How short-term volunteering can be fun and useful

Hello everyone my name’s Wiam, and I was a short-term volunteer for Eufemia in June and July of 2022!

My experience started on the 24th of June and I was greeted by extremely welcoming and cheerful roommates who will eventually become people I hold very dear to my heart.

How it could be convenient 

Short-term volunteering doesn’t attract that many people, but I’ve found it extremely convenient. I was still enrolled in a university program, so volunteering for longer than two to three months was out of the question. Still, social work has always interested me and I knew I wanted to get some first-hand experience somehow. The ESC program was also beneficial for me, because volunteering in a different country for a while isn’t something financially doable for that many people, me included. So having the financial burden off me with transportation and accommodation being provided, as well as a daily financial allowance given to us, really helped me. I knew if I didn’t take the opportunity, I would have never done it! It is incredible also that this program is accessible to any resident of the EU, I do live in France, but I hold Moroccan (extra EU) citizenship, and this being made accessible to me is also a great incentive.

Things I’ve done

Eufemia is a partner of many local non-profits in Torino, so whenever help was needed somewhere, we would go. Along with Pauline, the other volunteer from France who was on the same program as me, we were mainly volunteering in Madiba, a non-profit that works with youth located in Beinasco, a suburb of Torino.

Our tasks involved a lot of reappropriation of public spaces in Beinasco and Piossasco along with teenagers aged from 12 to 18 years old. When we were not in Beinasco, we were in Torino, either helping on Market days with recuperation and distribution of unsold fruits and vegetables to people in need, a bonus of this activity is we could take whatever was left after the distribution back to the flat and share it with other volunteers 🙂

Other Torino activities involved participating in hosting associative events, taking part in cooking labs with people from over the world, organizing English sessions alongside other volunteers, and benefiting from Italian classes.

Advice to anyone looking to do short-term volunteering

Go for it, with the financial burden being much less heavy, as well as the period being much less constraining than it would have been if it was for a year, I encourage you to do it.

Language barrier

It was definitely present, but in the north of Italy, they articulate very well, and after about 3 weeks to a month as well as an ongoing Duolingo strike (that’s up to 123 days now), I was able to understand a lot more than in the beginning.

How it encouraged me to pursue what I’m doing now

Having this first experience in a non-profit reinforced my willingness to make it my full-time occupation.

As soon as I came back home, I started looking for opportunities to stay in social work. I’m still enrolled in my university program, but I’m in a work-study contract with an association that fights against the social exclusion of people living in precarious conditions so that each one of us can thrive in a more inclusive society.

Main take away from my volunteering experience

We can all individually and collectively contribute to making our world a better and more inclusive place to live in, and many people are willing to do that.

Antonio and Thibaut’s end of volunteering

Hi! My name is Antonio, I am a Spanish guy who has been volunteering for Eufemia since January 2022. I would say that I am passionate about languages and deep talks (that’s the reason why I like to learn so many languages, to find as many people as possible to annoy talk with). And I am Thibaut, I am coming from France! I love to find new ways of connecting to people and minds (especially mine, even if sometimes it is messy!). I found out that I really like  doing…music! 

We decided to volunteer for many reasons, obviously to meet new incredible people, and to have a safe place and environment to learn and develop our skills and ideas. Also, we both wanted to discover new perspectives about ourselves that we were not aware of previously. 

I (Antonio) think I learned how to listen more and better to other people’s perspectives of the world. We don’t have always a good (or bad) point of view, I understood that there simply are different backgrounds and motivations in each person, and we should try to understand them better without judging, even if we think that the other part is completely wrong since we can never be 100% sure of it. As for me (Thibaut), volunteering is about finding a safe space to open up, try everything and gain both knowledge AND self-confidence, we all need to achieve our objectives.

In our opinion, long-term volunteering is totally recommended. For almost any kind of person. However, we highly recommend that you first do short-term volunteering (2 months) and then if you like it, go for a long term. Long-term is considered to be any project that lasts more than 2 months, but we recommend finding some project for at least 8 months, we found it is the sweet spot for having a good time without having the feeling of missing something. Of course, a 12-month project is also a perfect opportunity to make a commitment to yourself and still enjoy your time in your new city. Some pros of volunteering are quite evident, like getting to know new people (you will make huge connections for sure!) or visiting an incredible country around Europe, which normally also allows you to visit close countries around your city. However, some other things are not that clear and for sure you will enjoy them. Like getting to know yourself better than you could ever imagine. Also, after your journey, you will find out that there are things that you have done, but before you would never imagine being able of doing so. 

But, like everything in life, nothing is perfect. You will have bad moments, where you will feel lost, powerless, or desperate. There will be some activities that you will not like that much, and probably you will have issues with your roommates or flatmates (cleaning is not the best part of volunteers’ flats!).

Nevertheless, all of this will also help you to be more resilient, you will learn how to deal with bad moments, with people that are in the same situation as you (or people that already have been there, like mentors, colleagues, and volunteers).

