EVS Blog

Universal Matters

Universal Matters

What brought me to the point where I am now, living in a vast cosmopolitan city of Italy, dates back probably to 2016. By that time I had already explored some parts of the world with my travels, including Italy, tasted life in the United States of America and England, and here I was back again to one of the three small Baltic states, my home country Lithuania, wondering what’ll be the next challenge I will face. I wanted it. But it didn’t come fast and it was truly uneasy to adjust again to a much slower pace of life back there where I grew up, within the population of the whole country a few times smaller than of those cities I’ve lived. I think when you start traveling, detect what it feels like to get comfortable being out of comfort zone, there’s just no way back to where you were before it all began. But, even though slowly, the right time came: I searched and discovered a couple nongovernmental organizations in Vilnius (Lithuanian capital), in which I took part first as a volunteer and later as an employee. It seemed then that a door to an entirely new unfamiliar world to me has been opened with a bunch of philanthropic people behind it with their mindsets so humble yet unrestricted that it felt as if some new dimension was added to my reality. What was the most important and impressive that those people were concerned not only about their own society and its’ problems, but also the world’s, especially the youth, our future, by writing and managing large projects based on non-formal education methods, collaborating with other countries, getting involved into synergies, creating the type of space of learning where no one was an outsider and had an access to it if only carried the slightest personal interest and motivation. With my work there I saw first-hand how young adults truly broaden their horizons, boost self-esteem and employability, create friendships that stretch beyond the national borders and last throughout the years (I am my own example, first and foremost). It’s the type of maturity that really never fades from newly shaped or strengthened personalities – our memory, consciousness, heart. read more…

Once upon a time

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetBeing a volunteer in the Italian School for foreigners is simply to giveto others without expecting to receive,but in the end everybody still gets something. In the language school of Casa per la Pace we take care of children of the students while they are having lessons. You need to truly open up here to receive the love of these children that come every week, to win their big smiles and laughs and little hearts. All of them are so different!  As they arein this young age(sometimes even of a few months old!) and still likes sleeping almost all day long, they are quite chaotic « and continuasly compete for toys. Of course there is always that someone special who touches us more than the rest and I call thislittle one, the beautiful Peruvianboy, “my little prince”. He seems to come straight out from a Disney film “Pokahontas“. 
Since the beginning that I joined this project, there was always the longing for a return home to Portugal, but it was these children and the good eventual taste of independence of living far from my parents, the sense of belonging to the local comunity, what made me feel so much better with some time. With every month that has passed the desire to return to my roots was growing. Now I believe that since September, that my EVS journey started, until today,a lot has changed in terms of the perspective and how I function at work living in a big foreign city. I like the work i do and as new people joined our team there is more timeto develop new activities and personal ideas. Sometimes there is an impression that volunteers are a bit invisible, but I try to understand it is not easy to coordinate many of us at the same time. Having a voice here is important and respected though, so we have the complete freedom to proceed with our tasks, both inside and outside the four walls of the organization. Being able to listen, to be heard, to express own opinion and needs, regardless of the spoken language, is something that I value very much. We are all very different here, there is no hierarchy, each one goes his or her own special way and at the same time we are all the same! 
I must admit that in the beginning I was a bit afraid of the main EVS coordinator of Casa per la Pace, whom I will call the Big Boss, but after knowing her more with every day I learn she is a great person, deeply affectionate, innovative and environmentally friendly to the maximum. So here i got rid of the prejudices of a person,which is the basic principle Casa per la Pace is teaching people,teaching us. We all have our bad days and our good days, of laughs and some sort of sadness, but the difference here is that no matter how you feel there will always be someone to sharea hug and sometimes it can even be a massive one,when everybody in the office sneaks behind your back and squeezes you tight, it seems, with all the love they have in this world. 
We are improving in our organizational skills so we always plan our time in order to save on travel costs. Apart from Milan, I already visited Naples, Bergamo, Como, Lecco. More tocome! These past 5 months of work here were spectacular: meeting new people of all ages and ethnicities, experimenting every day in various things,managed to create a new language which i call ITANHOLO! Me and my flatmates,as well as colleagues of the same project in the same organization, we all come from 3 different countries, so you can only imagine the mixture of languages in the house! We get along really well and often like to share our experiences in each other`s company with a glass of wine. Some of us prefer sun, some snow (usually the opposite of what our countries have!)some tea to coffee, there’s everything in our placefrom minimalism to disorganization,sometimes we go together for anaperitivo and sometimes we battl for the space in the kitchen to cook.                    I experience different emotions,improve my skills and learn new things in a way a typical tourist could not buy for any money! IMG_20180906_183842_849
I hope the rest of the time spent here will be no less wonderful. I already feel a part of a new family, with whom every day is interesting and a bit unpredictable. Also Milan does not seem so expensive as when I arrived here, because I spent some time searching and discovering the sites of a more reasonable prices.  I chose a one-year-project and I do not regret it, the time is flying! Eventually I will leave with a luggage full of experiences. 
Being a part of this organization here means receiving so much more than you can expect from first glance! I hope nothing will change this strong opinion that I hold now and after we wake up from this dream we will still continue to maintain a contact with these spectacular Homo Sapiens Sapiens creatures of Casa per la Pace (being the most sincere I can from antrophologist´s point of view!). 😉

