Solidarity Overcomes Solitude – Annabelle Burova – 1 Month Volunteering in Italy
Name of the project: Solidarity Overcomes Solitude
Date: 06.09.2021 – 07.10.2021
City/Country: Altamura, Italy
After spending the summer in Estonia, I decided to start looking for a new volunteering opportunity. After long browsing I found a team volunteering project in Italy, in a lovely small city Altamura. The project description was about a community library and garden.
At the start of September it was time for me to pack my bags and head to sunny Italy. I arrived in Altamura on the evening of 6th September. My home for the next month was a lovely apartment which I shared with 3 people. On my arrival the first person I met was a fellow volunteer from Greece, who had just finished his long-term volunteering in Estonia, so we had a lot to talk about.
The next day it was time to meet with all the other volunteers as it was also our first day in the Agorateca (library). We played some team-building games and also got to know our activity schedule for the next month. Our schedule was very nicely planned, every week we had different things.
And the next weeks I and all the others got to challenge ourselves with new tasks and activities. We did a lot of work in the garden that is connected with the library. We got to plant new plants and also took care of all the other growing things. Some got to practice their artistic skills as we made signs for vegetables. We also worked in the almond farm and got to experience some real physical work. Also we had some events in cooperation with the association Campo 65. Because of that we also met a lot of new people. Last week we also spent every day for a week on the farm, where we did all sorts of things. Collected seeds, cut the roots of trees, cleaned, we made soap and cookies from almonds and just had a great time as a team.
In between all of these activities we found the time to get to know each other and explored Altamura together. On our free days also with a small group we visited some nice cities by the sea. We went swimming and of course enjoyed the delicious Italian cuisine. I also became really close with 4 other volunteers, we cooked most of our lunches together and always ate together. We became like a little family.
A month sounds like a short time, but during that time I had some of the best times. I discovered that I really enjoy gardening, I fell in love with Italy as a country and the most important I met some amazing people, who I now can call my friends. And for all the young people who are thinking about taking part of an international project, I recommend it, because you will discover so much about yourself and also about the world around you.
This Project was financed by European Commission’s European Solidarity Corps Programme