Here we are: Emma, Inès, Susana!

Welcome! We are the new H.Y.R.O. volunteers working for the project “Alter 2.0.”, and we will be staying in Palermo for six months. Our backgrounds are pretty different; we have Inès from Orléans, France. She is 23 years old and studied Linguistics in Spanish and English. The next volunteer is Susanna from Lisbon, Portugal; she is 22 years old and she has a degree in Political Sciences. And last but not least, we have Emma from Barcelona, Spain. She is 18 years old and next year she will study Biomedicine in the UK.

As volunteers, we have the opportunity to fill our schedule in whatever way we find most interesting and beneficial to us. Since Naka was still in the first steps of creation, it was in everyone’s interest to follow the initial process. View and participate in decisions as primary as logos, the creation of posters or even the look of the official site. We wanted to help the most at the starting of this organization, which fights for human rights as much as we do and against what we reject, such as discrimination.

Although the being is a slow process and still without results, we find that the observation of the initial problems such as bureaucracy, the lack of knowledge about the organization by the community and the creation of a network are the transversal aspects to all organizations that undoubtedly are interesting to see how they will be surpassed.

Another activity we do is working in Terra Franca. This project is an initiative created by the H.R.Y.O. to transform an old land confiscated by the municipality of Palermo from the Mafia; the territory is located outdoors the city of Palermo and the organization began to take action and perform different activities since January 2019.

The aim of the project itself is to transform this “no man land” into a multi-functional space that all the community/neighborhood can enjoy and take profit of it. Our task as volunteers now is to clean the space from all the natural vegetation and rubbish that has been accumulated by years of inactivity and carelessness. Moreover, to accomplish this purpose, we meet all the three of us every Friday to work a full day in Terra Franca.

Finally, another organization that we have contributed to is 5Atuttotondo, which is a center for adults with autism. The organization works with the enhancement of activities related to creativity and development of their personality.

They help people with autism to learn how to do activities and routines that come from everyday life, such as cutting vegetables, cleaning dishes and basic elements important to surviving alone in our beautiful world.

With the help of the monitor’s, we try to participate as much as possible in these activities. We really love going there because it is something new. Even though we have had previous contact with autistic people, it is very interesting to see how we can work with them and create connections by playing music and doing art workshops.

Emma Navarro Lanckmans

Inès Mellal

Susana Rodrigues[:en]

[:it]Volunteering in Palermo with H.R.Y.O[:en]Volunteering in Palermo with H.R.Y.O.[:]

[:it]

From July 4 to August 30 I was a volunteer at the Human Rights Youth Organization in Palermo. It was an intense
time that brought me many challenges and constantly pulled me out of my comfort zone. HRYO is a relatively large
organization that always hosts several volunteers as part of European projects. The organization focuses mainly on
popularizing human rights, working with the local community, especially children and youth at risk of economic
exclusion and mafia influences. Mafia still seems to have an impact on the lives of Sicilians. Many things are impossible
or difficult to do for them, even if they are seemingly simple tasks and problems to solve. It was the differences in
mentality and cultures that caused the greatest difficulties for me at first.
As part of the project, I had the opportunity to conduct #letstalkHumanRights meetings with migrants from the
local social club – Ikenga. We also organized English Language Café meetings to jointly learn English, which is extremely
needed in Sicily. Although my project is short-term, I had to learn many words in Italian to communicate with the people
of Palermo in their daily activities. English Language Cafés allows their participants to tame English.
Our colleague Melania working at HRYO on July 15-19 held meetings raising the subject of stereotypes about
gender issues and violence. Although most of us had similar insights, the conversation was extremely important. As part
of the project, we watched a shocking documentary about the female body on Italian television programs. It was very
important to us and left many questions.
From July 29 to July 31, together with scout groups from northern Italy, we cleaned the Terra Franca area. This
is an area confiscated from the Mafia and commissioned a few months ago by HRYO. Ultimately, it is to be a place of a
social garden, where the charges of the organization dealing with youth and young adults from the autism spectrum will
also work.
On August 11-14, we were in Alcamo at the Alcart Festival. As part of the cooperation with the organizers, we
ran an organization stand where we sold materials promoting human rights made by the local artist Monica Dengo, we
presented the #HumanRightsRightHumans exhibition and talked with festival participants and residents of Alcamo as
well as tourists about human rights, our countries, democracy and European community.
The last project that I implemented was the creation of a street library in which, as part of the international
bookcrossing movement, people can exchange books by introducing and extracting them from circulation.
It was sad to me Palermo has a big plastic waste problem. The ecological and environmental awareness
of citizens is low. As part of private conversations, volunteers tried to convince residents to change their habits.
Disposable plastic is distributed everywhere without much thoughts. When we organized a party for volunteers and
interns of other organizations, the most surprised by the lack of plastic cups, which come here at every party were
Italians. The big issue for me was also the frequent use of fireworks. They are here almost every day. Official local shows
lasted over an hour. Although many of us like to look at the color holidays in the sky in Poland, there is quite a lot of
public awareness about the dangers of fireworks. In Italy, this does not cause opposition or outrage yet.
From a perspective of time spent in Palermo, Sicily seems to me African in many aspects. People are different.
More friendly and open, but also much more focused on reputation. They approach the world around them and the

