Volunteering in Italy

Janica's experience of her International volunteer project in Italy

Milazzo on the island of Sicily in Italy

Two weeks of building platforms and I think I could now start my own business, (if there is a market for beach platforms in the UK that is). Although I automatically think of platforms when I think of the international volunteer project I just completed in Milazzo, Sicily, that is not all that camp was. What Legambiente, (the Italian environmental organisation) also shared with all us volunteers was a strong sense of community and gratitude towards us international volunteers for helping keep their environment safer and cleaner for everyone to use. We even had a few articles in local newspapers about what we were there for and of course the local mayor (who in Milazzo was rather dashing in his light weight denim) even came down to our work site to thank us.

However, as anyone who has been on an international volunteer project with Concordia will say, the work is only half the experience, as for me it was living within a tight knit community twenty-four seven with seven other volunteers, who every night also got bitten extensively by mosquitoes, that made my trip. Visiting an old military base, which was a perfect view of the sea between Sicily and Italy, or hiking up 400 metres above sea level during midday sun to see the most amazing crater on the Aeolian island of Vulcano, are memories shared with new friends I won’t soon forget. Although at times the scorching 45 degrees and 98% humidity left me wishing for a little British rain, once back in the UK you realise how amazing that heat swirled up with volunteers, laughter and a little hard work aid to restore a positive outlook on life (cheesy I know but true). The way I saw Sicily was a way a solo traveller would not have seen it.

Janica

Milazzo, Sicily

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Review added by: Concordia

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