From 14th to 21st April in picturesque town of Nicolosi (Province of Catania, Sicily) was held EVS Training course, organised by Italian NGO ‘CEMEA Del Lazio’. In the TC had participated 32 volunteers from whole Italy. This was my and my three other Turkish friend‘s first experience with EVS training matter’s. In the begining my expextation was different from what I think now. Also my friends were surprised with what they experienced in the course. Their biggest concern was about communication since they do not speak English. However they all managed well.

When I arrived in the hotel and the program started in on I was thinking that I would have a long, boring time. But things started to change day by day. When you get used to the area and create a friendship with the other volunteers, you realise that you are having nice time together . This is also true for my friends. Yes, the communication was sometimes a problem; but, as you know we have other tools for communication, e.g. gestures…:) All of my friends were very good at using and learning new Italian gestures. We all enjoyed communication throuh gestures and we had a lot of fun. We had taught each other our countrie‘s special gestures.

Personally to me, my favourite was the energizers we did together everyday. Especially the second day’s energizer was exculisively funny. I call the game as human train. We tied our legs with each other and tried to walk, stepping on to the circles drawed onto floor. It was a very difficult game at first and my group failed against the other group. But then we created a strategy and at the second time we were the winner. What we learned from this game was the importance of team work. While everyone wanted the same thing, we couldn‘t succeed because we acted on our own. But when you work in a group with other people, you have to be in harmony with them so that everything functions well. We spoke to each other, we helped between and we reached our goal at the end. Altough this was my favourite, we had also other very funny and informative activities.

Other than funny energizers we also had nice activities in which we learned a lot about EVS, about Europe and European citizenship, for our rights and responsibilities… We also had an Italian Language course every morning which was useful for me. The non-formal education method actually works really nice in the language learning process. About the ‘tempo libero‘ I have to say that this course was like a bonding time for us. We talked with each other, we had trips to the town center, to Catania and to Etna in our free time. We bonded with each other and made this one week a really nice experience for all of us.

What I found and what I expected from this training course was totaly different. With the energizers, activities and free time, this was an important and useful experience for me. As far as I know my friends Kemal, Habibe and Kamile also enjoyed and learned very much in this course of one week and had made a lot of new friendships, and I’m sure we will see each other again in Palermo.


Ozkan Baytak