problems they have to deal with differently than I was learned. I regret that my project was largely carried out in
August. It is a month when the city is operating more slowly. Nevertheless, Palermo is worth exploring and there is a lot
of work to be done here still. At the same time, residents are very open to action. However, they need a spark that can
start them. During the time spent in Sicily, I met many wonderful people. This experience changed me forever, made me
aware of my values and showed me many truths.

Paweł Skibiński[:en]

From July 4 to August 30 I was a volunteer at the Human Rights Youth Organization in Palermo. It was an intense
time that brought me many challenges and constantly pulled me out of my comfort zone. HRYO is a relatively large
organization that always hosts several volunteers as part of European projects. The organization focuses mainly on
popularizing human rights, working with the local community, especially children and youth at risk of economic
exclusion and mafia influences. Mafia still seems to have an impact on the lives of Sicilians. Many things are impossible
or difficult to do for them, even if they are seemingly simple tasks and problems to solve. It was the differences in
mentality and cultures that caused the greatest difficulties for me at first.
As part of the project, I had the opportunity to conduct #letstalkHumanRights meetings with migrants from the
local social club – Ikenga. We also organized English Language Café meetings to jointly learn English, which is extremely
needed in Sicily. Although my project is short-term, I had to learn many words in Italian to communicate with the people
of Palermo in their daily activities. English Language Cafés allows their participants to tame English.
Our colleague Melania working at HRYO on July 15-19 held meetings raising the subject of stereotypes about
gender issues and violence. Although most of us had similar insights, the conversation was extremely important. As part
of the project, we watched a shocking documentary about the female body on Italian television programs. It was very
important to us and left many questions.
From July 29 to July 31, together with scout groups from northern Italy, we cleaned the Terra Franca area. This
is an area confiscated from the Mafia and commissioned a few months ago by HRYO. Ultimately, it is to be a place of a
social garden, where the charges of the organization dealing with youth and young adults from the autism spectrum will
also work.
On August 11-14, we were in Alcamo at the Alcart Festival. As part of the cooperation with the organizers, we
ran an organization stand where we sold materials promoting human rights made by the local artist Monica Dengo, we
presented the #HumanRightsRightHumans exhibition and talked with festival participants and residents of Alcamo as
well as tourists about human rights, our countries, democracy and European community.
The last project that I implemented was the creation of a street library in which, as part of the international
bookcrossing movement, people can exchange books by introducing and extracting them from circulation.
It was sad to me Palermo has a big plastic waste problem. The ecological and environmental awareness
of citizens is low. As part of private conversations, volunteers tried to convince residents to change their habits.
Disposable plastic is distributed everywhere without much thoughts. When we organized a party for volunteers and
interns of other organizations, the most surprised by the lack of plastic cups, which come here at every party were
Italians. The big issue for me was also the frequent use of fireworks. They are here almost every day. Official local shows
lasted over an hour. Although many of us like to look at the color holidays in the sky in Poland, there is quite a lot of
public awareness about the dangers of fireworks. In Italy, this does not cause opposition or outrage yet.
From a perspective of time spent in Palermo, Sicily seems to me African in many aspects. People are different.
More friendly and open, but also much more focused on reputation. They approach the world around them and the