Antonio: I would love to share some good words for some people who for sure made my journey better in many different ways. To Rita, who from the very beginning has been so supportive! I wish every volunteer could have such a person while volunteering. To Martina T., for teaching me so many things about hard work and dedication. The new girls, Marta, Weronika, Tamar, and Joana, even though we didn’t have too much time together it was enough to build an incredible connection among us! Obviously, Thibaut, my roommate, who I consider to be a brother, and I am sure that our story together will not end here. Ivanka and Anna, the two sisters that I never had at home (I just didn’t know I had to look for them in Italy!). Even though none of them are Italian, thank you for your love and support, thank you for making me a better person, a better man, I feel like I grew so much around you! And to the rest of the Eufemia and Escape4Change teams, I really appreciate the time, dedication, and effort you put into each of us for making this experience as good as possible! 

Thibaut: If I had to describe the ESC now, I would describe it as a very colorful journey. There have been so many encounters with such inspiring people. Many opportunities to confront ideas and grow as a person. Sharing this journey with other volunteers is also what makes it exceptional, there are all the people from the projects, a bunch of random people: some are kids, some taller kids (also known as adults), there are the people without a roof, people with a special need, the crazy ones and also the boring normal ones. And last but not least, nothing in this journey would be possible without the whole team of Eufemia, an obvious thank you for the work they are doing!

A Glossary for ESC volunteers!

The European Solidarity Corps is a whole different world. It is a world of volunteering, learning, and travelling. This world is located in people’s heart, and it can be traced in their vocabularies.

Many words can be confusing to a newcomer, thus we took the initiative in our hands to guide you though some of the most important definitions of the ESC volunteering experience.

We aim to explain to you the main concepts, however besides that we would like to show you how much joy and fun volunteering can bring into your life.

This booklet was prepared by Anna Ungradyova during her ESC with Associazione Eufemia.

8 months of a Torinese ESC experience


A few days have passed since my last day in Turin. My volunteering journey started in January this year and now I am writing this final personal reflection on my eight months of volunteering with the European Solidarity Corps.

Before arriving in Turin, I was very excited and motivated to sign up for a long-term project, to spend quality time abroad, especially in Italy. Yes, Italy was my request. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to try living in Italy. My dream has come true.
After a few months of searching for a suitable project, I received an answer from Eufemia. I remember that I really liked the variety of activities and the vivid environment the organization provided. Actually, I found there much more.

All I can say is that all 8 months were full of adventure. Truly. Indeed.

As far as activities go, I tried and experienced different activities and was given a lot of different tasks or responsibilities for small projects. The one I liked the most was when I was leading an English class. My Turin friends know this story well. A year ago I did’t know how to speak English sovereignly. It was mainly shyness and lack of confidence to speak in front of others. Leading English lessons was undoubtedly a huge experience, opportunity and confidence boost for me.

Speaking of adventure, definitely look for the people behind every adventure. The people were a key point of my time in Turin. Sharing an apartment with other international volunteers, coping with a different way of life, taking care of each other, but also finding ways to tackle difficult topics. These situations require openness and willingness. This is what I found during my project. An open, positive and supportive atmosphere.

In addition, Piedmont is a beautiful region. Avigliana has become my second mental home and Piazza San Giovanni has turned into my safe space and the best place to draw strangers. My thanks go to Trenitalia for any delays that allowed us to spend more time looking at the amazing Italian countryside. I am eternally grateful for every road trip, hike, and aperitivo I took. I can’t count how many plates of pesto and pasta I ate and how many aperitifs I drank. Every sunset, every coffee, and every sweet conversation will stay with me.

Last but not least, my thanks go to my host organization for listening to me when I needed it and for being willing to follow my volunteer journey. Thanks for me the opportunity to be your volunteer.

May this article be an encouragement to future volunteers. Volunteering through ESC is a great opportunity to explore yourself more deeply, learn and in various ways improve your personality. I am sure you have heard this famous phrase: “Volunteering is not just about giving, it is also about receiving”. Through volunteering, you can challenge yourself to try new things, improve your skills and give yourself time to explore and make mistakes.
If you are considering ESC, I encourage you and wish you well! 🙂

Anna Ungradyová, Slovakia

CALL FOR ESC VOLUNTEERS – September 2022-2023

Associazione Eufemia is looking for 3 volunteers!

Where: Turin, Italy

When: from 12/09/2022 to 12/09/2023

Topics: Social challenges, education, and training

Application deadline: 20/07/2022

The 3 volunteers will be collaborating with Eufemia staff and the local team in carrying out projects in the areas of work of the organization: digital, serious game, food, social arts and digital.

Infopack available here.




How to apply: Send us your CV & fill in the Motivational form by the 20th July.


