European Solidarity Corps Volunteer Alisa, 23, Russian
I studied to be a human rights lawyer and it has been 3 months since I arrived to Catania to volunteer for the Arci Catania via European Solidarity Corps Platform in October 2022. I went for this opportunity as I love Italy and reading about work of Arci, I was inspired by how multilateral it is and happy that it’s dedicated to human rights, my long time educational and career priority.
My first impression of Catania was enriched with various emotions. It was my first time to Sicily, so I was happy and excited but at the same time the contrast between Catania and Vienna, Austria, where I spend the previous year was a big one, I missed my friends and family in Russia too. Therefore, during the first month I felt home sick quite often. However, I met the other two volunteers, Marit and Roni, who turned out to be sweet, inspired and talented young people and we were warmly welcomed by the team of Arci Catania. It took me a couple of weeks to look around and settle down step by step, so I fell in love with the beauty of the sea, Sicilian cuisine, local weather and the Italian language which I’m willing to learn now. Working for Arci Catania I believe complemented to my first impression on Catania and Sicily a lot since the organization works closely with the local community.
I was happy that as volunteers we were given an opportunity to choose topics, we are most interested to work on at Arci. I personally especially liked working for the CULT, organizing cultural events for the youth, learning more on the political background of the world-famous Sicilian mafia and contemporary anti-mafia campaigns, setting the Radio Matria and the Webzine of the Arci Catania, I also supported the team in respect of social media and communication. In this short time at Arci we organized many events: from public discussions on prevention of distribution of drugs on the streets to demonstrations for peace and protests in solidarity with refugees, from film screenings to festivals and concerts. The more is yet to come as the Team of Arci Catania today is ambitious and diverse while the organization itself is open for everybody who wants to stand for human rights and make a change.