problems they have to deal with differently than I was learned. I regret that my project was largely carried out in
August. It is a month when the city is operating more slowly. Nevertheless, Palermo is worth exploring and there is a lot
of work to be done here still. At the same time, residents are very open to action. However, they need a spark that can
start them. During the time spent in Sicily, I met many wonderful people. This experience changed me forever, made me
aware of my values and showed me many truths.

Paweł Skibiński[:]

[:en]Living in Poland as EVS volunteer. Something about my experience in Milicz with the Foundation “Mobilny Polacy”[:]

[:en]

Hello, my name is Mariangela Barletta and I’m a volunteer of Evs program in Poland.

Actually I’m working in a school named Kom in Milicz, with Mobilny Polacy foundation. I’ve arrived here in January and I will live here for one year.

Milicz is a little town near Wroclaw, there aren’t for sure the opportunities that a big city can offer but I can swear that you would have the impression that time goes really fast doing a lot of activities as much as a big one.

One of the best thing that I’ve discovered living here is the nature. In fact, Milicz is surrounded by lakes and forests that create a magical atmosphere of peace.

Also local people were a good discover, and even if sometimes it’s difficult to communicate with them without knowing polish language, its always possible to be understood. Moreover our foundation offers us the opportunity to learn a bit with a polish teacher.

About my experience, in particular, I can say that these months that I’ve already spent in Milicz changed definitely my life. The large time that I had for me (because I use to work only during the morning) allows me to study things that I was wondering.

For example, I could read a lot of books, improve my English skills and learn things about new cultures, mostly about food!

In my home, in fact, we sometimes use to cook and eat all together, sharing our knowledges and spending a great time. And for sure we relax with a different type of coffee in our balcony (Italian, Greek and Turkish)!

This sharing of cultures helped me to discover something more about me also, and even if sometimes it’s not easy to understand each other I can say that I’m spending a great time with them, because actually they are like a family for me and of course we love to be together at home but also travelling.

I love to travel and being here in Poland let me know a lot of interesting places of this country. Also the Evs program makes you travel for Trainings. Thanks to them I went in Warsaw and in Torun, and it was really an amazing experience, where I could also met some special persons.

Therefore, i really like when also our coordinator prepares activities for us. We love to spend time together making barbecue or being part of traditional festival.

In the end I would really recommend to enjoy Every program, as far as I would recommend you to enjoy my project. It’s an important opportunity to grow up and, why not, to find what you would like to do in your like or maybe to find a good job here directly!

My wishes, Mariangela

[:]

[:it]Ti va di andare in Polonia grazie al programma Erasmus plus?[:]

[:it]

Siamo alla ricerca di 2 volontari italiani motivati e appassionati tra i 18 e i 30 anni, che possano prendere parte al progetto “Volunteering is Solidarity”, all’interno del programma Corpi Europei di Solidarietà.

L’associazione Tratwa è una delle maggiori organizzazioni non-governative di Breslavia, in Polonia e si occupa di inclusione sociale dei giovani attraverso il metodo dell’educazione non-formale e la promozione del volontariato e della sensibilità interculturale e intergenerazionale.

