La storia di una vita

“We don’t know, what life will prepare for us tomorrow. Perhaps a beautiful palace will turn into ruins. We go from the edge to center to breathe in the beaty and go to other outskirts” (Splean. Outskirts. The album “The key to the code”)

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This huge “metal bird” 27.08-2017 transfered me from Ukraine to Italy — country of my volunteerism, in a new stage in my life, 11 month long. This is the period of the international European project, entitled “SONS — Same Old New Stories: Youngsters discovering roots of Europe”, funded by the program Erasmus plus and coordinated by Diaconia Valdese.

L’Asilo dei Vecchi di San Germano Chisone — is a care home for self-sufficient and dependent elderly people, located in the Italian region Piedmont, surrounded by beautiful mountains. In 1893 the Waldensian Pastor Carlo Alberto Tron opened the first home “to accommodate old people without homes or families. giving them the opportunity to live in peace”.

In Asilo live more than 90 people with different destinies and different needs and for them it is important not to feel lonely and be calm, that you will be helped if this will be necessary. It is also important for them to communicate and be able to be heard.

Today I decide to write a story of the life  of one person, whom I met here, in Asilo, once coming to his room with my little collection of minerals, knowing that his previous activities were related to geology. His room is rather unusual. There are a lot of objects in it, the purposes of which i did not understand before. For example,  twenty one variations of the crosses of Tuareg — the nation, in which men cover their face with a veil, “blue people” of the Sahara, living under matriarchy.

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But more about that later. So… “Il mio nome é Adriano (Gaydou), e nella mia famiglia sono noto per il mio carattere ribelle, questo perché ho visto molte ingiustizie contro il popolo lavoratore .

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Come scuola ho frequentato (al serale) corsi per diploma: 1) disegno progettistico e meccanico e 2) chimico analista. Di giorno lavoravo e dalla sera — scuola. Sono entrato nel mondo del lavoro come piccolo operaio e sono uscito, in pensione, come operaio al massimo livello (5 livello) di cui sono orgoglioso perché eravamo in pochi con il titolo di Tecnici di Officina. 

Ho iniziato per un anno e mezzo in Fonderia. Lavoro pesantissimo e molto pericoloso ma utile per formare un carattere sociale e politico, di sinistra, sono stato sindacalista per 6 anni. Ho poi cambiato lavoro e sono andato in fabbrica dove, con mia soddisfazione,  ero esperto di Motori aeronautici militari ed addetto alle esperienze aeronautiche e spaziali (Fiat Avio). Terminato il lavoro sperimentale sono passato nel nostro laboratorio di analisi chimiche in campo industriale. 

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Entrato in pensione, su richiesta di un mio amico, geologo del Politecnico di Torino, mi sono trovato a prestare opera volontaria, nella Grotta di Bossea in Val Corsadia ove esiste, sotto terra il più importante laboratorio di ricerca idrogeologica, a livello europeo. Quindi per 14 anni sono stato libero ricercatore in campo idrogeologico, creando un laboratorio di analisi per la chimica delle acque e nel susseguente studio a Favore del Politecnico. Attualmente questo laboratorio è stato completamente informatizzato, con un progetto guida per ricevere i dati scientifici, in automatico, via Internet (progetto unico al mondo!)

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Nella mia vita sono stato appassionato di montagne, grotte e vulcani, con una mia notevole attività. Sulle montagne, sopra tutto le scalate delle  grande montagne.  La mia carriera in montagna si  è fermata, grazie ad un incidente gravissimo dal quale sono uscito con….solo 14 fratture in una gamba, ma ancora vivo.

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Inoltre la passione per le scienze della terra, mi ha portato ad esplorare grotte ed abissi per moltissimi anni, scoprendo 38 grotte nuove, di cui 7 nella Selva Elocote, in Messico meridionale (Estado de Chiapas).

Dal punto di vista sentimentale, essendo in fatto personale, scusami, ma non ti dico niente, sappi solo che non sono mai stato sposato dato  che amo la libertà….”

