Alberto de Bin | Italy | Wake-Up 2021 – 2022 | Coordinating Organization: IDC | Hosting Organization: La Rouatière
Edited by: Bianca Rêgo | Wake-Up 2022-2023
From September 2021, if you come to La Rouatière high school, you will hear French spoken with a particularly strange accent: this year a CES volunteer, myself, has arrived at the high school.
The European Solidarity Corps are a kind of civil service at European level, where alongside the dimension of solidarity there is the aim of spreading the themes of the European community, such as European citizenship and dialogue between different cultures. We could argue that the cultural difference between northern Italy and southern France is not that great, but the language barrier can create difficulties at the beginning of the dialogue.
I admit that living in a village of 200 people was not in my dreams, but the project proposed to me by the school convinced me to pack my luggage and take a one-way ticket to Castelnaudary, as Souilhanels, the above village, is served by public transport only for school hours. The main mission of my volunteering is to help students who want to leave to carry out their internship abroad. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that from 2020 La Rouatière Lyceum offers its students the opportunity to carry out curricular internships in other European countries, financing international mobility through a project coordinated by ERAGRISOC consortium.
But man does not live on mobility alone, and my tasks in the institute do not end here. The second mission is to support school life, which for most readers might sound like an absolutely boring thing, but for those who have studied to become a professor, the possibility of creating a relationship with students and understanding the needs and difficulties and, above all, the projects and dreams of those who are now living their adolescence acquire a great meaning.
To this must be added a project, started in January in collaboration with a VEFA volunteer, to inform students about sustainable development issues, which is one of the pillars of the European Union’s action. This will be followed, in March, by a series of seminars on the institutions and values of a peace and cooperation project such as the European project, with the aim of contributing to the creation of a European identity.
La Rouatière is a small welcoming environment, with less than 200 students the atmosphere is that of a small community where you can breathe a familiar air. I immediately found myself welcomed in the best possible way, although at the beginning my French was not exactly the best, the kindness and patience I found in front of me were the best beginning of my adventure.
For those under 30 who want to discover another country in the European Union, learn a new language and live an experience to carry with them for a lifetime, I recommend joining the European Solidarity Corps. The goal is to grow on a personal level, but also that of a generational response against selfishness, in order to know the values that unite us across borders and cultures and to reaffirm that the value of solidarity is the value that will allow the our continent to continue to be seen as an example of democracy around the world.