Il progetto coinvolge giovani provenienti da Romania, Spagna, Francia, Portogallo e Italia. Le principali attività in cui saranno coinvolti i volontari sono:

  • seminari di lingua inglese, cultura e tradizioni culinarie ai giovani a rischio di esclusione sociale e persone anziane che hanno uno spazio all’interno dell’organizzazione;
  • animazione interculturale per i giovani locali attraverso i metodi dell’educazione non-formale;
  • festival ed eventi;
  • creazione del “Center for Academic Culture and Local Initiatives” e ideazione di varie iniziative culturali al suo interno;
  • implementazione e analisi delle varie fasi di un progetto.

Una parte dei volontari inizieranno il progetto a partire dal mese di Maggio 2019 e altri a partire da Giugno 2019.

La durata complessiva del progetto è di 12 mesi.

Ogni partecipante riceverà un pocket money pari a 120 Euro e un contributo per il vitto pari a 105 Euro, in totale riceverà 985 polish zlotych (moneta polacca). Inoltre, ad ogni volontario sarà fornita una carta per i trasporti.

I volontari vivranno in un appartamento fornito dall’associazione, condividendo gli spazi con altri volontari.

Di seguito dei video su alcune attività dell’associazione Tratwa:
Jazda z Pomysłami:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqJIzN2622U
Europe Day:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_saN9uL-G1w

Per candidarti invia il tuo cv e una lettera motivazionale all’indirizzo: valeria.buscemi@hryo.org.
[:en]

[:]

Terra Franca garden – A long term project for HRYO

The Terra Franca garden is given to HRYO from the Municipality of Palermo for a time share of 10 years to develop it and to give it back to the community. The garden is confiscated from the Mafia and it was abandoned more than 15 years ago and it is in very bad condition. It is located in the Cruillas district, at via Trabucco, close to the Cervello hospital. So, this is a long term project for our organization and hopefully we will be able to succeed in all our goals.

My name is Bojan Stojanovic and I am currently volunteering in HRYO. This will be a blog for the Terra Franca garden and I am going to keep you updated with our work every month. I am a part of a group of volunteers that are here for an EVS, almost 1 year long in which we decided to take part of this huge project from our organization. Cleaning and trying to make Terra Franca a functional garden with a goal of restoring the goods that can be useful afterwards for the community. We are 6 volunteers currently coming from Macedonia, Turkey, Norway and Belarus and we are working every Friday for 2 months so far, also, with our representatives from our organization Marco, Melania, Valeria and Senem. The presence of volunteers, their initiatives and activities, are going to play that fundamental role of animation of the place. The presence of foreign volunteers has a strong impact within the social context in which we will operate.

Currently we are still in a cleaning phase. Cutting all the unnecessary grass, plants and branches, but also removing all the garbage that we can find. We are also in a process of making a compost in which we use all the “organic” garbage. From cactuses to small cutted branches, we are trying to make useful everything we can find. The other garbage we find, plastic, metal, etc., we are selecting it and then we put them in bags that afterwards are going to recycle.

For only 2 months work we can see a huge difference from before. From total garden full of garbage and different types of plants, now we can say that we are on a very good way and with a couple months of work we can be in a position where we can start to plant and start the second phase of our long term goal and that is cultivation.

With our actions at Terra Franca, except from cleaning and cultivating the garden, more importantly we are creating an educational and social path and a new way of fighting against the mafia phenomenon. Giving an ex-mafia property in useful condition to the people of Palermo is a huge win for us, and a huge loss for them.

With all the work we have put in the garden, there is still a lot to do. So any help will be enormously welcomed. With your help here you are doing two very big things for the people of Palermo: cleaning a garden that tommorrow can be used, but more importantly FIGHTING AGAINST MAFIA!

Follow us on our social media platforms for more interesting content for the work we do at this garden, I will keep you updated.