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So…Welcome to Asilo dei Vecchi di San Germano Chisone.

Olga Korotaeva, EVS Volunteer at Asilo dei Vecchi di San Germano, with the project “Sons – Same Old New Stories: Youngsters discovering roots of Europe”, 2017-2018

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Why Volunteerism?

Volunteerism is a way of changing the world and make it better. It is an opportunity that never should be missed.

My Italian volunteering experience was not unexpected. When I was child I had a big desire to be an active member of society and play an important role for building better community. When I was 16 year-old I officially joined in an organization as a volunteer and my childhood dreams really have been come true. In this organization I worked with children and women, living in conflict region and conducted festivals, trainings, environmental and cultural events. Two years later, when I was 18 year-olds, I went to Poland for participation in the international project where I met new people, acquired friends and participated in many projects, introduced and shared our culture with them. This project helped me to know that work I was doing was that what I really wanted to do in the future.

Italy always was one of my interests but it was just like a dream that seems never be come true. Fortunately, after graduation from the university I got another great chance of participation in the project “CLOSER – Connecting Volunteers and organization to Support integration of Refugees and asylum seeker” and living in Italy during 1 year. I have already been a EVS volunteer for 5 months in Turin,working in Il passo social point, with children. Based on this experience, I can definitely say that I like my job and the organization when I am volunteering. It’s a great experience of studying Italian and the European and African culture as well. On my hand, I do my best, try to use this great opportunity and help others to make better future, gain my professional skills and learn a language as well. I am really happy because of my decision, not miss the chance to be volunteer and change world. pexels-photo-346885.jpeg

Nana Aptsiauri, EVS volunteer from Georgia, at Il Passo Social Point, project “CLOSER – Connecting Volunteers and organization to Support integration of Refugees and asylum seeker”, 2017 – 2018

Essere volontaria SVE al Passo

Il Passo social point è un centro sociale nel quartiere di barriera di Milano. In questa zona vivono una grande parte delle persone che vengono dal’imigrazione e ci sono disuguaglianze sociali. Il Passo è un posto che ha meno di 3 anni e che prova ad aiutare quelli che hanno più bisogno con diverse attivita; dopo scuola, gruppo per le mamme, community center, spazio adolescenti..

Io sono una dei 6 volontari. Siamo due SVE e ci sono anche quattro civlisti. Proviamo di participare alle diverse attivita del Passo.

Vorrei parlare per questo primo articolo del dopo scuola perché é quello che mi piace fare di più. Adesso 3 volte alla settimana aiutiamo i ragazzi del quartiere con i compiti. Ci sono i due educatori, Federica e Abel e poi i volontari che vogliono aiutare. Sono l’unica persona che ama la matematica quindi sono un po’ diventata la referente della matematica. Li aiuto anche con il francese ma loro odiano studiarlo.

Quando ero piccola e per tutti gli anni che sono andata a scuola io sono stata fortuna perche ho avuto condizioni che hanno favorito il successo. Avevo a casa un posto per studiare, avevo persone che potevano aiutarmi se avevo bisogno.. Lo so che una parte di questi raggazzi non hanno la stessa fortuna perché vivono in un quartiere un po’ difficile, a volte hanno genitori che non parlano bene l’italiano etc.. Quindi mi piace che il passo prova a dare l’occazione di avere migliori condizioni per studiare e sono contenta di participare dando i miei piccoli consigli in matematica e parlando con loro in francese. Sono piccole cose ma penso che c’è la possibilita che queste piccole cose cambiano un po’ le cose e aiutano. Continue reading Essere volontaria SVE al Passo

Face to Face – Training for Youth Workers

Facing gender violence

From the 27th Novembre to the 1st of December 2017 took place the training course “Face to face: how to tackle gender violence” at Torre Pellice, where the Diaconia Valdese has its main office.

