How can we learn to speak in front of a public? Who will teach us how to cope with a big group of kids? What is the best way to communicate with a person with different abilities? Do you ever ask yourseves these kind of questions? Actually, the only real way to learn these thigs, and much more, is doing them. The direct experience. The practise. Is incredible to notice how much a human can adapt him or her self in a new situation. The feeling of being incopetent, the fear of a failure, the idea that “oh is too hard, i can’t do it”..all these thigs disappear. When the environment and the situation are asking you to act, with no stress, no obligations, just the energy and the will of doing something good, the action comes. The school is the action. Never doubt of the personal potential and the potential of the people around you. I f you want to learn how to do something, do it! It sounds maybe superficial, maybe too easy, but actually IT IS easy. You just need to want it!
EVS experince gave me the opportunity to visit and travel around this incredibly beautiful Country: Albania. It was nearly summer when i got here. And the coast was calling me, and the amazing and clear water of the Ionian Sea. The means of transport i used to achieve the places are various: friends with their cars, furgons, buses, hitch hiking, following the unforgettable rule – IT MUST BE CHEAP! And this is aswell a big Learning income that i got from the EVS. Albania is a Country to discover, day by day, in all its aspects.
The 5th of Decembre 2015 was the International Day of Volunteers. This picture shows some of us EVS with the workers of BBA posing in front of the “Wall of Fame”. We are not all. Some of the volunteers that joined EVS with BBA alredy finished their project before that date. We have been quite many, short and long terms, giving our contribution and collaborating with the assosiation during thi last 8 months. We lived toghether, worked toghether and celebrated our day with many other local volunteers. The event took place in the Youth Centre of Tirana, during the morning. BBA invited all the volunteers that gave their contribution in all the activities of the past year. The guests were supposed to be around 500. I am not joking. I can say that luckily not all the people that were invited came, otherwise there would have not been enough space! But still the event was a success. We made with our own creative hands a personalised star made of colourful paper and glittery colors for each person who was invited, and we put them in the Walls of Fame, where the participants could find their names and have their moment of fame for that day. This was the point: to thank all the volunteers, to make them understand that everybody is important and that for BBA we are all stars.
How many ideas, stereotypes, ignorance about Albania. Sometimes if you look deeply at the horyzon from somewhere in the adriatic coast, in Italy, you can even see it. We are so close, neighbours somehow, and maybe for this reason people think that they know everything about this place, so nothing, because they really believe there is nothing to learn, from here. They are wrong, incredibly wrong. And Tirana is the city of paradoxes, the bridge between the european way of living and the albanian old, amazing traditions. A mixture of cultures, religions, people that come and go, someone stays, someone come back from travels bringing new knowledge. Fruit and vegetable markets everywhere in the street, in the caos of cars and voices, people selling, people buying and poeple passing by. Everything is alive, here. And the black net of electric cables upon the heads, unique.
I am Luigia I came from Italy. crazy but I’m so quiet.
I want to tell you my first experience away from everything and everyone, especially my family .When I told my parents that I wanted to come here for six months in Tirana , they looked at me with a perplexed and worried . The final decision I took in two days and I left , knowing that they would never accept my choice . Now are two months that I am bere. I suggest everyone to male this experience,because give you a lot of energy
Te Pastrojme Bregdetin; 22 May 2015, in collaboration the volunteers of the Beyond Barryers with other associations, have participated in the cleaning and maintenance of public places, in this case a piece of sea of Durres.
Participating in the day to Durres I have learned that they begin to be us many groups activists composed by young boys to Tirana, to which it is a lot to heart their country and that they try to change the country beginning from zero. I like these movements, because I am the best way for a new beginning and to show to whom is firm that someone he is moving… and if everybody hocks there we can succeed in having a cleaner world.
Hi everybody! My name is Marianna Rozzato, I’m 19 years old, I live in Messina, in Sicily. I decided to do my EVS in Albania, Tirana. This is my second week here.. I chose to do a short-term EVS. My project is about helping child with disabilities. I live in an house with other 7 volunteers, that come from Sardegna. I feel really good with them and we are already like a big family. Each of us is different from each other and in spite of our ages, we strongly agree. We are divided in two groups and we work in two different schools. Even though it isn’t my first experience of volunteering , it’s always like a first time. The child are really wonderful, they give me satisfactions, even only with a simple smile or simply with an hug…
We organize a lot of activities, for example : dancing, singing, drawing, painting and we also stay in the garden or in the gym, where we play football, volleyball or basketball . By now, I haven’t had lots of opportunity to visit the city but I would really like to know Tirana.
I also got to know other Tirana’s girls and I really enjoy my time with them. Last Saturday we went out with a lot of people even of our Host Organisation: “Beyond Barriers”. We have planted trees in a place quite unspoilt and to me , it has been really significant. I really like this experience and I hope that the other mounth that I’ll spend here, will be good and wonderful too. All in all, I think that this experience could change my life.
CAMBIO DI PROSPETTIVA
Ciao sono Andrea, ho vent’anni e sono italiano. Quando ho deciso di intraprendere questo progetto ero entusiasta di iniziare un’esperienza ricca di aspetti umani e di novità. Si tratta infatti della mia prima esperienza fuori dall’Italia, a stretto contatto con ragazzi e ragazze italiani ed albanesi.
Vivere per due mesi in una città straniera con lingua e cultura differenti dalla mia, da subito mi è sembrata una grande opportunità sia per l’esperienza di supporto ai ragazzi nelle scuole, sia per la convivenza a Tirana con gli altri ragazzi italiani.