Bojan Stojanovic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terrafr/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/terra.franca/?hl=en[:]

[:en]uCivic. Using new technologies for civic education.[:]

[:en]Quality of democracy is measured through the level of involvement of citizens in political activities such as voting or presenting initiatives of laws and policies. Although new generations of citizens express themselves more through virtual channels, their political participation via traditional channels is decreasing in most Western countries. Euro-barometer and Latino-barometer have offered enough empirical evidence about this process.

 

While historical political actors (political parties, trade unions and lobbies) and institutions (parliaments) still play roles defined in the 19th century dictionary of democracy, young people are thinking in terms of demands and protests via social media. This political gap is even worse in the case of those young people who belong to the poorest social classes. In a landscape of this kind, quality of democracy is clearly diminished as a consequence of the low levels of conventional political activities exercised by the “replacement generation”. In other words, no young voices expressed means no young voices heard when public policies are designed.

 

“uCivic” aims two objectives: (1) Generate an exchange of good practices (between Italy, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay) on which strategies really work and are attractive for the civic-political empowerment of new generations (specially youngsters with fewer opportunities). (2) Develop a free virtual ToolKit for civic-political empowerment of new generations. The exchange of good practices and the ToolKit will support organisations and youth workers to execute activities focused on the increase of civic education and political competences of young people with fewer opportunities. Both will include theoretical and practical contents to enable the development among young generations of six specific political competences: active citizenship, political knowledge, political attention, political participation, political efficacy and political tolerance.

 

“uCivic. Using new technologies for civic education. Generating new knowledge on how to support youth workers to increase the political competencies among new generations” (589682-EPP-1-2017-1-IT-EPPKA2-CBY-ACPALA) is a project implemented by Human Rights Youth Organisation (HRYO), Biderbost, Boscan & Rochin (BB&R), Centro de Estudios Paraguayos Antonio Guasch (Cepag) and Asociación Civil Gurises Unidos (Gurises Unidos). Funded with support from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.[:]

[:it]Julia shares her first impressions of Palermo[:]

[:it]

Social and language: Our apartment in Palermo houses volunteers from many different countries around Europe, so the common language is English. The girl from Belarus I am going to cooperate with throughout my stay in Palermo arrived on my second day of the introduction week. I’m looking forward to becoming better acquainted with the other volunteers. My first impression is that Sicilians prefer speaking Italian rather than English, so I hope to learn more Italian and I will be taking a language course through Erasmus+ Online Language Support.

 

Sightseeing: Some of us visited the city of Monreale, a bus-ride outside of Palermo. The view from Monreale was absolutely amazing with tall mountains, all the picturesque houses of Palermo and the big blue ocean. We also visited one of the local markets in Palermo. Here my new acquaintances helped me find good bargains on clothes, shoes and electronics. Later we visited one of the many beaches close to Palermo, and the water was lovely. We also visited a nature reserve with a beautiful view over the ocean.

We also went to a demonstration in Cinisi, another city outside of Palermo. This is an yearly gathering which praises Peppino Impastato. He was born in a Mafia family, but turned his back on and worked against them. He was killed by the Mafia fourty years ago. This happening gathers children, youngsters and grown-ups in a long parade with flags, slogans and songs.

As newcomers in Palermo it was very useful to walk around to the different places where we will work, and also get a feeling of local attractions and meetings points. We also tried to take the overcrowded buses, but I prefer walking,

if I have the time.

 

About the work: We got introduced to the H.R.Y.O. office. This office was once upon a time the stable in an aristocrat household, and has been modernized so it functions both as an office for several organizations and as a place for different cultural events. The people who work in the office seem really nice, warm and friendly, so I’m looking forward to get to know them better.

We are also going to work at the Emmaus secondhand shop, the Mercato Solidale, which is a grand and amazing shop with two floors full of big and small secondhand treasures. I am really looking forward to getting to know this shop more, since I’m a big fan of secondhand shops. I also agreed with one of the staff members that I can help him with learning English, while he helps me to learn Italian. I’m also really looking forward to the free, homemade Italian lunch we are going to get at the Mercato Solidale. It lies in walking distance between the apartment and the office/ the secondhand market.

