I am the new Finnish volunteer, Laura, working for Informagiovani in Faenza. For my part, this volunteer experience has started in an unusual way: with remote work all the way from Finland, or by doing smartwork as the Italians say. This is also the first time for the association to start to host a new volunteer who is not even present in the country.
In spite of this little exception, I think we have managed to start the activities very well. There have been some internet connection problems, of course, because hey’ that’s part of the remote work, I think that everyone who has been forced to work from home because of Covid-19 this year knows that by now… After meeting my colleagues virtually I am so excited to see everybody in flesh and bone in January and to be part of the community!
I have volunteered before in some cultural events but this is my first long-term volunteering project abroad. I have lived two years in France and travelled a lot in Europe but it’s always interesting to see what the every-day life is like in another country and society. As a tourist it’s hard to get really into the culture and therefore I hope that during this year I will learn a lot also about the local life and lifestyle and what it means to be Italian.
An important aspect for me is also the language. Voglio imparare a parlare correntemente l’italiano. I want to learn to speak fluent Italian. This leads to my passions: languages (and language learning), litterature, music and art in general. Italians have a lot to give in these matters and I can only be grateful that I have been given this opportunity to stay in Italy for the next year. For my part, hopefully I can contribute to the local community and find meaningful ways to share experiences and knowledge. I believe this is a two-way relation; to give and to receive. Empathy, understanding and solidarity are the tools for any community to develop and strengthen the well-being and functioning of the people.
Well, this got very deep… but I’ll just finish by saying that I am extremely happy to be part of this project and I hope to meet a lot of people in Faenza in the beginning of 2021!
Ci vediamo a gennaio!