Eleonora De Dominicis
Eleonora was a volunteer sent by MVNGO to Uganda (Kampala) in the context of a Job Shadowing within the Erasmus Plus Capacity Building Youth project “Art for Social Change”, coordinated by the Bulgarian organization Open Space Foundation. During her stay in Uganda, lasting a total 2 weeks, Eleonora had the opportunity of working in the slums of Kampala, the capital of the country, putting in place activities focused on promoting the social inclusion of young people through Arts. Eleonora carried out a fund-raising programme aimed at financing an Art exhibition in situ which was the final outcome of her experience as a volunteer. Moreover, she developed a strong connection with the country and the hosting organization, driving her to continue her effort of fund-raising also after her return to Italy. Her effort achieved substantial results, allowing her to collect the necessary funds for financing the construction of a public sanitation facility in the area where she was a volunteer.
“Being a volunteer in Uganda was fundamental in myself developing my personal perspective over the world and a ground-breaking experience of learning as well as fulfilment. It is not possible for me to overestimate the personal impact getting to know such a different, challenged yet vibrant reality, had on me in terms of dispelling the stereotyped views of this region of the World and of its people which had been stamped on me by the second-hand narratives of the media and of a flawed common sense. Throughout my stay, I felt part of something important, surrounded by people who, despite being often faced by challenges, hardships and suffering which would be appaling to the average “Western” sensibility display the greatest of humanity and never cease to hope and work for a better future. I was surrounded by persons who made me feel belonging to a family, united under a common purposes, whose strife I joined and made part of my mission in the World. Having being able to make a difference, small yet tangible as it may be, fills me with untold pride and makes me even firmer in my belief that the only difference between dreams and reality is made by motivation and hard, purposeful work”
Valeria was a volunteer on behalf of Mine Vaganti NGO in the Job Shadowing in Senegal (Ziguinchor) organized in the frame of the Erasmus Plus Capacity Building Youth project “Inclusion Through Sport”. Valeria was hosted in the premises of the Senegalese partner organization “Jeunesse en action GNO FAR” for a 14 day Job Shadowing between May 6-21 2017. During her stay in Ziguinchor, Valeria had an active role in the implementation of educational activities focused on use of Sport as a tool of social inclusion with an audience of disadvantaged young people. The activities wherein Valeria was involved in a responsibility role included workshops on Non Formal Education with children in Ziguinchor and sessions of Football practice with a local female Football team.
“My experience in Senegal was formative and enriching from an educational, cultural and human perspective. I had the occasion of getting to know different persons and of measuring myself in a cultural context different from the one I was used to. I discovered the positive value of Sport practice and had the occasion of directly experiencing it by practicing Sport together with local females, thereby getting to know first hand how Football is seen by them as a tool to prove their worth, fulfil themselves and engage in their local community, fighting stereotypes and exclusion which affect them in their daily lives within the community. Working with children was very important in my personal growth as a youth leader and prospective educator as well as gave me a crucial gateway for entering into contact with the kids’ families, thereby integrating in the local community”
Luca was a volunteer sent by MVNGO to Russia for a long-term EVS experience in the frame of the project “Volunteering in Kirov”. Luca’s experience in Russia lasted a total 8 months in 2014. During his stay as a volunteer, Luca carried out activities of Non Formal Education targeted at the youth in Kirov, including Italian language courses.
“I was amazed by the positiveness of my impact with the local reality in Kirov and by the enthusiasm as well as participation I encountered among the local communities and the young people during the activities. I was pleased and honoured of having been so readily accepted in the hosting organization and of having been able to create such a profound personal and emotional relationship with all the staff and fellow volunteers. This experience helped myself to be more assertive and ready to put my effort on the line to build the processes of exchange and mutual understanding which make up the core essence of European citizenship as well as Europe’s added value in the World”.
Carlo was a member of the MVNGO Youth Division between 2013 and 2015. Carlo took part in the design and implementation of several MVNGO project initiatives at the local and European levels. In addition to providing logistical support, he was also a Trainer in various MVNGO projects, working with an audience of both young people and youth operators. Carlo is presently studying Journalism at the prestigious “Scuola Holden” in Turin.
“I will always think back with fondness to my experience at Mine Vaganti NGO, where I had the occasion to be part of a close-knit, friendly and hard-working group of professionals. When the strictly professional dimension of my engagement in MVNGO is added up to the human perspective of it, I cannot stress enough the positive and impacting dimension related to the trust and confidence in my potential that MVNGO’s Team displayed with me throughout my involvement in the organization. I had the occasion to be a part of the Team in the most complete sense, being involved in important projects with a role of responsibility and always with the support of professional advice and motivation from my colleagues and my superiors, with each task being an occasion for both service and learning. I was also a Trainer and tested my skills with groups and diverse as young people and experienced youth operators, developing personal sensibility and relational capacities, while at the same time learning to counter even stressful situations with friendliness and optimism. This was very useful in my personal growth and still is in my learning as a prospective writer and journalist”.