Volontariato estivo in Romania

Una nuova opportunità per viaggiare e fare volontariato all’estero! 🇪🇺
Questo progetto nasce da una forte collaborazione all’interno della rete KIWI, composta da varie organizzazioni presenti in Europa per promuovere la mobilità europea dei giovani.
Quest’estate avrai la possibilità di partecipare ad un progetto degli European Solidarity Corps in Romania, presso Baia Mare 🌍
Lavorerai in un centro estivo e promuoverai l’inclusione sociale e valori come la pace e l’intercultura attraverso metodi di educazione non formale!
Quando: 4 Luglio – 15 Agosto 2022
Dove: Baia Mare, Romania
Costi coperti: vitto, viaggio e alloggio 😉
Come candidarti: Compila questo form entro il 31 Maggio 2022
Maggiori informazioni a questo link!

Volontariato ESC 1 mese in Francia


Dal 19 Maggio al 19 Giugno non prendere impegni: il volontariato di gruppo VOL’IN GREEN aspetta anche te!

Questo è il progetto adatto a chi vuole sperimentarsi in uno stile di vita eco-sostenibile a 360° 🌱

In questo progetto 15 giovani da Francia, Italia, Spagna, Romania e Germania si incontreranno e…

  • Andranno alla scoperta di organizzazioni locali che si occupano di ambiente;
  • Scambieranno buone pratiche per uno stile di vita sano e responsabile;
  • Valorizzeranno la partecipazione dei giovani per l’attivismo ambientale;
  • E… condivideranno momenti di vita comunitaria in un ambiente internazionale!

L’associazione coordinatrice del progetto è Hors Pistes, una preziosa partnership situata a Marsiglia!

Puoi trovare maggiori informazioni su come sarà gestito il progetto e le attività cliccando su questo link!

👉🏼 Non ti resta che candidarti compilando il seguente form:
Scadenza: 22 Aprile 2022

😉 Tutti i costi sono coperti dal programma degli European Solidarity Corps: è un’esperienza accessibile a tutt*!


Cipro – Testimonianze di volontariato ai tempi del Covid

👉🏼 Durante questo periodo di #quarantena, i nostri volontari all’estero si sono rivelati super prudenti e coraggiosi: hanno deciso di vivere questa situazione rimanendo appieno nel progetto di volontariato. ☀️

Oggi il racconto di Noemi direttamente da Cipro:

Per anni ho pensato di fare un progetto di volontariato europeo, ma non avrei mai immaginato di partire in un un periodo così particolare come questo 2020.

“La mia esperienza è stata sicuramente molto diversa da quella di altri volontari negli anni precedenti, ma partire come volontaria a Cipro è stata la scelta migliore che potessi fare e mi ha permesso di rendere speciale quest’ anno.”

Così, il 29 settembre sono partita per Cipro. All’aeroporto di Atene ho conosciuto Rita, una volontaria dal Portogallo, e insieme abbiamo passato le successive due settimane in quarantena (menomale che ci siamo piaciute!). Successivamente ci ha raggiunto anche Eva dall’Ungheria, e durante questi tre mesi abbiamo instaurato un rapporto strettissimo. Fare questo progetto in un periodo di emergenza ci ha portate ad affrontare molte sfide e a passare tantissimo tempo insieme. Non sono state solo compagne di viaggio e colleghe, ma una vera e propria famiglia.
Il progetto a cui ho aderito era in collaborazione con l’organizzazione SKE, la quale si occupa di numerosi progetti sociali ad Avgorou, un piccolo villaggio situato vicino al confine turco di Cipro del nord.
Durante il mio soggiorno ho lavorato soprattutto in un asilo. Non avevo mai lavorato con bambini così piccoli prima di allora e questa esperienza è stata una sorpresa per me. Non avevo idea delle sfide che l’insegnamento per la prima infanzia comportasse e sono stata fortunatissima a lavorare con persone piene di energia, passione, ed entusiasmo che sono diventate i miei modelli di riferimento. Nonostante le barriere linguistiche, ho imparato a comunicare con i bambini (e viceversa), con il mio λίγα Ελληνικά e tanta fantasia ci siamo sempre fatti capire in un modo o nell’altro.

La nostra mentore Antrie, è stata un punto di riferimento costante per tutta la nostra avventura. A lei ci siamo rivolte sia per le emergenze pratiche, come la pioggia in bagno o l’assenza di elettricità, che per le emergenze del tipo “dove possiamo trovare una pallina da ping pong alle 8 di sera?”.
Non c’è stato giorno in cui non abbiamo comunicato con lei e le altre persone dell’organizzazione, anche quando non potevamo vederci causa quarantene varie, ci sono sempre state per tutto.
La gente cipriota è l’emblema dell’ospitalità e siamo state viziate dal primo all’ultimo giorno della nostra avventura. Passare le festività a Cipro non mi ha fatto sentire nostalgia di casa perché le mie compagne e la comunità di Avgorou erano diventate ormai una famiglia.
In questo anno così irreale, ciò di cui avevo più bisogno era sentirmi utile per una buona causa e contatto sociale. L’esperienza con ESC mi ha dato tutto questo e molto di più, superando di gran lunga le mie aspettative. Prima di partire avevo timore non fosse un buon momento per fare questa esperienza, invece è stato il momento perfetto.