Become A Volunteer Support Worker In Europe

Are you between 18 and 30 years old? Would you like to join other young people from across Europe and become a volunteer support worker for 2 or 6 months?

The ACT Youth in Movement project helps support migrants and refugees in Sicily or in Greece. They will cover the costs of flights, insurance,accommodation, local transport and you’ll receive a small allowance.

They don’t expect you to have any experience, just motivation and willingness. You will be trained before departure and upon arrival.

For more info, please contact annabellan@expandinghorizons.co.uk at Merseyside Expanding Horizons

Next departures : End of March 2018!

Last month, on the occasion of the International Migrants Day on 15th January, the ACT Youth Movement decided to talk about Sam. He’s not a migrant or a refugee, but a young man from Liverpool. After a holiday in Kos, Greece, he thought that something was to be done in order to help migrants. Three years later, he’s in Palermo as an #ACT volunteer. He talks about his experience…

“I decided to take part in this programme because I’ve always been concerned with helping others, particularly those less fortunate than myself. This is probably due to my mother being incredibly doting throughout my childhood, however, I’ve wanted to do more since I spent a holiday in Kos, Greece during the summer of 2015. I had seen the negative portrayal of the migrants escaping war torn lands in the media and I struggled to believe how anybody could view them as a threat. After all, if your home was being destroyed surely you’d want to escape too?”

“Once I got to Greece and saw the situation there I realised that almost everything the British media was saying was wrong. I had no need to be wary of these people, they were simply human beings just like you or I. They were scared families who needed help and it broke my heart to see them being looked down on by most of the people walking past them on the street. I realised that they need as much help as possible and this programme is the perfect opportunity for me to be able to do that. Back then all I could do was offer some food and a smile, but with this opportunity hopefully I will be able to actually make a difference to people’s lives on a more long term basis.”

“Prior to being here I expected it to feel much more like a job, although I knew it would be rewarding I didn’t expect it to be this easy after being showed the ropes; it goes to show that the biggest obstacle to getting started and helping is taking that first step! I feel like I’ve developed good relationships with all the guys at Elom & Azad as well as the children at Il Giardino di Madre Teresa, and developed skills within myself just through developing these relationships, not least the level of my Italian!”

“I would wholeheartedly advise other people to try to do something similar to this, I feel much more well-rounded as a person already, and as I’m starting a project design course this week, I’m sure things are only going to improve.”

And Anna Rose, another person from Liverpool…..

“Having never taken part in a project of this kind before, when I left Liverpool I wasn’t sure what to expect. Also a lot of people asked me why I wanted to go to Palermo and work with migrants. For me it was about being able to learn new cultures and understand more deeply the situation people had faced and are still facing.”

“I have always had a keen interest in travelling and this project presented me with the opportunity not only do just that but also to meet people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and develop new skills.”

“I have come to see that Palermo is a very diverse city much more so than I initially expected. On our arrival the training was enjoyable and led to me having more in depth knowledge of the situation and difficulties migrants face once they arrive. For example, I was shocked to learn the length of time the process to receive their documents takes.”

“Being able to explore a new city is something I love to do and Palermo doesn’t disappoint. Almost every corner you turn around you discover something new, whether it’s a vibrant market, great architecture or little side streets that lead to squares full of restaurants and bars.”

“I would recommend people to participate in a project similar this as it allows you to develop skills and learn new things, not just about different cultures but also about yourself. It provides you with the opportunity to meet people you may not come across in your home city and opens your eyes to the hardships that people are still facing, something the media in my home country no longer reports on.”

Further reading https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/09/whats-in-it-for-them-the-volunteers-saving-europes-refugees

 

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