Marco is a former volunteer of Mine Vaganti NGO, who cooperated with the organization from 2015 to 2016. Marco then moved on to establish his own entrepreneurial initiative, founding his Travel Agency “Escursi- Escursioni in Sardegna”. The Agency is web-based and offers a series of tourist services centered on the heritage of Sardinia from an environmental and cultural perspective.
“Being a volunteer in MVNGO taught me the importance of hard work and vision in whatever context wherein one sets themselves the objective of making a difference. I also learned that the worlds of NGO and business are not as different as one may suppose, as both require an attention to financial sustainability and the human dimension, from the perspective of both the staff and the customers. I had the occasion of benefitting from the experience of Mr. Roberto Solinas and Mrs. Maria Grazia Pirina, President and Vice President of MVNGO, who were always more than willing to exchange ideas with me and stimulate my reflection over how to give shape to my life and business projects”.
Roberta is a former member of the MVNGO Youth Division, of which she was part from 2011 to 2014. In her involvement in MVNGO, she took care of managing the mobilities of Italian participants in the projects coordinated by the organization as well as performed the role of Trainers in different projects of local and European nature. Roberta’s main area of expertise was and is gender dynamic in an educational perspective, in which area she acquired further experience as a Trainer in MVNGO, thereby compounding the theoretical with the practical dimensions. She followed up on this experience by getting professionally involved in different gender equality programmes.
“When I was a member of the MVNGO Youth division I got the opportunity to measure myself with the concrete challenges that carrying out a European project entails, which gave me a powerful first-hand impression of how much work, commitment and professionalism there is underneath a world too often identified with mere volunteerism, leisure and “easy-goingness” as the one related to the mobility and non formal learning of the youth. Also, from the perspective of an expert in gender issues, I was able to share my knowledge with fellow youth operators and interested young people, testing myself with the subtleties of non formal education, which helped my maturation as a leader and facilitator in group dynamics. I was also positively impressed by the quality, insightfulness and learning-oriented mindset of the vast majority of the participants I worked with, some of whom gave me interesting suggestions and witful, profound feedback which I reflected upon and made mine in my later work”.
Clara is a former collaborator of MVNGO, where she worked on several proposals in the frame of Youth In Action and the programme Erasmus Plus as a Trainer and a Project Designer. She is an expert with an academic background in Psychology and applied her expertise in the field to the realm of non formal learning during here experience in MVNGO. Clara achieved a Phd in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh and holds presently in a teaching position at the aforementioned University.
“MVNGO is a dynamic and friendly working environment, which I am very proud of having been a part of and where I learned a lot for what concerns how to develop projects and how to most properly approach diverse learning audiences as a Trainer. In MVNGO I also learned how to combine passion and professionalism as well as how the concept of organizational performance is unseverable from solidarity and mutual support within a work group. The values of responsibility, autonomy and flexibility which I learned in MVNGO were important stimuli to achieve my goals and expectations in my academic career. I’m still more than enthusiast of occasionally cooperating with MVNGO, which we have done on some occasions, for both the delivery of Training Courses and the development of project proposals.”
Sesto is one of the founding members of Mine Vaganti NGO. He achieved a Phd in Theoretical Philosophy a the University of Pisa and works presently as Head Hunter at HR Business Partner in Milan.
“I still look back to MVNGO as one of the greatest achievements in my personal and professional life. I think the most important achievement myself, Roberto and Maria Grazia accomplished in actually turning MVNGO into reality was to provide a model for likeminded, passionate and proactive young people inspiring them to actually take their destiny and their living into their own hands, in a condition wherein Sardinia, our region, is facing one of the greatest crises ever which has seriously damaged the social fabric and deprived many youngsters of the most basic opportunities of employability and, therefore, of personal fulfilment. In my perception, MVNGO indicated a pathway, a successful model which, if taken up, might go a long way towards opening new perspectives for Sardinia and peripheral regions of Europe”
Giada is a former collaborator of MVNGO who supported the activities of the organization in the frame of Vocational Training. After her cooperation with MVNGO, Giada went on to work as Real Estate Consultant at World Capital Real Estate in Barcelona.
“Collaborating with MVNGO helped me enter into contact with the European dimension of mobility and learning even as a young person. In addition to supporting the organization’s activities in the field of VET, I was actually engaged as a participants in different learning KA1 mobilities, which gave me a wider perspective about how international mobility works and the different targets which might be involved. I also expanded my personal network, getting to know professionals who worked in different sectors as well as developing competences in working in international environments.”
The best Volunteer: The MVNGO’s Green Panda