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.

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 ESC di 1 mese in Lituania


Hai mai pensato che da un luogo abbandonato possano nascere luoghi di bellezza ed incontro? 🌻

Questa è il mantra dei nostri amici di Innovators’ Valley, un’organizzazione lituana che dà ai giovani la possibilità di sperimentarsi in design, restauro e avventure mozzafiato nella natura lituana! 🍃

La prossima proposta nasce dal desiderio di restaurare il parco di un monastero abbandonato e consiste in un volontariato #ESC di un mese: dal 5 Aprile al 5 Maggio 2022 🌍

Entro venerdì 18 Marzo, puoi candidarti compilando il seguente form: 

Per visionare l’infopack del progetto, clicca su questo link! ☀️

😉 I progetti di volontariato #ESC coprono le spese di viaggio, vitto e alloggio, quindi nessuna spesa sarà a carico tuo!

Per ulteriori informazioni scrivi a:

ESC Short-term in Torino: Pasta, caffé e incontri

Two unexpected months

Volunteers team

ESC Short-term in Torino: unexpected in many ways.

First of all, I learned a lot by sharing; Sharing moments, sharing a flat, sharing experiences, sharing good and bad news.

Learn how to be alone by being with others.

I also (re)discovered the importance of communication in life.


The process of learning in a multicultural context

Because of (thanks to) the multicultural context (in work but also at home), we had sometimes to find new ways to be understood and be able to communicate together. I realize now the meanings of being a European citizens and how it can be useful for me, as a young. I learned a lot about my roommate’s countries (customs, food and even some words in Slovakian and Ukrainian :D).

I also discovered the work of an association like EUfemia, the way to  manage different projects on different topics and the constant need to coordinate everything and stay focus on the goal in many ways.

But first, Coffee and traveling!


I’ve tried so many coffees, so many traditional sweet drinks from Torino like the Bicerin (amazing hot chocolate, coffee and cream), the Bombardino (special eggs liquor with cream) and enjoyed these moments to truly immerse myself in the city through peoples, their discussions, routines and behaves.

Turin was also a good place to travel in the North of Italy: Milano, Como, San Ambrogio and other charming villages known for trekking or wines.

Volunteering is definetly about learning!

Despite a difficult beginning because of Covid, i discovered so manyyy different way of work, collaborated with many different people (age, area of work, life situation etc…) and learned a lot in few weeks. Especially with educational activities (language club, after-school, digital school).

I’ve been also surprised that i like to work with child. They teach you a lot without even knowing it. I think the after-school was my best moment and i have to say that before i came, it was the less interesting topic for me.

Finally, I discovered a lot more than expected on my professional skills and myself and most of all, i met my wonderful roommates and made, i hope, long-lasting links. (Did i said that i can now do my own pasta? Thks Chiara and the team “cooking lab”).

Two months are definitely too short but at least, i will keep this ESC short-term volunteering in my mind for ever.