It’s amazing to think that I have passed the halfway mark as a ESC volunteer with ARSIS! As always, when you get to the halfway point, you take stock and try to figure out how to make the last months even more unforgettable!
I believe that when you embark on a volunteering journey like this, the most beautiful and important thing is to learn something every day and to be grateful not only for the help we are able to give to vulnerable people but also and above all for everything we receive from them. Sometimes, when I told people about my volunteering project with unaccompanied minors and refugees, someone would ask me how many things I could teach them, as if they didn’t know how to do anything.
Actually, however many problems they may have and however many difficulties they may have gone through in life, these people know a lot more than I do and can do a lot more than I can, so it tends to be me who learns something from them every day.
Every day, the children in the various ARSIS projects teach me that no matter what difficulties life throws at you, you should always look ahead and aim high. The children teach me that when you’re a child, it’s OK to fight over the ball and the bike, and it’s OK to fight for the attention of us volunteers. The girls teach me that even though they’ve been through terrible times, when you’re fifteen or sixteen the only problem you need to have is a pimple on your cheek or an unkempt nail. The boys remind me of myself at their age, full of ambition and dreams for the future.
Being part of the everyday life of these kids makes me proud and I can only thank them for trusting me and accepting me to become part of their daily life.
I will be like a comet in their lives, a passing star, but they will remain perennial heavenly bodies for me.
In February Giusy, David and I also welcomed two new Italian volunteers, Ginevra and Rossana, to our beautiful flat. This experience is also so enriching for the people you get to know: we come from different backgrounds, have different interests and different paths to take, but we are all united by the certainty that helping others is good for the heart.
In their company, taking advantage of the rising temperatures, we spent a wonderful day at a beach just on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. How great would it have been to explore Greece if the pandemic restrictions had not been in place?
Hopefully, in the coming months, there will be more opportunities to explore this wonderful land!!!
Ilaria Moioli – ESC Volunteer (Sep. 2020 – May 2021)