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(Italiano) Piano piano si arriva lontano

(Italiano) Piano piano si arriva lontano

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Da tre mesi sono arrivata a Milano per cominciare la mia esperienza di volontariato europeo a Casa per la Pace. La verità è che questi tre mesi sono passati molto velocemente ma sento di non essere più la ragazza spaventata che è arrivata in epoca di sole e attività all’aria aperta.

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(Italiano) An adventure in Milan

(Italiano) An adventure in Milan

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Today is the second day of the first month here in this city, a very big and dark city! October , 2018.

The first few days were very splendid, everything was new, everything was beautiful and it felt good. New house, new country, a break from studies, away from the disdainful looks of everyday people in Portugal. I believe this is a new adventure, where i can broaden my horizons, meet different cultures, people, awake who i really am.

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(Italiano) Riflessioni, cambiamenti, nostalgia e cose nuove

(Italiano) Riflessioni, cambiamenti, nostalgia e cose nuove

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Ho un amico che sempre mi dice che i cambiamenti ci portano delle nuove belle cose. Che finire oppure chiudere qualcosa ci da l’opportunità, il tempo e/o lo spazio di iniziarne di nuove. E sebbene so che lui e tanta altra gente importante nella mia vita, l’ho conosciuta grazie all’inizio di nuove cose, devo riconoscere che mi è sempre pesata una certa nostalgia del passato. read more…

My EVS experience

My EVS experience

The life of a EVS Volunteer in Milan

Living the life as a EVS (European Voluntary Service) volunteer, is an adventure which is best not missed out.

What is an EVS?

An EVS is a Volunteer who has decided to do a full-time voluntary EVSservice abroad in the EU for a specific amount of time. This time spans begins with a length of 2 weeks and extend to a maximum of 12 Months. The aim of the EVS is mostly to gain solidarity, Tolerance, Mature understanding and active contribution. read more…

(Italiano) L’inizio del mio programma SVE

(Italiano) L’inizio del mio programma SVE

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Ciao! Sono Milica, serba, di Belgrado! Ecco la breve storia del mio EVS in Casa per la Pace Milano nei primi tre mesi:

Ho 27 anni e mi sono laureata in lingua e letteratura italiana. Mentre studiavo ho anche lavorato per poter viaggiare e conoscere le altre culture che mi piacciono molto.

Dopo la laurea in febbraio 2016 ho deciso di fare il programma SVE. read more…

(Italiano) Milano, oltre ad avere una bella faccia

(Italiano) Milano, oltre ad avere una bella faccia

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Milano, la capitale della moda. La città del business. Superficiale? Fredda?

Città delle modelle, dell’abbigliamento, del lusso, delle feste, delle ferie di qualsiasi cosa immaginabile… dove quello che importa è l’aspetto fisico, essere belli, prendere cura del proprio viso, del proprio corpo, delle apparenze…

Ma, è veramente così? Milano è una città dove non importa altro che la bellezza, la moda e il successo?  read more…

(Italiano) Milano, la città grande

(Italiano) Milano, la città grande

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Milano non è veramente grande. Con un raggio di circa cinque chilometri, la città non si distingue dalle altre metropoli d’Europa e sembra persino piccola. Sebbene Milano abbia una superficie dieci volte meno grande di Roma, la città ha potuto conservare tuttavia una fama illusoria …

Non è importante se è il gangster rapper “MADMAN” o il gruppo rock “i tre allegri ragazzi morti”. Tutti lo cantano: Milano, la città grande. L’ultimo si spinge persino a dire che sia la capitale d’Italia.

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(Italiano) Prime volte…

(Italiano) Prime volte…

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Tutti abbiamo un lungo elenco di prime volte della vita: la prima volta che andiamo a scuola, la prima volta che prendiamo un autobus, la prima volta che vediamo il mare, la prima volta che andiamo in montagna, il primo bacio, la prima volta che beviamo alcool… La vita passa, passano gli anni e non ci sono tante prime volte… o almeno sembra così. read more…