One of the activities that we do as EVS volunteers in CVČ – JUNIOR is taking part to trainings and various meetings involving young people. Last week we have attended some of those meetings which took place in Stredná Priemyselná Škola Jozefa Murgaša in Banská Bystrica.
The aim of this meeting, called HYHO (Help Yourself by Helping Others), was raising awareness among young people about volunteering and speaking about the different opportunities available for those willing to volunteer both in Slovakia and abroad. So we were invited by our colleague Gabika from CVČ – JUNIOR, who held the meeting, to speak about our volunteering experience in general and then, more specifically, as EVS volunteers in Slovakia.
For me these meetings are really stimulating as I have an opportunity to speak Slovak and since, as I previously said, my Slovak is still far from being perfect :), as Vessy says, they are a challenge for me as speaker, but also for the listeners who have to understand what I say 😉
Another reason why these meetings are interesting is seeing the reactions of young people to what we say and answering their questions. The first question that we are asked is always why we chose Slovakia, just as if it was something peculiar. In fact, Slovakia is a really fascinating country, so the reasons to come are plenty 🙂
But during last HYHO training in Stredná Priemyselná Škola Jozefa Murgaša, after being asked why I chose Slovakia, I was very happy to answer to many other questions, especially about how I see Slovakia and about Italy, which helped me understand how Slovak people see my country. For example, I was asked what are the main differences between Italy and Slovakia, and between Italian and Slovak students, what is the attitude of Italian people towards alcohol, what is my favourite dish, what is the difference between Italian and Slovak pizza, if I like Slovak food, if it’s true that Italian men are jealous and many more.
I think that the aim of EVS is exactly this: opening a dialogue with the others to discover a different culture, but also to become more aware of your own.