As the title of training says, our main goal wa/is develop altogether methodologies and strategies to tackle gender violence, those outputs we will used during the youth exchange that will take place next March, addressed to youngsters between 15-17 y.o.

Italy, Spain, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, 7 countries, 20 participants during 6 intense days of work.

Sometimes we had deep confrontation, through which we had the opportunity to know and understand the situation in every country.

Gender violence: a definition

Whatever act of violence, physical, emotional, sexual, economical committed against a woman for the only reason to be a women is gender violence.

Those acts of violence are the results of an historical and cultural process which establish the supremacy of men among women as “natural”, reinforcing a strong division of roles that are perceived as well as relative on the “inner essence” of women and man.

In a word, patriarchy.

Patriarchal systems are all over the word, from east to west, with a strong common basis and very few gradation of differences. Mostly we can say that those difference are mostly relative on the perception of those.

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Despite the difference we have found, all of us agree the root of gender violence must be cut soon as possible. This is one of the reason why the youth exchange about gender violence will be addressed to very young boys and girls.

“I trust you” – “Mi fido di te” – a multidisciplinary approach to domestic violence

During our training we have been guided by Alessandra and Anna, a politology/psychologist and a professional actress which have develop a very interesting methodology to work with teenagers about domestic violence.

An old quote says “One picture is worth more the 1000 words”: what Alessandra and Anna does its pretty much this, show to teenagers what domestic violence is and ask them to reflect and represent those thoughts. In order to understand the techniques used by Anna and Alessandra, we have tried first hand the methods.

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As in the shadow theatre session, we had the opportunity to reflect on the emotion felt by all the “actors” in the “play”: the victim, the perpetrator, the friends/family of one or both sides.

The key factor of the methodologies proposed by Anna and Alessandra is their multidisciplinary approach: sociology, psychology, acting altogether create a perfect mix to induce reflexion, help self-expression and work on the deep cause of gender inequality and the consequently violence.

“We are all victims” – how to work with the perpetrator

Patriarchy damage not only the women, but also the men, who are forced as well to fit in a pre-establish role, as the bread winner, the head of the house, the one who never cries. But we are not character of a bi-dimensional story, we are complex beings with an unlimited set of features. Both women and men who are forced to assume those fixed roles, suffer of violence. In the case of many men, especially the ones of older generation whose have grown up in a social context where there was no room for protest, end up acting and commit violence.

The unfortunately many times untold, and mostly misunderstood story is that violence is the ultimate way to express a discomfort through a situation, to overcome or avoid such response is necessary a process of inner reflection about ourselves and the system where we live.

The feminist movement have done exactly this process: mother, daughter, housewife were the only roles where a women could recognize herself – the rebellion to this roles have started many years ago and patriarchy has not always be the same- but we can simplify that in the last century, women reached rights in the social, political, economic field, who consequently free (mostly) of them from those roles.

The liberation of men seem to be started very shyly, and the old generation are the most resistant to the change of paradigma.

Men which feel obligate to absolve to a role who became obsolete tend to answer with violence. Also, men who are used to, and think naturally of a relation based on submission, who will maintain and reproduce this sick model of relation until the ultimate consequences, the murder of the partner.

How to work with those men?

Listening is the key, listening their familiar history, their discomfort and troubles. The first step of a long path, is provide a safe face where they can express themselves, from there associations like Liberi dalla violenza and Maschile plurale, start their work. It’s not an easy path, and mostly it doesn’t finish, the meeting and the professional support for this men it’s not a simple intervention and it could requires years.

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Work in progress, waiting for the youth exchange

After three days of listening, we start to design the activities which will take place in the youth exchange. We don’t want to spoiler, but we have in mind a loooot of interesting activities for our fellow participants, interested to join? Soon more info!

And finally, the snow.

Eventually, the snow came. At the end of a long, tough, week of meeting and brainstorming, we were lucky enough to finalize our training surrounded by a white cold coat, which we enjoyed very much!

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Corinna Genchi, Anna Carballo, from FAGIC organisation, Barcelona, Spain