Ora che sono in Albania da circa tre settimane mi sento più a mio agio sia nelle attività sia nel conoscere la città e mi sento più tranquillo con i ragazzi che incontro ogni giorno nelle scuole, ed anche con i ragazzi con i quali convivo.
Uscire ogni mattina per passare la giornata nelle scuole insieme ai ragazzi mi fa sentire bene, dando un senso alla giornata già dall’inizio.
Nel fine settimana poi, con gli amici, usciamo in gruppo e giriamo per la città scoprendo nuove strade e nuovi posti, trovando quasi sempre un accordo per dove andare.
Incontriamo molte persone del posto, sempre gentili nei nostri confronti e sempre disponibili per informazioni e aiuto.
Tirana sembra un po’ caotica, con molto traffico e smog, ma io ed i miei compagni di esperienza abbiamo imparato presto ad orientarci e nel fine settimana siamo soliti uscire la notte per conoscere qualche nuovo locale e il giro di giovani che li frequentano.
Da quando sono arrivato a Tirana è passato meno di un mese, ma ormai mi sento come se fossi in una nuova casa, con nuovi amici e con altre novità da scoprire.
Uno splendido quadro dalle tinte bruno scure che dal verde delle montagne degrada a tratti nel grigio delle città, illuminato dalla luce di un tramonto prematuro che solo pochi chilometri prima abbagliava il tacco dello Stivale. Questa è l’Albania come appare dal finestrino dell’aereo, che da Roma mi porta a Tirana circa venti giorni fa. La città ti avvolge come un mare di traffico, cemento e rifiuti sulle note dei clacson e i ruggiti di migliaia di Mercedes; forme indefinibili di palazzi dai più svariati stili e tonalità e gente, tantissima gente che cammina e vive la strada. I marciapiedi interrotti da imponenti tralicci dell’alta tensione, diventano lungo il cammino pavimenti piastrellati, terra o macerie risultato delle recenti demolizioni.
Lavoro come volontario insieme ad altri nove amici, in due istituti che assistono bambini affetti da disabilità mentali; qualcuno pronuncia già i nostri nomi, qualcun altro ci insegna l’albanese, altri semplicemente ci sorridono.
La nostra residenza si trova a ridosso del centro di Tirana, racchiusa in un reticolo di strade irregolari, contornata da tanti mercatini improvvisati. Dovendo riassumere in poche righe le sensazioni provate nei miei primi venti giorni in Albania, non posso non condividere il pensiero che mi ha accompagnato e mi accompagna durante le mie passeggiate per le strade della capitale e nei monti che circondano la città. Quanta bellezza inespressa, è la frase che riecheggia in continuazione nella mia mente, mentre attraverso le trafficate e sconnesse vie della capitale o sorvolo in funicolare le immense periferie che degradano verso i boschi. Il calore della gente mal si concilia col grigiore con cui talune volte la città appare al visitatore. Un mondo sommerso, da scoprire e da vivere.
I’m Michele, a 24 years old boy from Cagliari. In spite of living in an amazing and sunny island, I was looking for changes, after having looked into myself. It all began with the decision to take part in an Evs project to do volunteerism with children in Tirana, I went through it and here I am! Living with a group of people in a foreign city, in East Europe was the first change and it wouldn’ t have been easy since I’ ve never been used to it but I was astonished to see that the people of the group are very open minded and particularly involving also because they like to be informed about many things ranging from history, news, politic, literature, places and music and their culture is huge so that is a pleasure to stay with them. At the beginning I was a bit spaced out but I soon got off thinking that this experience has two opposite faces, which is the point I want to write about, to speak about my impressions.
Living with a group of Italian people who have a similar cultural background, in a comfortable and cosy hostel is good but out of the hostel the city shows itself and spreads like a drop of oil, towards the mountains and the situation is different. Tirana is very big and has many wide and open spaces and streets that makes for a metropolitan city, a capital, which looks like modern but in the same time has many hidden aspects inside. As a consequence it has been interesting to see how the city is changing trying to be modern, and it has a fantastic and big square, Skanderberg Square, many shops, restaurants, discos around and a modern block called “ Blloku” living with half destroyed houses, dirty streets and no zebra crossing.
I also got off thinking that any experience or trip really depends on how you live it and the people you live it with. I want to stress that because going out with the people of the group boils down to choose the most modern clubs and mall to go at evening in order to and have fun. The discos and pubs I’ve been to are very good and what struck me was that many Albanians I met in the streets during the situations of the everyday life or when I went out or went shopping is that they are extremely helpful and they like being like that! After all that, the point is yet to come: the real Albania, made up of lack of interest and information and difficulties of everyday’s life.
Only speaking with people who are really conscious of the world around them and only getting closer to the work of the project I began to understand the reality around me make up of people who want to change their environment and their lives and be free after years of Comunism and dictatorship, people who need other people, who need smiles, who need to help others and interestingly are very fascinated by Italy! And then I saw the schools where I began to spend my time as a volunteer. Their doors opened up to reality and there I saw the children who burden autism and mental disability, and I got to know that most of the people are not be able to identify autism and prevent it. That blew me away!
The work in the schools is funny as well as difficult and leads to reflections about life, about how much some people need help to take on something that they don’ t know and they don’ t know how to face. I refer to the children who suffer autism and their parents and I thought about how much their lives must be difficult and I soon realised that even me in the school didn’ t know how to deal with children who freak out because of the mental disability and behave like other kids don’ t, but I see it as a challenge I want to take on it to prove myself!
Back to the school ( of life ) ! Kisses, Michele