Zoë, together with ten children are smiling at the camera.

Zoë - Belgian volunteer in Italy

Meet Zoë, the volunteer who went to Italy through our association for a volunteering experience within the European Solidarity Corps program. Zoë is doing her volunteer work in beautiful Italy where she will stay for ten months.

My name is Zoë, I’m 19 years old and I was born in Liège, Belgium.
I am a volunteer in Italy in a small village called Sandrigo, not far from Vicenza in the countryside. I am sure a 10 months project where I work for the association “Cooperativa Margherita” of Sandrigo.
I chose this association for the many services that it offers with children, teenagers, elderly and disabled people.
“Gaja” is a service that gives the opportunity to stay in the social and active life for the elderly who learn to be independent and where activities take place.
“Dopo Di Noi” is a flat where disabled and independent people live.
“Caleido” is a service for people with an important handicap. They are not autonomous. We have to help them with daily tasks.
Bargherita” is a bar and a meeting place for different cultures.
AT”, which stands for “Agenzia Territoriale”, is a service for disabled people who are learning to be independent.
“Dopo Scuola” is a homework school which is located in several establishments around Sandrigo.
And many other services…
I am at AT twice a week in the morning. I like the atmosphere among colleagues. You quickly get attached to the patients and you are proud to see them develop their independence. They learn how to manage their pocket money, we do activities on food education, carpentry, cooking classes, going to the supermarket… and many other activities!
I finish at noon because in the afternoon I am at Dopo Scuola. I am in a centre three afternoons a week where I am with a teacher. We often have 6 children (aged 6 to 10 or 12 to 14). They have a break where they can eat and play. After that we do homework. I help them with French, art, maths… Once they have finished their homework, they eat their snacks and play. Their parents pick them up at 5pm.
I am in a school two afternoons a week. There are often 4 teachers and about 30 children. It’s the same schedule as at the centre but it’s more dynamic.
I live in a flat with 6 volunteers. We get along well and we are there for each other. We are well placed. We are only a 10-minute walk from where we work.
Every Thursday morning I have 3 hours of Italian lessons with the volunteers at the Cooperativa.
I often go out with the volunteers. We go sightseeing or have a drink together.
One of my dreams came true! I went to the Venice Carnival!
I miss my family and friends very much but seeing the children and the patients makes me smile.
I love my volunteering!

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