Volunteering in Palermo
Sicilian people have always been very hospitable and they have always shown great tolerance to people of other faiths and origins.
Traditionally young people in Sicily are actively involved in church associations as well as in the Scouts.
Young people in Palermo are becoming more and more aware of social injustice and are willing to care for and work for the destitute.
Thanks to the project, the Comenius group of students successfully organized a football match in March 2013 to raise money to bring to Malaga.
Another example is how the Liceo students have reacted to the Lampedusa migrant shipwreck in Oct. 2013. Teachers and students of the Liceo Classico Vittorio Emanuele have met experts, such as journalists, doctors, NGO members, on several occasions, in order to acquire more information on the topical issue of immigration across the Mediterranean sea and how it is to be dealt with.
Many initiatives have been planned throughout the school year; some have been already carried out, such as a fundraising bazaar at school on 13 Dec., the proceeds of which were donated to the migrant shelter at Piana degli Albanesi, a small city near Palermo.
There is also active collaboration going on with the Church of Santa Chiara in the centre of Palermo, which hosts several social services aimed at temporary and stable immigrants; several students and teachers from the Liceo are engaged every week in volunteer service and are busy helping migrant children and adults with school homework, teaching the Italian language and organizing sports activities.
On 1 March, the day of the Migrants in Italy, the school held a conference inviting many people belonging to the different migrant communities in Palermo to discuss, together with some experts, about the rights of foreign people and to perform and share some dances and poem readings.
Survey: Volunteering and jobs in Achim
(177 Year 9 and 78 Year 10 students handed in their questionnaires)
1) Do you do volunteer work?
- Yes: 25% / 13%
- No: 75% / 87%
2) If you do not, why?
- No time: 50% / 74%
- Do not want to: 24% / 25%
- other reasons: 26% / 1%
(no money, nothing interesting, just moved here, could not find anything)
3) Have you ever done volunteer work?
- Yes: 46% / 40%
- No: 38% / 59%
4) Approximate hours spent in a year on volunteer work.
- Once a year: 16% / 18%
- Twice a year: 17% / 11%
- Once a month: 10% / 27%
- Once a week: 36% / 11%
- More often: 21% / 33%
5) What activities are you engaged in?
- Year 9: church work, fire brigade, sports clubs, family help, garage, swimming pool,
dance coach, golf coach, Red Cross
- Year 10: babysitting, church work, dog walking, household, refereeing, collecting
paper, reading, fire brigade, sports coach, collecting rubbish
6) Have you got a job?
- Yes: 27% / 43%
- No: 57% / 57%
7) If not, why?
- No time: 53% / 70%
- Do not want to work: 23% / 16%
- Others: 24% / 14%
(too young, no qualifications, have not found anything, do not need to work)
8) If yes, which job?
- Doing paper rounds: 55% / 15%
- Babysitting: 40% / 33%
- Tutoring: 4% / 30%
- Others: 1% / 22%
(petrol station, mowing lawns, pizza delivery service, waiting tables, supermarket, fast food restaurants, etc.)
9) Hours per week spent working:
- Year 9: between 1 hour per week and 10 hours per week
- Year 10: between 1 hour per week and 12 hours per week
In our church community it is possible to volunteer. We are helping our priest to prepare the confirmation lessons and two times a year we are going on a confirmation ride. With many voluntary young people we prepare special program and games to play there. It has to do with church but it is not only the boring old school stuff. Sometimes we also dress up to play special roles in games. We are also helping to do a kind of bible breakfast thing for children. Also with many volunteers we prepare a delicious breakfast and after that we are singing songs, playing games and talking about the bible. The children have much fun, there are round about 30-40 children at one “meeting”. So in our parish we need volunteers in all fields to organize everything. During the voluntary work we have a lot of fun together and the breakfast and the lessons are always a great time, even though it’s sometimes a bit strenuous!
If you want to involve yourself in social work you have the opportunity to do a voluntary social work-year. To do so you have to be in the age of at least 16 up to 25. Solely in Bremen around 600 youngsters are working as volunteers to support society. You can do this in different fields like in social institutions (for example a kindergarden or an old-people´s-home), in cultural institutions (like the church) or sports clubs. It is a wonderful opportunity to get many experiences for your subsequent life and incidentally it looks impressive in your CV.
Here are some voices about this institution:
A 19 years old girl said about her voluntary social work year that it was helpful for her because she didn´t know what kind of work she wants to do in the future. During this year lots of people get a lot of experience and they learn what qualifications are necessary for their voluntary jobs. She thinks that she learned a lot and after this year the girl knows what she wants to be in the future.
A girl of the same age experienced in her voluntary social work year what she is going to do in her future. She already knew that she liked the contact to little children and that’s the reason why she made her year in a kindergarten. It was an assurance for her because now she knows that she will do an apprenticeship as an educator for children. The girl became more self-confident and she sees this year as an enrichment for her further life.
Optimist Engbi didn`t know what he would do when he is finishing his A-level. So he decided to do a social year. He worked as a male nurse with disabled person. Engbi got experiences for his life. After the year he knew that a social job would be the best job for him.
Marcel Latacz did a social year in a institution for handiecapped people and a kindergarden in Bremen. Firstly he worked in the institution for handiecapped people. Later he moved to the kindergarden, where he was a lot happier. He think´s that his self-confidence became stronger. In addition to this he is thinking that he is now more open towards other people. All in all it was a postive experience for him.