Hello, I’m Alba, 19 years old, and I’m here to talk about my European volunteering experience.
It all started a year ago after New Year’s. I was supposed to go back to high school, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough to continue, and I knew the school year wouldn’t end well for me. So, I decided to embark on a new journey in my life and explored various options until I came across the opportunity to do a volunteer program.
I went to nearest town hall, in Alaquàs, to seek support, and they provided me with instructions and all kinds of assistance to make it possible for me to go. I started with the interviews, first with an organization in France and the another in Italy, where did I leave off? In the most beautiful country I have ever seen, specifically in Medicina, a small village in Bologna, Italy. At first, I felt terrified, as with anything new in life. But once you let yourself go, it becomes the best feeling I have ever experienced. It was also the best decision I have made in my new life. I learned to be more expressive, sociable, embraced a new culture, a new language, and to be honest, I thought that not completing my studies would be frowned upon or judged. However, instead, they treated me like one of the family, and that’s where I felt free. I discovered my home, my new family, and I saw clearly what I wanted to do with my life, so, if you’re reading this and you’re still not convinced, let me tell you that if you feel lost, don’t hesitate and do a volunteering experience. Then you will see the great change you will have made in your life, and you will thank me for it. Finally, I would like to share some anecdotes that made me learn, or they are simply funny or touched my heart. One month after being there, a friend of mine came to visit, but before that, we went to see a friend of mine from the organization. When we left my friend’s house, as he lived on the outskirts, we had to use Google Maps to find out which buses to take to get back, hint: everything went wrong, we made a mistake, well, I made a mistake because my friend’s phone was out of battery. So, it was up to me to navigate, and I got on the wrong bus. We ended up getting off in the middle of nowhere, literally, where there was nothing around. I ended up calling an Uber, and we were able to get back to the city. Since that moment, I started applying the logic of bus stop, during the summer, as children were on vacation, we organized a sort of summer camp where we did activities. The best part was the pool, and the girls would come to me for advice. That’s when I realized how much of an impact I had made in their lives. On the last day of work, they started crying, which broke my heart, and they made me promise that I would come back. And I will, I will return to my family, and I hope that you dare to embark on this adventure too. See you soon!!!