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European Solidarity Corps - Mission Tradition

The experience of our volunteer Gabrielle

My name is Gabriele and I’ve always been in arts, I studied theatre for years, first on a practical level in an acting school in my city, then on a theoretical level in the University in Bologna: during and after my studies i made a lot of workshops about acting and I have a couple of experiences as director and workshop leader. Passionate about photography, I know all the processes related to analogic photography (shoot, develop and print) and some skills about digital photography.

How it all started:

Despite my main interests, in Italy I was unemployed, so I decided to take the last train I could to make an experience like that: the age limit for an ESC is 30 years old and, having this age, I chose to spend one year abroad living an amazing experience!

The Project:

Since I arrived in this country, I found a very interesting environment, the issue of Cyprus is at the same time problematic and interesting, it divides a country but, at the same time, create two different environment both full of life and nice people! I found kindness and welcoming spirit from the people of the Republic of Cyprus and of the occupied area. Fortunately, I did not found difficulties to get used to the local lifestyle, I adapt myself very easily and the “sigà sigà” leitmotif fits very well in my lifestyle!

For the NGO where we work, we are running several group project about the tradition of Cyprus, we researched, made interviews, wrote articles about some traditions of the Island: we made a project about the products from roses in Agros and we are working on halloumi making and winemaking. We split tasks each other to run the group project, and we put the work together and we write articles to disseminate on the web through social media and a website.

In those months I was able to visit some areas of the Island and I enjoyed so much! Every experience here are interesting: one of the better situation where I was involved was a pre-marriage party: as I know, in the villages they use to make a week of parties every night before the marriage; the firsts one are reserved for close relatives and friends, like 100 people, and the last one, the one I attended, there was like 300 people: an amazing experience! Local food, local music, local dances and fireworks in a public street arranged for the occasion: I had a great time, it was the most local and traditional experience I had since I’m here!

Another interesting experience was volunteering at a Festival, called Xarkis, in a village called Polistipos, which means “a lot of vine plants” because they use to cover terraces and roofs with vine plants. The festival was focused on music ad performances and I met a lot of artists and musicians during my stay there.

The Outcome: 

Volunteering abroad is a great occasion to meet new people, have a great time thanks to European mobility programs. Knowing different cultures, deal with new uses and a new way of life, cooperate with people from all Europe and know people from all the word is a great occasion to verify how much a person is open-minded and grow up as an individual. It is a great occasion that I suggests to experience every young person can apply. During my stay I improved my English vocabulary, I experiencing to live for one year with unknow people and deal with all our needs, I’m learning greek (sigà sigà) and I’m having the occasion to improve my skills in the art field.