 

Food and drink: When it comes to food have I tasted the local specialty “brioche con gelato”; which is a wheat bun with ice cream. It is delicious and can be compared to an ice-cream kebab. I had also the opportunity to taste cremino caffe which can be compared to an coffee milkshake, and is a special treat for coffee lovers. As a foodie I have also tasted different kinds of pizza, pasta, lasagna, fruit and coffee. And I’m looking forward to taste even more.[:]

[:it]Olga shares her first impressions of Palermo[:]

[:it]Hi everybody! I’m Olga from Minsk, Belarus. At the beginning of May I started my EVS in Italy with two NGOs – HRYO and Emmaus Palermo.

The project is for a year, but because of my passport expiry date I got visa for 355 days. So lifehack #1 for potential EVSers who will apply for visa check your passport expiry date in advance. Your passport have to be valid for 3 months after your coming back home.

The most popular question which I get from my Belarusian friends “What are you doing there?”. Okay, guys, l will explain.

HRYO – Human rights youth organization works with non-formal human rights education. They arrange different events to promote ideas of human rights among youngsters, especially they are focused on unprivileged social groups. So I am going to help them to find means of human rights promotion.

Emmaus Palermo – is a community of people who work in a charity shop which is in the outskirts of Palermo. There are about of 10 people in the organization. Some of them also live together in the house which is out of the city. There is a tradition in the shop – every day at 1 a.m. we have a lunch together. The shop is very big and on the 3rd floor there is a kitten, so we eat homemade food. I really feel at home there.

In Belarus I have been volunteering at a couple of organizations for 5 years. The topics were – homeless animals, veganism, human rights. So I decided to try myself in international volunteering. I found out about some programs and made decision that EVS is the best one. I was looking for a project on the EVS portal. Actually it took me a year to get to the project. There are some reasons for it. First, I was not looking for an opportunity to live abroad for a year, but wanted to upgrade my skills for NGO work to bring more benefit to my organization when I come back. And the second reason was that some European NGOs don’t want to work with partner countries because of bureaucracy. The was a case one organization in Budapest said to me that I was selected and in a week they wrote to me something like “We talked about you in our organization. We would prefer to have a volunteer from Europe”. But I didn’t give up after it. And then I found HRYO.

First time I wrote to them in winter 2017. They  refused me, because they had a selected volunteer for the coming project. I decided to write to them at the beginning of September and they selected me. On the 25th of December we found out the project was proved by the National Agency.

So that’s how I got in Palero. Now I live with 6 more people in the flat. We came in Palermo by three different programs to work at HRYO. My flatmates are from  Moldova, Romania, England, Norway, Spain. Here a Russian saying can be suitable “We are all so different and still we are together”.

As to the city of Palermo, the biggest advantages for me are:

  • The city is small enough. It is possible to walk to lots of places. Nevertheless there are some buses, trams and one metro line;
  • It is easy to be vegan here. Almost in any local supers I can find things with the label “vegan”. In Belarus vegans have more problems;
  • There are lots parks. I do like sitting under trees;
  • Most of local people are friendly and try to help foreigners.

There are some disadvantages either, sure, but the only one that is worth mentioning is the following. They take cash only in too many places, including cafes and the ATM don’t give cash if you use an American or British bank (and maybe some others). This brought many problems to my friend from the USA.

On the 9th of May I with 4 other volunteers of HRYO went to Cinissi, a small town 30 km from Palermo, to take part in the march of J. Impastato, the local hero who fought against mafia. We came there some hours earlier, so we had an opportunity to enjoy the landscapes. I was very happy to participate in the event, because in Belarus I go to peaceful assemblies as an observer only. So it was a new experience for me.

I hope the year will be useful for me and I will have a lot of fun either.[:]