The story of Pauline – 2 months in Torino

The story of Pauline – 2 months in Torino

I am a short-term volunteer, and it is as intense in terms of emotions and changes as being a long-term one.

I am French, and I came to do my internship at the end of the year as a volunteer in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps. It appeared to be the best choice. In a month, my life and my vision of the world changed. I met so many new people and participated in lots of events.

Before coming here, I had a fear: the language barrier. The first days of my stay here were challenging. As I discovered, the main problem was not the language level, but simply a lack of confidence. Then one day my flatmates told me to open up and feel free to speak. So, I listened to their advice, and I became more confident. Practicing is the most important element if you want to improve your spoken English. So I was practicing, making mistakes and each time I was ready to start over, again and again. Indeed, I still can make mistakes, but I am improving, and I am gaining confidence. In addition, my ability to overcome this problem with a smile is a part of my personality.
Here in Turin, I can make myself understood by strangers, make people laugh, and gather people around the table. The opportunity to volunteer allows you to become who you want to be and to become a better person. Each event meets the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and what I’m passionate about. I feel useful. There is nothing better than concrete examples to illustrate what I am talking about. I was often involved in the Cooking Lab, where we were using fruits and vegetables picked up from the market to cook truly decision dishes. Otherwise, it all would be thrown away. This cooking lab allowed people to reintegrate socially, eat and spend some quality time together. Every participant in the Cooking Lab has a very complicated story, but everyone was so adorable and so human. They didn’t speak French, but all tried to learn words to communicate with me or to make jokes. It was a great lesson for me, no matter where I am, I will not forget my origins and my values. They are an example to me. What I’m going to miss are the smiles of those families and the outpouring of generosity that takes place during the market every week.
My experience started months ago and it will end in three weeks. I’ve never been happier than here. Every day I help people, and every day I feel useful. I make wonderful encounters and they have probably become a second family for me, a family of the heart. I learned a new language, I learned how to build a better future, and I finally learned to become a better version of myself.

Thank you, Eufemia. Thank you, Rita. Thank you, my beautiful roommates. Thank you,