LGBTI Sports Blog

Folkert's ESC volunteering experience in Turin, Italy

11th January 2022

Folkert's ESC volunteering experience in Turin, Italy

Folkert reflects on doing his 2 month ESC volunteering placement in Turin, Italy. 

From October 15th to December 15th I embarked on a ESC volunteering project working with the organisation Eufemia in Turin, Italy. I had no idea what to expect and frankly I was a little worried moving to a new country with new people and a completely new language, even if it was just for 2 months. But looking back on it now I have to say it was one of my best decisions. I met the most incredible people, making friends from places all over Europe. 

Despite fears of becoming homesick, the flat I was living in along with 5 other volunteers soon became a new home for me and these fellow volunteers family. Eufemia as an organisation were so welcoming and provided us with lots of support. Special mention to Rita and our mentor Ilaria who were especially warm and caring during our 2 months. Initially we explored different branches of the volunteering organisation such as food redistribution in which we would take vegetables and fruit that would otherwise go to waste and give them to families in need. Working so closely with the local community was an incredibly rewarding experience and being able to tackle an environmental issue simultaneously was desirable. Something so amazing about this organisation was the fact that we as volunteers were able to work on lots of different projects and almost tailor some our timetable to ones that we preferred. For instance, on top of the food markets I taught English to three classes of children in a school as well as hosting an English Meet-Up for adults and working with the local community to cook fresh Italian recipes. On top of that, we also worked with a team of people in the organisation who designed escape rooms to help tackle social issues such as pollution which was very interesting. 

Therefore it is safe to say I learnt a wide-range of skills and competences that I know have developed me individually. Yet I also discovered a lot about myself and grew as a person by living in a new city faced with new challenges. I still cherish the memories I have from this experience because during our off time we did so many cool and fun things. To mention a few we went to the mountains for sunrise (a personal highlight), attended both a Men’s and Women’s Juventus football game and explored the unforgettable night life the city had to offer. I have to say I miss it.

Written by Folkert Bowler on 11th January 2022.