Now that we have finished our ESC volunteering in Palermo, time has come to reflect on the last six months. We are feeling a lots of different emotions but overall, this experience taught us a lot.

We started our ESC project with Ceipes the 15th of February after a complicated travel due to covid restrictions.

The C.R.E project is an ESC project that embraces the issues of marginalization and empowerment of young people, active citizenship, human rights and the social inclusion of refugees.

Working for a local structure was a source of learning in many aspects. First and foremost, it taught us the reality of the associative world. Secondly, it helped us better identify what we like and dislike within this professional field, and, hence, to know ourselves even more.

More specifically we had the opportunity to do volunteering in a migrant center a couple of days in the week : we were either responsible for measuring the temperature of users, disinfecting their hands and giving them a mask if they did not have one, or writing down their data and the services to which they requested access.

Working at the forefront for migrants and refugees was also a human experience that we considerably liked, and that encouraged us even more in making Europe a safe and humanistic place to live in for people escaping their own countries. 

Being a European volunteer in Palermo also gave us the chance to discover cooperation at the European level with partners such as the No Hate Speech Movement Italia.

This training with NHSM Italy was online and the objective of this was to train us to produce a narrative to counter hate speech. We had to do research and present these to our referent.

These were the activities we have done with CEIPE’s partners. We also took part in CEIPES projects such as Escape racism, which is a project created to sensitise people to racism issues through the creation of an escape room. Our role was to create the materials of the first scenario that CEIPES created and to give ideas for the 2nd scenario.

We also supported Artambiente project in which we had for example to draw in the park Uditore how we wanted to see this place become or to create some recycling materials outside. We also participated to 2 cineforum online in which the goal was to watch a movie and discuss all together the topics about environmental issues involved in these movies.

We also created our own project named Rubbish museum during the Red zone. This project aims to highlight the problem of pollution in the city, and we tried to make it evolve with the little means we had.

Usually the different departments of CEIPES involved us to participate in the activities and workshops they did: Gamification, Lifelong dancing, Gender equality, Gymkana, Sport for inclusion…

To sum up, these last six months have been emotionally and professionally a unique experience that we will carry with us forever. We are now more aware about our interests and the objectives we would like to reach at a professional level. But at the personal level, it was really enriching because with the others esc volunteers we created a family and a good team to work with.

Leaving Sicily is very sad, but we feel lucky to have been able to live and discover the culture here even in times where travelling is much more difficult than in normal times.

Tiziana and Chaïma from France.