Home country and city:
The Calabria region, Southern Italy
Current volunteering experience and location:
I am volunteering as the International Partnerships Assistant for Latin American Foundation For the Future (LAFF) in Cusco, Peru. I mostly work on capacity building projects for LAFF’S partner organisations.
Future volunteering or work plans:
My main plan for the future is to find a job which would allow me to work with and for refugees. I don’t know yet whether that would be in Europe or not, it depends on what opportunities come up. Whatever happens, I know that this is the field that I find most interesting and that I eventually wish to work in.
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because I believe it’s a great way to boost your career. I also believe it is a great way to experiment with different things and understand what your ideal job would be. Volunteering gave me the chance to try different roles and therefore understand what my main skills are, before applying them to an actual job. I think it’s a bit like rehearsing for your future working life.
What does ‘meaningful volunteering’ mean to you?
Meaningful volunteering means that I can give an actual contribution to a certain project, and that I am able to see the effect of my contribution either in the short or in the long term.
What made you apply for your current volunteering experience?
I had recently finished my Master’s at LSE and I was living in London where I studied International Development. I knew that I wanted to have a real experience on the field to help me understand whether I had chosen the right path. Latin America had always been in my dreams, so I just applied for a position with LAFF in Peru and, unexpectedly, I got an email asking me for an interview.
How do you normally find volunteering opportunities?
What advice would you give for someone interested in a meaningful volunteering placement?
I think I would tell them to get rid of fears and take up the challenge to move out of their comfort zone. But most of all, I would tell people to go from talking to action: if your life and your job do not satisfy you, just find a way to change it. Volunteering abroad is a great move for a career and life change. You will find plenty of interesting people on your way, who have made a decision similar to yours.
Come up with your own question and answer it!
Do you ever regret leaving your life in Europe to come to Peru?
Never. Although loneliness is something you occasionally have to come to terms with when you live so far from home, I think the positives of this experience completely outweigh the negatives.
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