioannina, to work with Dora, Teo and Angelos on Erasmus+ project proposals and possible collaboration projects with other NGOs, allowing me to improve core office functions and admin skills.
Being a volunteer at the Youth Center of Epirus has also given me the chance to meet amazing people from all over the world, from my fellow international and local colleagues to the children at the asylum seekers’ facility and the local people who welcomed me and Tancredi from day one.
Though our experience in Ioannina was cut short due to Covid-19, I am still very thankful for the time I had in Greece, the beautiful places I visited, the incredible food but most of all the great people who made this experience so unforgettable!
For me to write something about my experience in Ioannina is difficult, the coronavirus and the forced interruption have left a void in my stomach that I cannot describe.
The experience started very well, I met many beautiful and interesting people and working in the Agia Eleni accommodation facility was an experience that however I will always carry inside. Ioannina is the perfect town to experience youth volunteering, mixing the university world with that of international volunteers and Greek citizens.
I believe that ESC is an experience that must be tried on one's own skin, telling it is not easy, better living it!
This project was co-funded by the European Commission.